CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Second Win for Cameron, Curran in No. 31 Corvette DP
Magnussen, Garcia keep GT Le Mans points lead with fourth-place finish
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, and Action Express Racing’s Dane Cameron and Eric Curran were the big winners for Chevrolet in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America on Sunday.
Cameron and Curran won their second race of the season in their No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette Daytona Prototype. In GT Le Mans (GTLM), Garcia and Magnussen used clever strategy late in the race to battle back to a fourth place class finish with their No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and increase their lead in the class’ Driver’s Championship.
With three GTLM races to go, Garcia and Magnussen have a four-point advantage heading into the next round at Virginia International Raceway in two weeks. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R crew made the call to make their final stop earlier than most of their competitors, which allowed Garcia to push hard on new Michelin tires while others’ tires were falling off. The move allowed the No. 3 Corvette to gain four positions over the final 42 minutes.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed seventh in their No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Milner drove two stints in the opening 82 minutes while the No. 3 Corvette changed drivers on their first three stops. Gavin was charging hard to pick up multiple positions late in the race before a fellow GTLM competitor forced him off track in the final minutes.
In the Prototype battle, Sunday’s results boosted Chevrolet’s lead in the class Engine Manufacturer standings. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Corvette DP. Action Express Racing finished 1-2 for the first time since the 2012 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix as Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi placed second in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.
The No. 31 crew brought the Whelen Corvette DP in during the early yellow and changed drivers from Curran to Cameron. Cameron settled into podium position and took the lead for good with 37 minutes left during the final round of pit stops. Like Garcia and Magnussen, the No. 31 Corvette DP was the first of the leading Prototypes to pit, and the strategy proved sound.
The victory moved Cameron and Curran to within two points of the Prototype Driver’s Championship lead. VisitFlorida.com Racing’s Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook placed fifth in their No. 90 Corvette DP and retained their points lead. Barbosa and Fittipaldi are second and just one point back.
Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP of Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor suffered a mechanical issue midway through the race and placed eighth in class.
The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is the Oak Tree Grand Prix from Virginia International Raceway. The GT-only race is set for 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 23. Live TV coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
CORVETTE RACING QUOTES
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM
WHEN YOU GET TO THIS POINT OF THE SEASON, EVERY POINT COUNTS: “That is the point. I mean I was excited, and at some points angry (during a battle with the No. 25 BMW) but that is where it is. We are heading into the last few races of a championship. Everybody needs to run as hard as they can. I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing, but probably; everybody tries to find the limit on protecting. At the end of the day, we didn’t touch, we didn’t have any major issues. He got caught on the only way – in traffic. At the end of the day I played my card. Traffic is part of the deal. I really used my opportunity to go by. It was difficult since I got back in the car again on our second stop. During the first stint I was saving my tires just in case, then I was just 100 percent the rest of the way because I needed to pass everybody out there. We went off sequence (on pit strategy) so we probably forced most everyone to follow us, and at the end of the day it paid off. They stayed out as much as they could. I was really aggressive when I needed to be and I passed all those cars when they were on their first two or three laps. To be fair looking at our pace, that was the best result we could achieve today, so I am happy with that.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R â€“ FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM
WHAT DID YOU SEE AND FEEL DURING YOUR STINT? “To start out with, things were pretty good. I liked the balance of the Corvette. I lost some time at the end of my stint with pickup on the tires. It might be something I’m doing or something that we need to try and help the car with to not produce all the pickup. I’m not sure why I had it in the warmup and during my stint. It’s something we have to work at for the next race.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R â€“ FINISHED SEVENTH IN GTLM
IT LOOKED LIKE A CLEAN RACE BUT THINGS JUST DIDN’T GO THE WAY YOU NEEDED: “I think we all drove really hard, and raced hard with the BMWs. It was a little frustrating at the end there. I thought I was racing Lucas (Luhr) pretty fair, but he put me in the grass coming out of (Turn) 13. I’m a little frustrated about that. I didn’t think that needed to happen, but sometimes that is just racing. I looked after the tires reasonably well throughout the stint, and really gained some time back on all the guys in front of me. But there were definitely two races in the (GTLM) race today. There was the Corvette/BMW race, and then there was the Porsche/Ferrari race. When it is like that it is just very demoralizing and very frustrating that you can’t have everybody in the class racing overall for all of the positions. We knew from the very start that we didn’t have a chance to finish on the podium unless either one of the Porsches or the Ferrari broke down. I hope the series is going to look at and do something about that before we go to VIR, otherwise the rest of the season is going to be very frustrating.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R â€“ QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTLM
WAS THE TRACK MUCH DIFFERENT WITH A DAY OF SUN AND DRY WEATHER? “The track felt pretty good. The sun certainly helps the grip level. We fought really hard with the cars around us. There was some tight and good racing. We really have nothing for the factory Porsches. They’re in a different class. We’ve really done nothing wrong today.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “Today, I think we did the best with what we had to work with. It was a very interesting race between our Corvettes, the BMWs and the Falken Porsche. I know the fans got a kick out of it. We would have liked to have a higher finish but with the way the cars are situated right now, that wasn’t going to be. We advanced ourselves in Driver and Team championship points and gathered points in the Manufacturer Championship. We’ll move on to Virginia where we’re hoping for a better result. We’re going to work hard to achieve that.”
CORVETTE DP QUOTES
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER
HOW SATISFYING IS TODAY’S RESULT? “The competition in the prototype category is unbelievable. We were all three nose-to-tail and were all in it. It would just come and go in traffic, and it was hard to get it done on the track when everyone is that close together. So we took a different strategy and Simon (Dawson, engineer) got us a lot of clean air and we were able to get some good laps out. These races, you have to be perfect to win, you’re flat out for every single lap. Every morning before, when we have our pre-race meetings, the goal is to finish 1-2. It might have taken a few races to get there, but it’s always to goal for each race.”
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS FINISH? “No question, this is a big deal. It’s our second win of the year. Action Express did an incredible job. We finished one-two in a race. I couldn’t be happier – moving our whole Corvette DP program over to Action Express and the Whelen Engineering team. We’re only 1 or 2 points out of the championship going into the last few races. This isn’t one of my favorite race tracks, but we always seem to do well, so it’s becoming one of my favorite race tracks. We charged forward and had a good race for a while. The combination of the pit strategy and timing was unbelievably spot on. The team was, I think, the fastest of the race. And Dane did what he does best. It’s unbelievable, the 1-2, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
JOAO BARBOSA, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP – RUNNER-UP
THINGS ARE REALLY CLOSE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. “I don’t think you can get much closer than three points. It’s a great championship. Action Express gives great Corvette DP cars. We were very fast today. We had great teamwork. One and two was right what we wanted for points. The No. 90 had issues, so we were able to make up points on them. It’s going to go down to the last lap of the last race to see who is going to win the championship. It’s going to make it very exciting. It’s going to be very intense.”
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE OUTSIDE FRONT ROW? “It was excellent for the team to get a podium today. It was exciting, the beginning of the race. For the start, I thought we had agreed on going on the throttle on the bridge and not the bottom of the hill. The 01 started pretty strong and I fell from second to almost fifth after getting caught up. After that stint I struggled a bit with the car, but when I got my second stint the car was a lot better. Then the No. 10 and the No. 31 were running really close to each other. I knew if we didn’t have any mechanical problems, at the end, the race would be between us. Hats off to the No. 31 team. I’m really happy to go on to the next couple of races. The championship is really close. I’m excited to be part of this Action Express family getting a one-two today.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, VISITFLORIDA.COM RACING NO. 90 CORVETTE DP â€“ FINISHED FIFTH
“The car was good, but we got taken out by a competitor. It is really, really disappointing at that stage of the race for the No. 31 to make that sort of move after the restart. He was completely out of control. It was a terrible move. And as I was trying to avoid his mistake, it means I get knocked out for checking up. It is really, really disappointing. The team deserved better. The car was decent. We were having a bit of inconsistency with the tires. Some stints we were good. Some stints we were not so good. We shouldn’t have been that far back. At that stage of the race it should be cleaner. It is a shame that Race Control didn’t have a clear view of it, but in my opinion it was amateur driving.”
TROY FLIS, OWNER, VISITFLORIDA.COM NO. 90 CORVETTE DP: “Today wasn’t a great day for us by any means. We lost some points we didn’t want to lose. But the car performed well. I think we had pace with the leaders. We could run the same pace with the leaders in traffic. We were trying to points protect on our driver’s side and weren’t taking the risks that we should have. We have to look at a couple of balls, but now we are going to have to swing at them. We have a good product to go to the last two. To put a great championship together it is going to be exciting for the last two.”
JIM LUTZ, CHEVROLET PROGRAM MANAGER, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPES: “It was another good day for our Corvette Daytona Prototypes at Road America. While we may not have been the fastest cars over one lap, the consistency and reliability of our Chevrolet power, along with solid strategy by the Action Express Racing teams, proved to be the difference. With two races left, we need to keep our work ethic and preparations at high levels.”
Release Date: August 9, 2015