MSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA CORVETTE RACING DRIVER QUOTES – FIRST SIX HOURS JANUARY 27, 2018
MSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
CORVETTE RACING DRIVER QUOTES- FIRST SIX HOURS
JANUARY 27, 2018
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27, 2018) – Corvette Racing spent the first six hours of the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona in the thick of the fight for a GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory as night fell Saturday on Daytona International Speedway. Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs ran in the top-three at multiple points in the first quarter of the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Marcel Fässler ran third in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R at the six-hour mark, taking over from starting driver Oliver Gavin and then Tommy Milner. As the track dried from the brief downpour, Fässler was running the quickest laps of the GTLM contenders.
Class pole-winner Jan Magnussen sat two spots back in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R after solid runs by both Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller. Both Corvettes were less than 30 seconds from the race leader.
The next Corvette Racing update from the Rolex 24 will come after the halfway mark.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It wasn’t a bad start. At the beginning, everyone was fight hard and trying to find a rhythm. For sure, the Fords are very quick at this point. We’re behind them sixth, seventh or eighth tenths, maybe. But I think our car is pretty easy to drive. There’s not much else to do right now. Just stay out of trouble and be there when it counts."
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It was a fun couple of first stints. On the first lap and going into Turn 3, I got by the 67 Ford and was right behind one of the Porsches on the outside going into the Kink, and he had a big moment on turn-in, and I subsequently had one as well. I think that was because we were on the marbles out there. Once I got the tires cleaned off, I could make some headway. A few laps later I was able to get by Jan. From then on it was a matter of getting the laps done. I made a bit of a mistake going back into the Bus Stop, and Jan got by me again. We are fast in certain spots on the track; our car seems to be good on the infield. We are just lacking straight-line speed. We’re not sure why we are the slowest car on the straight. We’ll work to get that better. Tommy did a great job to stay around in that second, third or fourth spot. The biggest difficulty during the stint was the prototype traffic. It was just ridiculous. There were so many guys who were racing you like it’s the last hour of the race. Desperate, desperate moves. It’s senseless and so frustrating. You think you know what a car is going to do, and then they do something completely random. Maybe the least experienced guys were in the car and things will calm down. These were just ridiculous things."
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: ON HIS STINT: "It was good. First two hours and first one almost by myself. The No. 66 car was out in the distance. With that caution we picked the leader up and we also fixed a fuse that we had to in order to carry on basically. Then I just hung with Dirk (Mueller, Ford). I drove to stay with him most of the stint, but IU think that have a little bit more pace. I could barely stay with him more that we did a little bit more previously. We just have to keep improving the car and maybe if we got to the end of the race, we can fight them."
ON BEING FATIGUED MORE THAN USUAL FROM STINT: "We had some issues with the A/C, so that doesn’t help. Maybe I am a little hotter than I should be. It should be fixed during the race. It is a little bit hotter than usual."
SOME OF THE DRIVERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE PROTOTYPE DRIVERS ARE OVER THE HEAD A LITTLE BIT, AND THEY MAY NOT HAVE THEIR COURTESY DOWN. DID YOU HAVE ISSUES LIKE THAT TOO? "Oh yeah… quite a bit. That makes me wonder what it will be like the last two hours. It’s going to get crazy. So far, they are very aggressive and are passing probably where they shouldn’t. We are about as fast of they are at Turn 5 and Turn 6. At the end, there is no point to dive-bomb us. Hopefully they will improve and learn that. Otherwise it will be really tricky when everyone is going flat-out."
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE- ON HIS STINT: "A story similar to that of Antonio. First stint was pretty much by myself. The car was okay. It was a little bit different than we had in practice. We made a change that first pit stop, and that change we made with me in the car, was better for the second stint. Very similar to Antonio, we definitely have some work to do. By no means far away. But with this class being so close, every last little detail makes a difference. We will just spend some time with our engineer and make a few more tweaks."
DO YOU HAVE A SENSE YET OF WHO IS GOING TO BE WHERE AS THIS RACE PLAYS OUT? "It’s hard to say right now. A lot of people are probably in the same boat we with a couple of things they would like to improve on. Let’s hope we have a few more details to improve on than other people. It is good, but the Ford has been fast all weekend but Antonio hung with him most of that second stint there. I was there with them for a while, but faded a bit half way through. Certainly there is potential there. There is reason to believe we are going to have something to fight pretty hard. I think the stage we are at right now is just getting a handle on how are car is; getting settled in and understand what our car needs to go fast.. We do spend some time with the competitors on the race track and starting to build a book a little bit about where they are fast and where they are week."
SOME OF THE DRIVERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE PROTOTYPE DRIVERS ARE OVER THE HEAD A LITTLE BIT, AND THEY MAY NOT HAVE THEIR COURTESY DOWN. DID YOU HAVE ISSUES LIKE THAT TOO? "I’ve been lucky so far. I haven’t had any big issues yet. But we’ve all had moments in practice where that certainly for us will be just as big a challenge as our own race… being extra aware of the faster cars and the more inexperienced guys in those cars. Once you come to the race weekend, there isn’t a lot of practice and if you have any issues with the car then you don’t get many laps. Talking to some of the drivers before the race, some of them only had three, four or five laps before the race. The first half here is going to be the worst of it. As they get used to their own cars and driving in traffic, hopefully those guys will have a better handle on how best to pass other cars."
DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A MASTER PLAN FOR THE RAIN? "Of course. We’ve figured out to the second exactly when the rain is going to come and what tire to be on. In all seriousness, we do whatever we can do to prevent leaks. We’ve had no practice in the rain so far this year. Thankfully having driven on these tires before, and knowing this car so well, we have a pretty big book to pull from once it does get wet… things we can do to the car with balance and tire pressures. Hopefully we can figure these things out and be fast from the get-go."