CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Looking To Go Back-to-Back

Jul 15 2020 Randall Shinn 2020, News, Sebring, Sebring Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Looking To Go Back-to-Back

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Looking To Go Back-to-Back

• Garcia, Taylor coming off Daytona win in No. 3 Corvette C8.R
• Chevrolet enters tied for GTLM Manufacturer Championship
• Corvette Racing program with 11 class victories at Sebring

DETROIT (July 14, 2020) – Corvette Racing doesn’t have to wait long for its chance at a second straight victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team returns to the track this weekend at Sebring International Raceway for the Cadillac Grand Prix in search of another win for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Both Corvettes will be on the GT Le Mans (GTLM) grid at Sebring as the IMSA championship embarks on its third race of the season and second following a weeks-long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the team’s previous 21 visits to the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course, Saturday’s affair is a two-hour, 40-minute sprint race.

It’s the same format that saw Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor claim a class victory in the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona on July 4. The Independence Day result gave Corvette Racing its 100th win in IMSA as well as the first for the new Corvette. The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R won by 1.977 seconds in the car’s third race, and Garcia set the fastest GTLM lap of the race.

The sister Corvette – the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM C8.R – scored pole position with Oliver Gavin at the wheel. He and teammate Tommy Milner led the race on two occasions and went on to finish fifth in the race. Like Daytona, Sebring is a track that Corvette Racing has a significant amount of testing data available, having completed a multi-day test there earlier this year and also early in the C8.R’s initial development period.

Sebring is steeped in Corvette Racing history. The circuit has witnessed the team take 11 class victories since 2002, and all four drivers have previously won there. Gavin leads with six GT-class victories, Garcia has three and Milner two. Taylor was part of one overall winning effort.

Like Daytona two weeks ago, Corvette Racing (like all competitors) will operate at Sebring in accordance with federal, state and local guidelines for social distancing and wear appropriate PPE at all times. The event schedule will include a one-hour practice Friday with another practice Saturday morning, qualifying early Saturday afternoon and a race into dusk Saturday evening.

The mid-engine C8.R is based on the strong foundation of the 2020 Corvette Stingray with both developed simultaneously. There is a deeper level of technology transfer between the race car and production Corvette than ever before, which helps contribute to many of its advancements. As a result, the C8.R shares the highest percentage of parts between the production and race car than any previous generation.

Initial design and development on the Corvette C8.R – with Corvette Racing engineers working alongside Corvette production personnel – began more than five years ago with track testing starting within the last 18 months. Heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation aided in the testing program.

The Cadillac Grand Prix at Sebring is set for July 17-18 with live race television coverage on NBC Sports Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App starting at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. IMSA Radio will broadcast all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Sebring, I think, will have the same feel as Daytona. We are normally racing quite a bit longer at Sebring, just like Daytona. The main thing is still the importance of just two hours practice before qualifying. That’s what puts the most pressure on us as a team. You will discover very quickly how competitive you are. If you are good, then you are good. There is not really time to adjust much on your car. Knowing how good the C8.R felt at Daytona compared to how it was at the Rolex 24, and how good it felt at our Sebring test, I’m confident.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We’re entering the meat of the championship where we’re racing every two weeks. For us to come out so strong out of the box after the break is impressive and shows a lot for the team and all the drivers for all the preparation we did leading up to it. This will be a different experience racing at Sebring this weekend. The biggest thing will be the heat. Usually we are there in March where it’s starting to get warm. Now we’re going there in the summer when it’s crazy hot, plus the track is still physical. That will all raise the intensity and it will be a much different feeling. Everyone will have a new experience doing a sprint race there. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a fun event.

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It’s a great thing to have these first three races at tracks where we have raced on or tested with the Corvette C8.R. We have a pretty understanding about where to go with the car and how it will feel. These will be very different conditions, though. Sebring will be very, very hot and likely very humid. The mindset for Sebring has to be the same as how we approached Daytona. We have to go all-out, get qualified up front and try to run up there as much as possible. There is no time to waste. We have to use every single second of track time to understand the car in these conditions.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Both Daytona and Sebring are good tracks for us, especially with this new Corvette C8.R and the testing we have done at both places. It lessens the learning curve for us to some extent. The temperature and difference from what we would have expected in March at Sebring will be significant this weekend, although it shouldn’t be too different than what we faced at Daytona a couple of weeks ago. I was encouraged by the car at Daytona, and we feel similarly about the package we have going into this race. Sebring, no matter if it’s a one-hour practice session or a 12-hour race, is always going to be difficult. It’s not the smoothest track in the world and has a lot of high-G corners and big brake zones. The fatigue and drain you normally feel after the 12 Hours probably won’t be as bad this time, but it’s still going to be difficult. That won’t change at all.”

2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings (After Two of 11 Events)

Driver Standings
1. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 64
2. Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 63
3. Jesse Krohn/John Edwards – 60
4. Fred Makowiecki/Nick Tandy – 60
5. Bruno Spengler/Connor De Phillippi – 54
6. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 50

Team Standings
1. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 64
2. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 63
3. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 60
4. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 60
5. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 54
6. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 50

Manufacturer Standings
1. BMW – 65
2. Chevrolet – 65
3. Porsche – 64
4. Ferrari – 28

Corvette Racing at Sebring
1999
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/John Paul Jr. – 4th in GTS (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Scott Sharp/John Heinricy – 7th in GTS (Pilgrim fastest race lap)

2000
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/Justin Bell – 6th in GTS (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 5th in GTS

2001
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Chris Kneifel – 3rd in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 2nd in GTS

2002
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Oliver Gavin – 1st in GTS (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 4th in GTS

2003
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Franck Freon – 1st in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Oliver Gavin/Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim – 3rd in GTS (Gavin pole)

2004
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 1st in GTS (Fellows pole)
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 6th in GTS (Gavin fastest race lap)

2005
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 3rd in GT1

2006
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 4th in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1

2007
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 2nd in GT1 (Magnussen pole, fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 1st in GT1

2008
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 2nd in GT1 (Gavin fastest race lap)

2009
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 1st in GT1
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Marcel Fässler – 2nd in GT1 (Gavin pole, fastest race lap)

2010
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 8th in GT2
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Emmanuel Collard – 9th in GT2

2011
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner/Antonio Garcia – 3rd in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Richard Westbrook – 4th in GT

2012
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 2nd in GT (Magnussen pole)
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 3rd in GT

2013
No. 3 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 11th in GT
No. 4 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 1st in GT

2014
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 8th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Robin Liddell – 6th in GTLM (Gavin fastest race lap)

2015
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 1st in GTLM (Daytona/Sebring double)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Simon Pagenaud – 9th in GTLM

2016
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 9th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 1st in GTLM (10th Sebring team win)

2017
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 1st in GTLM (3rd straight Sebring team win)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 10th in GTLM

2018
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 8th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 6th in GTLM

2019
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 3rd in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 8th in GTLM
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 8th in GTE Pro (FIA WEC)

CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: By the Numbers
• 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 22 years: Corvette Racing and Chevrolet.
• 3: Tracks where Corvette Racing has competed in each of its previous 21 years: Sebring, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
• 4: GT class pole positions at Sebring for Oliver Gavin and Ron Fellows, tied for most in event history.
• 8: Sebring victories – a race record – for Johnny O’Connell, a Sebring Hall of Famer who drove for Corvette Racing from 2001-10. It includes one overall and seven class wins.
• 11: Number of Sebring victories for Corvette Racing. It’s tied with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the most at any venue in team history.
• 12: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001
• 17: Number of GTLM wins for Corvette Racing since the start of 2014.
• 21: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres and Utah.
• 24: Corvette Racing drivers at Sebring through the years: – Justin Bell, Olivier Beretta, Ryan Briscoe, Emmanuel Collard, Kelly Collins, Marcel Fässler, Ron Fellows, Franck Freon, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, John Heinricy, Chris Kniefel, Robin Liddell, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner, Simon Pagenaud, Max Papis, John Paul Jr., Andy Pilgrim, Mike Rockenfeller, Scott Sharp, Jordan Taylor and Richard Westbrook. Nicky Catsburg will join the list this season in November’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
• 108: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 100 in North America and eight at Le Mans
• 229: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
• 46,383.64: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing at Sebring. That’s close to two full trips around the Earth at its equator (approx. 24,900 miles).
• 304,781.44: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. That is enough to launch a shuttle from Earth to the moon with more than 65,000 miles in excess.