CORVETTE RACING AT WATKINS GLEN: Points Pay Off for Starting Positions
Qualifying abandoned due to weather; Corvettes on pole overall and in GTLM
•Corvette DPs fill front two rows of Prototype grid based on points
•No. 3 Corvette C7.R to start first in GT Le Mans class
•Third race in Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Corvette Racing and Corvette Daytona Prototypes will line up based on TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Driver’s points for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen. Heavy rain at Watkins Glen International forced the cancellation of qualifying and put Corvette-powered entries on pole position in two classes.
On the overall grid, the Action Express Racing No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa will start from pole position to lead two rows of Corvette DPs. In GT Le Mans, the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen starts first.
Fittipaldi and Barbosa are tied for the championship lead with VisitFlorida.com Racing’s Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante, and their No. 90 Corvette DP will start second. Both Corvette Daytona Prototypes have a victory this year, and the No. 5 Corvette DP owns a tie-breaker advantage thanks to its runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to start the year.
Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP of Eric Curran, Dane Cameron and Max Papis will start third. Curran and Cameron are coming off their first victory together at Detroit. Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP starts fourth with Long Beach winners Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor teaming with Max Angelelli.
Garcia and Magnussen opened the season with wins at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to take command of the GTLM championship. The pairing also are the defending class winners at The Glen. The No. 3 Corvette suffered minor damage in an accident near the end of Saturday morning’s practice when Garcia spun at the exit of The Boot. The No. 3 car had to replace multiple tie rods, the Corvette’s diffuser, and the front and rear fascia, among other elements.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will start sixth in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. It is the first race for the pairing since their victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jordan Taylor.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is the fifth race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. The event is set for 10:10 a.m. PT on Sunday, June 28, from Watkins Glen International. Live TV coverage begins at 10 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 with FOX Sports 2 picking up the race at 2 p.m. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP – STARTING FIRST IN PROTOTYPE: “Obviously I can’t complain, but at the same time I think everyone made the right decision. With the amount of rain we had this afternoon, it would be pretty risky to run out there and potentially lose a couple of cars. It’s not like we have a sprint race tomorrow; we’re running six hours. Realistically, you want to start up front but you can win this race starting from the pits. You don’t have to start first, second, third, fourth or wherever. So I think it was the right call. Obviously it’s easy for me to say that because we’re going to start first. But even if I was starting fourth, fifth or sixth, I’d be OK with it. As far as the car for tomorrow, I think it’s very strong. In one way, I wish we could have qualified because I was curious to see what we could get out of it. Yesterday afternoon, we had a very strong run. But practice is one thing, so is qualifying and it’s even different when it comes down to the race. Tomorrow will be a long day in the office but we will try our best.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – STARTING FIRST IN GT LE MANS: “Our Corvette C7.R worked well. We had a good session this morning and got through some changes on it – mostly on our Michelin tire pressures. I think we moved in the right direction and have a good Corvette for the race. It’s difficult to say where we are because the best lap times were set at different times during the practice. I think we’re in pretty good shape. We may not be the fastest car in the wet, but it doesn’t look like it will be wet throughout the race. We have a really good Corvette in the dry so hopefully we won’t lose too much if it’s wet.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – STARTING SIXTH IN GT LE MANS: “I thought our Corvette was pretty decent in the rain. We never got a clean lap – neither Tommy nor I. It was somewhat frustrating. But that’s sometimes the way things are. Tomorrow is a very different day. There is a huge storm still coming through; we have to see what it brings. We’re going to make our best judgment on the setup of the car and see what it brings.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “The Race Director’s decision today was the right thing to do. The safety concerns of qualifying in these conditions far outweighed the benefits. The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is always tough but fun, and our previous practice sessions should be enough to meet the challenge. There is no doubt tomorrow will bring yet another epic endurance battle.”
JIM LUTZ, CHEVROLET CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER: “Abandoning the qualifying session was the right decision due to the weather conditions. It was too great a risk to hold time trials on such a wet track with a six-hour race ahead. Our teams are in a good position and showed well in practice. We feel confident heading into Sunday.”
Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen – GT Le Mans (all times ET)
•TUDOR Warmup: 8 a.m., Sunday, June 28
•Race: 10:10 a.m., Sunday, June 28 (FOX Sports 1/ FOX Sports 2)
•Replay: 1 p.m., Sunday, July 5 (FOX Sports 1)
Release Date: June 27, 2015