CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Second for Garcia in GTLM Qualifying

Aug 08 2015 admin News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Second for Garcia in GTLM Qualifying

Corvette C7.Rs, Corvette DPs showing good speed ahead of Road America round

  • Fittipaldi second on Prototype grid in Action Express Racing Corvette DP
  • Chevrolet first in Prototype Engine Manufacturer standings, third in GTLM points
  • Corvette Racing going for seventh class win at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Antonio Garcia will start from the outside spot of the front row in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R following Saturday?s qualifying session for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.

Garcia, driving Sunday with Jan Magnussen, set a lap of 2:02.608 (118.857 mph) in the Corvette C7.R that leads the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship?s GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s and Team championships. Garcia was 0.224 seconds off the pole-winning time.

Tommy Milner qualified the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R fifth in class with a 2:03.689 (117.818 mph). He will drive with Oliver Gavin as the two Corvette C7.Rs try to boost Chevrolet?s position in the GTLM Manufacturer standings.

In Prototype qualifying, Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi was second in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP with a best lap of 1:57.020 (124.533 mph) and was 0.568 seconds off the fastest qualifying time.

Two other Corvette DPs were third and fourth – Michael Valiante in the Prototype Championship-leading No. 90 Corvette DP followed by Ricky Taylor in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. Eric Curran was sixth in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP.

Chevrolet leads the Prototype Engine Manufacturer standings.

The second-place qualifying position is the best for the No. 3 Corvette in the TUDOR Championship this year – the grid at Watkins Glen was set by points due to rain. Garcia and Magnussen won the first two races of 2015 and lead the GTLM standings this weekend by two points with 36 going to the race winners.

Friday’s session at Road America was a wash – literally and figuratively. Heavy rains pelted Elkhart Lake all day with the two Corvettes turning a limited amount of laps. Both C7.Rs turned a considerable number of laps in the morning?s final practice.

The team’s knowledge of Road America proved beneficial. Corvette Racing is seeking its seventh class victory at the track, and two years ago the team finished second and third.

The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase is set for 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. Live TV coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.


DID THE AMOUNT OF TRACK TIME BEING SO LIMITED (DUE TO FRIDAY?S RAIN) AFFECT QUALIFYING? “Obviously it doesn’t help. You never know if it maybe doesn’t help you, or maybe hurts the rest. With everyone who has tested here, maybe having a good car out of the box helped. We felt the Corvette was good right away this morning so we did not have big challenges. It was more about us getting used to the dry conditions and getting the most out of it. Now qualifying was a bit of ?close your eyes? and go as fast as you can. This is a very challenging track, and it really loads the Michelin tires. You really use the tires; if you are clever and have a good strategy you can get the most out of it on that single lap. So that’s what the pole car did – a pole run on Lap Two. I just waited one more lap to be sure everything was up to temperature. But this specific track is all about that: just getting the most out of it in one single lap. I would say that’s a perfect lap for the C7.R today.”

HOW DID YOU FEEL QUALIFYING WENT? “Looking at this morning?s practice and how far ahead our fastest competitors were, Antonio was only two-tenths off in qualifying and we weren?t that much off where they were. My quickest lap came toward the end when the tires weren?t so good. I made a small mistake on my second flying lap and that cost more time than I would have liked. Not having two hours from Friday didn?t help. Some of our competitors have spent more time testing than we have, and there?s something to be said for that. Our potential is greater as we continue to look at the data and make some small changes for the race.”


ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE OUTSIDE FRONT ROW? “A half-second was pretty far away, although it is a two minute lap. Joey (Hand) really put in a great lap. Hats off to him and his team. We tried our very best; we definitely improved our car from this morning. It had a much better feel than it did this morning, but I really don’t think the feel translated into overall grip. Maybe we helped a little bit on what we were feeling this morning, but we lost a little bit on overall grip. Now we have to regroup, see everything we did right, try to pinpoint all the areas we can improve for tomorrow and make this already competitive Action Express Corvette DP into a quicker car for tomorrow. It was warmer this afternoon, but we had a little more rubber on the track but it is hard to say what was better. Initially this morning when we first went out, we were able to pop off some pretty decent laps with a green track. Obviously you want to be on pole, but it you can’t, you want to start as close as you can to pole position. Tomorrow is what counts and we are definitely going to put all of our efforts into the race tomorrow.”

Release Date: August 8, 2015