CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA : Press Conference Transcript

Oct 12 2018 Randall Shinn 2018, News, Road Atlanta Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA : Press Conference Transcript
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP

CORVETTE RACING DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT

PETIT LE MANS, ROAD ATLANTA

OCTOBER 12, 2018

ANTONIO GARCIA AND JAN MAGNUSSEN, DRIVERS OF THE NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R, met with members of the media today at Road Atlanta to discuss their lead in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver Championship, the outlook for Saturday’s 10-hour race and the strengths of the Corvette C7.R. Full transcript:

 

GENTLEMEN, YOUR THOUGHTS COMING INTO THE WEEKEND? YOU’RE LEADING THE POINTS, LOOKING TO WIN ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP.

Jan Magnussen: “It’s a good position to be in. Nine points gives us some room so we don’t have to push like crazy, but we still have to be smart. Basically, if we can do what we’ve done in the last seven races then we’re good. Fourth place wins the championship, so we’ll try to do just that. But we also haven’t had a win this year and the car so far this weekend has felt pretty good, so we’ll look at how things go and try to get that win.”

 

Antonio Garcia: “It’s been kind of a strange season for us. We’re used to winning at least once or twice a year and that hasn’t happened. I think we’ve been very close to winning at least three or four and we probably deserve those wins, but at the end what counts is those points. There have been quite a few years when we’ve won three or four races and we end up not winning the championship, so I think maybe it’s time to do the opposite.”

 

THIS WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2005 THAT A TEAM WOULD WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT WINNING A RACE. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE KEYS TO YOUR CONSISTENCY?

Jan Magnussen: “Well, the key has been consistency. It’s a tough championship, a tough category and it’s not like we’ve been taking it easy and trying to be completely safe the whole time. We run our races, run to the plan we set out to do. We have more or less stayed out of trouble the whole season, and that’s paid off with the points. To have this many podiums shows that we’re competitive. We have had some wins taken away from us for different circumstances… being a little bit unlucky. But it’s difficult to say it’s been an unlucky season that we’ve had; it’s been a great season so far. We’ve just missed out on the wins so far. We’ll try to change that this weekend.”

 

KNOWING YOU NEED A FOURTH-PLACE FINISH TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, DO YOU PUSH TO GET THE WIN JUST TO HAVE THAT STAMP ON YOUR SEASON, OR DO YOU PLAY IT CONSERVATIVELY?

Antonio Garcia: “You definitely need to have that thing in the back of your mind, but every time you are too cautious is when everybody hits you in a way. You need to be in control of the race somehow and always fighting for the best position you can. I know fourth is what is needed, but if we are competitive enough to win then we’ll definitely go for the win. If you think too much about that, you’ll probably end up finishing fifth. We just definitely need to focus on the race and go get that win.”

 

THE CORVETTE C7.R HAS BEEN IN THE WEATHERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE IT STARTED IN 2014. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE CAR THAT MAKES IT WORK SO WELL?

Jan Magnussen: “The Corvette is a great car. The crew and support behind it is what makes a difference… the engineering group and how they plan out the races plus the development of the car, plus how the crew conducts themselves with pit stops and the good discipline they have so we can get the best out of a race every weekend. We try and learn from every situation and mistake and try not to repeat them.

“But from the beginning the C7.R has been a great car, and the Corvette has always been great. This car has been through some developments – some tiny from year to year and some big ones with change of rules. But the key to Corvette Racing is the people behind it and the support we get not only race to race but from year to year in order to improve an existing product that you can’t change much because of rules.”

 

WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THE CORVETTE ARE FROM YOUR POSITION, AND HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL WIN THIS RACE? WILL IT BE IN THE PITS OR WILL IT COME DOWN TO SPEED OR ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT AGGRESSION?

Antonio Garcia: “Speed is the key thing, for sure. You need to be fast to be able to win. But Petit Le Mans is so long that strategy is a key thing. There can come a point in the last two hours where you are leading the race before someone takes a gamble and goes for it. In that respect, we definitely protect ourselves and follow a little bit what the 67 does. That’s the smart thing to do. Even if they make a gamble, we would have nothing to lose against them. That’s the safe play. As we saw last night, traffic is going to be a key thing between us in GTLM and other the other categories. This race is one where you need to be smart, especially in the last two hours.”

 

SO SAVE THE CAR FOR THE LAST TWO HOURS FOR THE FINAL SPRINT TO THE END, OR ARE YOU EXPECTING THE RACE TO BE FULL OF SAFETY CARS AND YOU HAVE TO GO…

Antonio Garcia: “You need to be in contention, first of all. That’s also a key thing about a race of this distance. We have a lot of knowledge about this place and this race. In the first four or five hours, we will have an idea of how traffic will be developing. From that point we can look ahead and work toward having the car competitive for the end. That’s when it counts. And we are the best team to follow all those conditions and be in the right place.”

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT MARCEL(FÄSSLER) TO DRIVE BOTH CARS THIS RACE?

Jan Magnussen: “I’m not sure there is a plan as of yet. A third driver at this race is important because without one, you can run into the limits of the drive-time regulations. Usually a third driver will do an hour or two in the middle of the race. So he may jump from one car to the other and help both entries out that way. Marcel has been great and fast in both cars. He’s the only person that gets to drive both on the weekend, so even though we may think both cars are the same he can come in and explain the small differences between them. It’s been good for our weekend development.”

 

2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings (After 10 of 11 Events)

 

Driver Standings Team Standings Manufacturer Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 299

2. Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe – 290

3. Dirk Mueller/Joey Hand – 284

4. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 283

5. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 278

1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 299

2. No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 290

3. No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 284

4. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 283

5. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 278

1. Ford – 323

2. Chevrolet – 313

3. Porsche – 306

4. BMW – 302

5. Ferrari – 58

 

Corvette Racing at Road Atlanta

Year Class Drivers Result Car Notes
1999 GTS Fellows/Kneifel/Paul Jr. 5th Corvette C5-R
GTS Pilgrim/Collins/Sharp 4th Corvette C5-R
2000 GTS Fellows/Kneifel/Bell 3rd Corvette C5-R Fellows pole
GTS Pilgrim/Collins/Freon 1st Corvette C5-R
2001 GTS Fellows/O’Connell 9th Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Pilgrim/Freon 1st Corvette C5-R Pilgrim pole
2002 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Gavin 1st Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Pilgrim/Freon 3rd Corvette C5-R Pilgrim fastest race lap
2003* GTS Fellows/O’Connell 3rd Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Gavin 1st Corvette C5-R
2003 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Freon 5th Corvette C5-R
GTS Collins/Gavin/Pilgrim 3rd Corvette C5-R
2004 GTS Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 2nd Corvette C5-R
GTS Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 1st Corvette C5-R Gavin pole, fastest race lap
2005* GT1 Fellows/O’Connell 1st Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole, fastest race lap
GT1 Beretta/Gavin 2nd Corvette C6.R
2005 GT1 Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 6th Corvette C6.R
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 1st Corvette C6.R Beretta pole, Gavin fastest race lap
2006 GT1 Fellows/O’Connell/Papis 4th Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen 3rd Corvette C6.R Gavin fastest race lap
2007 GT1 Magnussen/O’Connell/Fellows 3rd Corvette C6.R
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Papis 1st Corvette C6.R Gavin fastest race lap
2008 GT1 Magnussen/O’Connell/Fellows 1st Corvette C6.R O’Connell pole, Magnussen fastest lap
GT1 Beretta/Gavin/Papis 2nd Corvette C6.R
2009 GT2 Magnussen/O’Connell/Garcia 6th Corvette C6.R
GT2 Beretta/Gavin/Fassler 4th Corvette C6.R
2010 GT Beretta/O’Connell/Garcia 6th Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Magnussen/Collard 1st Corvette C6.R Magnussen fastest race lap
2011 GT Beretta/Milner/Garcia 17th Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook 4th Corvette C6.R
2012 GT Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 2nd Corvette C6.R
GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 12th Corvette C6.R
2013 GT Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 6th Corvette C6.R Garcia/Magnussen clinch ALMS GT title
GT Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 10th Corvette C6.R
2014 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe 8th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Briscoe 4th Corvette C7.R
2015 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe 6th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Briscoe 3rd Corvette C7.R
2016 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller 4th Corvette C7.R
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Fässler 3rd Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner clinch GTLM title
2017 GTLM Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller 2nd Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen clinch GTLM title
GTLM Gavin/Milner/Fässler 4th Corvette C7.R