CORVETTE RACING AT WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA: Another Runner-Up for GTLM Champions Garcia, Taylor
CORVETTE RACING AT WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA:
Another Runner-Up for GTLM Champions Garcia, Taylor
· Garcia, Taylor take second consecutive runner-up finish
· Chevrolet on verge of clinching GTLM Manufacturers championship
· Technical infraction spoils run for Gavin, Milner
MONTEREY, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2020) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor recorded their eighth podium finish of the season Sunday as the pairing finished second in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Garcia and Taylor placed second in the category with their No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for the second race in a row. The result also sealed the GTLM Drivers and Team titles in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
In addition, Chevrolet moved into position to clinch the GTLM Manufacturers title as long as either of Corvette Racing’s two mid-engine Corvettes starts the final race of the year – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in two weeks. It would be the third time since 2014 that the program has swept the full-season GTLM championships in the same year.
Corvette Racing’s second C8.R – the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – finished a hard-fought third in class Sunday. Unfortunately, the car was found to be out of technical compliance in post-race inspection and was relegated to sixth place.
Sunday’s race featured a myriad of tire strategies on the dusty and slippery Laguna Seca circuit. After starting on pole position, Taylor led for the first 16 laps before making the first of three pit stops in the No. 3 Corvette. He cycled back through to second place, which is where he and Garcia stayed most of the day.
Gavin and Milner finished on track in the same position the No. 4 Corvette started. With the team deciding to run a slightly longer opening stint, Gavin pitted from the lead five laps after Taylor as the No. 4 team eyed a potential two-stop strategy.
Those plans went by the wayside just past the halfway point. Garcia took over the second-place No. 3 Corvette with 86 minutes left in the two-hour, 40-minute event and attempted to regain the lead from Earl Bamber’s Porsche 40 minutes later by going a lap longer before making the final stop. Traffic stymied Garcia’s progress before he took his last service. Milner, who got in the No. 4 Corvette with 82 minutes left, came in a lap later and cycled back to fourth.
A full-course caution with 25 minutes remaining brought the top four GTLM cars – both Corvettes and both Porsches – together for a late-race dash. Milner came out the biggest winner, moving from fourth to third with a nifty move inside the final 15 minutes, and he set the fastest GTLM lap of the race shortly after the pass.
Meanwhile, Garcia got as close as a half-second to the leader but settled for second and ultimately the class championship.
The final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring from Nov. 12-14 at Sebring International Raceway.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “Today was a good race, and we maximized everything we had. We lost track position to the 912 at the start, and it was tough to get that back. The safety car mixed things up a little bit and it gave me a chance to get closer, but they were able to open up the gap a little bit. The pace was very fast, and I couldn’t use the traffic in my favor. I pressured as much as I could, but they didn’t make any mistakes. Maybe I had one or two chances where I could have gone for it, but it wasn’t the right time or place to try something crazy. In that situation there is nothing you can do. It wasn’t easy to pass on this track. There was a ton of pressure on the crew guys to do three separate tire changes when we were relying on tires to be finished instead of fuel. I think we ran a perfect race. Unfortunately for us the 912 did, too. There was nothing I could do, and that’s why I congratulate them.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “It was a difficult race today with the tire wear and traffic that we expected. We can be happy with the result, especially not having been on this track before with the C8.R It continues to show the value of the simulator work we do. We will take this good momentum on to Sebring and hopefully close out the season with another strong run there.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “We were a little up and down with pace during the day. At the end, Tommy drove his last stint really well and was strong. My first stint was about managing the tire and looking after everything in thinking about how far we needed to go in the stint. But things were constantly developing and changing throughout, so we had to be flexible with the strategy. We hit a bit of a rough patch at that first stop. I had to go through some GTD traffic before the first stop, and that lost us some time. We didn’t necessarily get the rub with the traffic today, but as things turned out we got into that final 25 minutes in good position. Tommy drove well after the caution, and the cooler track temperatures seemed to suit our car.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “This race and this track always provide some tricky conditions with tire degradation for everyone. Trying understand the best strategy is always a head-scratcher early in the weekend. As the race plays out, it becomes more and more obvious what the right decision was. We had a good day going, for sure. We called an audible on our original plan and ended up going to a three-stop strategy, which I ultimately think was the right thing to do. More importantly, we were keying off what the BMWs were doing since they are the ones closest to us in the championship. All in all, we covered them and had a good strategy for the race anyway. I was super happy with the balance of the Corvette, and the pace in the car at the end was really strong. Olly drove more than he was expecting to, and he did an awesome job in those two stints.”