CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Another Hard-Luck Afternoon

Aug 05 2019 Randall Shinn 2019, News, Road America Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Another Hard-Luck Afternoon

CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Another Hard-Luck Afternoon

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 3, 2019) – Luck wasn’t on the side of Corvette Racing on Sunday as the team logged fourth- and sixth-place finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Road Race Showcase at Road America.

Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs led the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category and were in contention for the program’s 100thh victory in IMSA competition. Ultimately, however, the race and fortune went against Corvette Racing as it went for an eighth class victory at the circuit.

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen posted Corvette Racing’s best finish in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with race pole-winner Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner two spots behind in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. The team will regroup and prep for a GT-only race August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.

Early on, Corvette Racing engineers decided to split strategies between the two cars with Garcia and Magnussen on a three-stop strategy. Magnussen began fifth but was the second GTLM car to pit just 25 minutes into the race. He held position throughout his stint and handed over to Garcia, who reemerged seventh.

Meanwhile, Gavin led the first 40 minutes and set the fastest lap of the race. He came in from second after 44 minutes with Milner driving the rest of the way. He stopped with 62 minutes left and the No. 4 side of the pit lane hoping for a full-course caution that never came. A stop with five minutes left knocked the No. 4 Corvette from second to sixth.

Meanwhile, Garcia stopped with just shy of 90 minutes to go for his second stop and pushed his way back to the lead with 50 minutes remaining. A cruel twist of fate awaited as the No. 3 developed an electrical issue that forced the Corvette crew to perform a battery replacement on Garcia’s final stop with 32 minutes left.

Corvette Racing’s next event is August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: "It would have been close to a win at the end. Even going green it would have been close with the 67. We could have made them push and work instead of cruise to a win. We had a decent strategy, I have to say. We committed early to that and basically things were going well until our battery problem. I don’t know how many extra seconds that cost us, so that wasn’t ideal. I lost more time – six or seven seconds – on my in-lap from prototypes running me off the track on old tires. But in the end we had the right strategy. If there had been one yellow in the end, I don’t think the Ford would have had anything for us. We were so good and had 10 laps better tires than anyone else. At the end of the day, we executed well and did what we had to do. It’s tough to say ‘what if’ but this is tough. We are chasing victory hard, and sometimes it’s too hard. We had a car to win today. Congrats to Richard (Westbrook) and Ryan (Briscoe); they ran a perfect race so full credit to them."

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: "It was a pretty decent start. I was stuck behind one of the Fords that was stuck behind one of the Porsches; they didn’t have the pace of Gavin and the 67 Ford up front. So they started to gap us a bit. I couldn’t find a way by the 66, which is a shame because we were quite a bit faster than those guys and we maybe could have done something different than what we did. Later on, Antonio was doing fantastic until we had an issue that needed to be fixed in the pits, which kept us in too long. It’s a real shame. We had the strategy to do something good; it was an aggressive strategy but without the problems I think we could have been fighting for the win. It’s tough but on to the next one."

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: "It was very close but no ultimate result for us. It looked like we were going to be right there all day. We went the route with the tire and fuel where we knew it was going to be tight at the end. We were hoping for a yellow at some point to get us to the end. You look at the last number of years and how many cautions there have been, and all of a sudden we come up against a race here with no cautions. No one would have believed that at the start. It’s frustrating, but we did have a good Corvette with pace and managed to battle well for the lead and in the top-three most of the race. Positives from the weekend are that Tommy is back and he’s fully fit. We have a good understanding of what this tire will do and the different Michelin compounds. We’ll keep working through that and all of the strategy options with the team. We’ll go to VIR and see what that brings."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: "I didn’t know for sure but I had a feeling we couldn’t make it on one more stop after we came in with about an hour to go. We needed a yellow and we usually get them there. But we didn’t today. It was a roll of the dice that didn’t work out. We were at the mercy of everyone else making a mistake to help us out. Even if we had a yellow, it would have been tough to keep the 66 behind. We were definitely at the life of the tire there at the end. You use everything you have available – all the fuel, tires, racetrack and everything else – to get a good result. Today just wasn’t our day. From that side, it’s a little disappointing considering the pace of the Corvette. We were fast obviously, ran up front from pole so to not turn that into a result is frustrating. For me personally, it was good to get back in the car to test my hand and see how it felt. No problems at all so I’m happy to shake the rust off and get ready for the next one."