CORVETTE RACING AT PETIT LE MANS: Tough Fight to Close C7.R Era

Oct 13 2019 Randall Shinn 2019, News, Road Atlanta, Road Atlanta Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT PETIT LE MANS: Tough Fight to Close C7.R Era

CORVETTE RACING AT PETIT LE MANS: Tough Fight to Close C7.R Era

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Corvette Racing ended its run with the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on Saturday with fourth- and seventh-place class finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller led Corvette Racing’s effort in the final race of the season. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler took the finish shortly thereafter in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette.

Petit Le Mans closed the Corvette Racing program’s 21st season of racing and the six-year campaign of the Corvette C7.R. In that span, it won 17 times around the world and helped Corvette Racing claim three Drivers’ Championships and two Manufacturer titles for Chevrolet. The new-for-2020 Corvette C8.R will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.

The hope Saturday was to send the C7.R off with a victory but it wasn’t to be. The Corvettes started seventh and ninth on the GTLM grid, and the team struggled with tire grip throughout the first part of the race. A couple extra pit stops to chase tire compounds combined with a five-hour run of green-flag racing didn’t help the team’s quest.

Things turned in a positive direction for the No. 3 Corvette in the second half as Magnussen and Rockenfeller took turns in the class lead as fuel and tire strategies came into play for late in the race. Garcia drove the final two-and-a-half hours including a hard charge on fresh tires with 30 minutes left that resulted in the No. 3 Corvette going from fifth to fourth on the final lap of the race.

The result meant Garcia and Magnussen finished tied for second in GTLM Drivers’ points with Chevrolet third in the Manufacturers’ standings.

The No. 4 Corvette team attempted a similar comeback in the race but was beset by contact from an overtaking car with Fässler at the wheel in the fourth hour. The resulting spin for the No. 4 Corvette didn’t help the team’s tire woes. Milner had led late in his stint during the pit stop cycle but the contact and extra pit stops to chase the Corvette’s handling set back the No. 4 team.

Corvette Racing will open the 2020 IMSA season with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26.

Additional Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

Additional Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.