CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Gavin, Milner Lead Corvette C8.R Sweep
CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Gavin, Milner Lead Corvette C8.R Sweep
• Garcia, Taylor finish second in pole-winning No. 3 Corvette
• Chevrolet, No. 3 Corvette take GTLM Championship leads
• Twelfth class victory at Sebring for Corvette Racing
• 61st 1-2 team finish in program history
SEBRING, Fla. (July 14, 2020) – Corvette Racing went 1-2 at Sebring International Raceway as Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner took a GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory in the Cadillac Grand Prix for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday.
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R took a 0.480-second victory over the pole-sitting No. 3 Corvette of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia – class winners two weeks ago at Daytona. It was the 12th victory for Corvette Racing at the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course in central Florida, and the result moves Chevrolet into the GTLM Manufacturer’s Championship lead after three races.
The team also won its 101st race in IMSA, 109th in program history and finished 1-2 for the 61st time. Gavin won for the seventh time at Sebring, and Milner took his third victory at the circuit.
The two Corvettes ran second and third early but took control of the race following the first pit stop just past the half-hour mark. Two GTLM competitors collided in the pitlane, and the C8.Rs emerged 1-2 with Taylor leading Gavin. They continued that formation until the midway point of the race when the Corvettes stopped a lap apart from each other.
Fuel-saving by Gavin during his stint allowed Milner to take the lead as the No. 4 C8.R went a lap longer than the team car. Garcia entered the race about three seconds back from Milner as the pair made their final stops separately about 20 minutes later.
Garcia closed the gap to Milner over the final 20 minutes but not enough to overtake the No. 4 Corvette. The Garcia/Taylor duo did, however, leave Sebring with the GTLM Driver’s Championship lead, as did the No. 3 Corvette in the Team standings.
Saturday’s victory also came on the one-year anniversary of the 2020 Corvette Stingray production car’s public debut. It is the road-going counterpart to the C8.R.
Corvette Racing returns to competition July 31-August 2 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: “It’s been an amazing day. Thanks to Corvette Racing and Tommy for doing a wonderful job to bring the car home at the end. It was the strategy and pit stops that made the difference. Our guys did an outstanding job throughout the race. Our Corvette C8.R has really come alive in the last two races. It was a great result for the No. 3 Corvette to get the 100th victory in IMSA for Corvette Racing at Daytona. For us to get No. 101 and my 49th in IMSA is fantastic. A great day. I do want to dedicate this win to a great friend of mine who passed away just before Daytona – Nick Moss, who supported me throughout all my career. He came to Le Mans with me 15 times and was an amazing, amazing friend. He passed away after a long battle with cancer, and I want to dedicate this win to him.”
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SETTING UP FOR A SPRINT RACE FOR SEBRING INSTEAD OF 12 HOURS?
“It’s a far shorter timespan so you may go more aggressively on your brakes. You’re also not having to factor in that night finish or how the track is going to evolve. You have a very short window where the track is going to improve or not. It’s a tight window. We focused on that. These races are happening very, very quick. You hardly have time to get the cars ready between sessions. Just before the start, our guys were thrashing away to make some changes that in the end made our car really good and led us to standing here talking to you. We have them to thank for that, for making all those changes and the guys working in the engineering room going over all the numbers. This is still a brand new car and we are really trying to learn as we go. It’s a phenomenal car and we want to win more and more. Bring on Road America.”
DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PORSCHES?
“It was only after the race that people started talking to me about it. The guys didn’t mention it to me. I just saw that one of the Porsches had left missing its front bumper. It was all of us trying to leave together and there wasn’t enough room. I was already in the fast lane and had priority.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: “It’s an amazing achievement to get 100 wins and now 101. The success of this team is incredible, and to be a small part of that is obviously an honor. It took us awhile to get 100 so it’s nice to get over the hump to get 101 and not have to talk about that one! Today was all about strategy and not making mistakes. It looked like we were going to have a pretty good race with the Porsches. It was all pretty close but then all fell apart there as far as that goes. In the end, it was left to myself and Antonio and of course Jordan and Olly at the start. Olly in the end really made the race for us with saving fuel and having a bit better pit stop and get out in front of the 3 car. That was pretty much the end. Antonio got pretty close there at the end. He was there for sure. The plan was with a couple laps to go once he got there, it wasn’t worth throwing away a win and 1-2 finish for Corvette Racing. So he was probably a little bit nicer to me than he could have been! But it was an awesome day. It’s great to drive with Olly and it’s an incredible achievement for him to get 50 IMSA wins. We’ll work on that in the upcoming races.”
HAD THE PORSCHES NOT HAD THEIR INCIDENTS IN PITLANE, HOW CLOSE OF A RACE WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?
“It was looking like it was going to be very, very close pace wise. I think you saw that in the pitstop as well. We all came in together and we were all going to leave together. It looked like with all the strategy details, it was going to be a close race whether it was on fuel mileage or tires or whatever. They have been fast all season and continue to be quite quick. We’ll for sure have some work to do to find an advantage somewhere if we can and ultimately not make mistakes throughout the race. We saw today how one small one can ruin your race. We’ll have to be extra vigilant about no pitlane incidents or making mistakes on the track…. those little details that aren’t so sexy in some way but that’s what makes the race for you in the end.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – SECOND IN GTLM: “After going so long without winning race before Daytona, I really wanted another one today. But this was a great result for Corvette Racing with the 1-2 finish and the championship lead. It was a great job by everyone on the team – the crew and engineers. Things went the way for Oliver and Tommy today, and they did a good job managing their race and their fuel. I think we can all be happy with the performance of the team and the Corvette C8.R. We have shown good pace the last two races and have gathered a lot of data both in the dry and in the wet. That’s the main thing for us as we go further in the season. All in all, it was a good weekend.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Another great day for Corvette Racing. I had to start with the P2 cars, and there were a couple of slow guys in their field. A couple of cars got by me at Turn Two or Three. But the Corvette Racing guys got us back out front and we were able to pull a big gap in that second stint to the Porsches and BMWs. Congratulations to Olly and Tommy on the win. They did a great job with the strategy. A 1-2 team finish for the Corvette C8.R and the points lead for me and Antonio is nothing to be disappointed about.
WHAT DID YOU SEE ON THE FIRST PIT STOP?
“I knew it was going to be messy pitting under yellow because everyone gets stacked up. I think even the 4 car got stuck behind me trying to leave, and then when I saw the Porsches leave they knocked into each other. It’s super tight. The competition in GTLM is so close; to make passes on track is difficult so a lot of times you have to make it happen in the pits. We’ve got the best group at Corvette Racing to get us out front.”