Jan 27 2019 Randall Shinn 2019, Daytona, Daytona, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: Six-Hour Update

JANUARY 26, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2019) – Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R worked its way from ninth to the front of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) field in the first six hours of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Saturday.

Oliver Gavin, who started in the No. 4 Corvette, was back behind the wheel after the quarter mark of the opening race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Daytona International Speedway. The trio of Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler cycled through the first six hours, and their Corvette was one of six entries on the GTLM lead lap.

The first car off the lead lap was the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller. After starting second, Magnussen took the lead early in his opening stint. Trouble struck when the No. 3 Corvette was damaged on its third pit stop as Magnussen was handing off to Garcia. Despite the issue, the Magnussen/Garcia/Rockenfeller Corvette had regained nearly two laps by the six-hour mark.

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: "Our Corvette was great and strong at the start. I was able to get by and pull away from one of the Porsches for the lead. We lost a little bit on the first stop but don’t know why. That put us back behind but I was catching back up when we made another stop to split the strategy a little bit between the field. Things were good and the pace was still solid. Then unfortunately we had a problem on the pit stop to put us a few laps down. Maybe with some yellows and wave-bys we can get some of that back. There’s still a long way to go with more than 20 hours left."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Those were a good couple of stints with our Corvette. We got a little unlucky with a missed call on the green where I passed a lot of cars I shouldn’t have. We got a penalty for that but we got lucky with a yellow at the end of the stint so it didn’t hurt us too bad. The first stint for me was getting used to the car and seeing what the Corvette needs. We made a change on the first stop and after that things were really good and we put the car in the lead. First impressions are good."

SOME OTHER DRIVERS ARE SAYING THINGS ARE DICEY OUT THERE. DO YOU TEND TO AGREE WITH THAT? "As is typical with this race, there is a lot of excitement and energy in all of the drivers their first time out and everyone is excited to go. I had a moment with one of the prototypes that was mostly my fault, so I apologize to him. Hopefully that’s the last of the contact for us and we can push on."

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM ON THE PIT ROAD BETWEEN THE CORVETTES? AND IS THE RACE ESSENTIALLY RUNNING THE WAY YOU THOUGHT IN TERMS OF AGGRESSION? "The pitlane incident was just close racing and these things happen sometimes. Both our cars were nose-to-tail coming into pitlane; it can be a moving target sometimes to figure out where your pit box is and unfortunately we just caught our other car. It looks like their car is fixed. We’re definitely used to some adversity at Corvette Racing, and hopefully that’s the last of it for them. With the way the rules are here, we can get some laps back for those guys."

"Other than that, things were really good at the first part of the stint. I would say it’s gone better for us than expected – especially for us. We had a little motor issue yesterday and went into the race with a little bit of an unknown. But we have good power and top speed in our Corvette, so we’re looking forward to getting more laps in the books."

IS THE DRIVING OF OTHER PEOPLE AS CRAZY AS IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST? "It’s about what we expect basically. Sometimes you have really easy stints and other times you’re buried in traffic. So far it’s been OK for me; it was a little dicey at times but nothing we couldn’t handle."

HOW IS GRIP LEVEL ON THE RACING SURFACE? "It seems like the track has been really good so far. Oftentimes we see off-line become full of marbles, and it hasn’t gotten to that point yet. It seems like everyone is able to explore the racetrack some in trying to pass cars. That’s certainly helping things at the moment but I think that is going to get a bit worse as the race goes on. But IMSA race control will take opportune times to sweep the corners to allow us to continue racing hard with four classes out there."

MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "For me, the second stint was much tougher in terms of balance. We changed to a compound which in these conditions should have been easier to drive and more consistent. But for me it was difficult to do the stint without making mistakes; also traffic was very bad. But it was not so easy to get through the stint. I didn’t lose too much on contact to the leader. The race is long so in the end, that didn’t change much. At the end you need to be on the lead lap and until then not to make any errors. All in all, our Corvette was not too bad."