TEAM CHEVY AT SEBRING: Eight-Hour Update
Corvette C7.Rs run 1-2 in GTLM; Corvette DPs challenging for overall lead
SEBRING, Fla. – Corvette Racing’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.R race cars were 1-2 in the GT Le Mans class through eight hours of the 62nd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida on Saturday.
Oliver Gavin led the class in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R two-thirds through the second round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Gavin, Tommy Milner and Robin Liddell had a mostly trouble-free run in the first eight hours. On the other hand, the No. 3 Corvette C7.R had an up-and-down day with the “down” part coming into play again with four hours to go.
Crew members were examining fuel pump pressure issues on the car with Ryan Briscoe at the wheel while running second. The No. 3 Corvette also lost a lap early with front bodywork damage it sustained on the opening lap when Antonio Garcia was hit by a competitor from behind and shoved into a BMW ahead of him on the opening lap. But timely yellows and strategy calls put Garcia into the lead just past the halfway point.
The pole-sitting No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Christian Fittipaldi ran third at eight hours but was well in contention for an overall victory. Joao Barbosa led for the majority of his opening stint in the Action Express entry to start the race, and the Barbosa/Bourdais/Christian Fittipaldi trio is seeking to become the first group of drivers to win at Sebring and the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the same year since 1998.
The No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP and No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP also ran inside the top-10 as the sun began to set.
The next Team Chevy update will come following the race.
TROY FLIS, OWNER, NO. 90 SPIRIT OF DAYTONA CORVETTE DP
“We are going to plug into it and see what we have. We just lost electronic throttle control there. Very disappointed for the Visit Florida folks, and Chevrolet. We had a good car, and it is a beautiful day here today, and we were hopefully having a good finish. So disappointed for all those folks, and this team is working so hard. With some of these new things, we just don’t have a lot of experience with. We haven’t seen anything like this yet. This if the first time we’ve had any gremlins with the electronic throttle control stuff. We’ll see what we can do. This place is always tough.”
JOAO BARBOSA, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP
“My first two stints were pretty smooth. As the race progresses, it seems like things get a little more hectic with the traffic. Our Corvette DP is running very good. It’s been a really tight fight in the front. Sebastien is in the car and is doing a great job but there is still a long way to go. The car loses a little bit of grip toward the end of the stint. But the track also changes with the heat that we have now. There is a very big variable there and the circuit gets really greasy. So far everything looks good and we are hanging around at the front.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CORVETTE RACING CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Our car is good. It looks like have a strong car today, which is exciting. I don’t know how long I was in the car; it felt like three hours but I only had about an hour’s worth of racing. In the first stint we were under yellow a lot and in traffic. I didn’t like the tires very much but when we came in and changed, the second set was a lot better and what I expected. So we were able to get with the program then. It was good to feel that. I came not even a millimeter away from ending our race with the last accident. The Viper had checked up and I tried too as well. I got to the inside and got a load of brake but some throttle too. He may have seen me because he was straightening his car out a little.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 3 CORVETTE RACING CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“We’re on the lead lap so I think we’re in good shape. I didn’t think I ran over any debris from the crash out of the last turn but it was everywhere, and that cut the tire. The car is pretty good. We have good pace and I think it’s just going to get better at the end of the race. We need to hang in there. Hopefully we have our woes out of the way and can go racing from here on.”
GUY COSMO, NO. 31 MARSH RACING CORVETTE DP
“It’s pretty intense. Guys are dropping like flies. Sebring is a really demanding place. It’s so tough with so much traffic. Everyone just needs to cool it a little bit. We have a long way to go yet and it feels like half the field is already missing. I ran almost a double-stint. It was my first time back in a Daytona Prototype in a long time and my first time in a Corvette DP. I like that, and I like having that Corvette power behind me. That sucker gets up and goes. I’m learning the car and helping the team with some feedback from a fresh perspective.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING CORVETTE DP
“It was a bit of a mess. I got in after the penalty (for working in a closed pit) so we went to the back of the pack and sat around there for about an hour. After my first stop in the middle of the stint, we cycled back up behind the No. 02 car and on the outlap someone went off in front of me. I had to avoid it and go off, so we’re back to where we started. But there is a long way to go. I think we are struggling with the track temperature. Our hope is that as it cools down in the night we will pick up some speed.”
ROBIN LIDDELL, NO. 4 CORVETTE RACING CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“There hasn’t been really any flow to the race at all for anyone. We ran green for a bit in the beginning but since then it’s been caution, caution, caution. There has been a lot of big contacts and damage. From my point of view, I kept my nose clean and didn’t make any mistakes. I was struggling a little bit with the rear of the car – just not feeling a lot of confidence in the rear in the fast corners and the grip going away in the slower stuff. We think the track will come to us a little bit as it cools down and hope it’s the right strategy and setup for the car. We haven’t made any mistakes or had any problems.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CORVETTE RACING CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“The C7.R is performing perfectly, and we have a fantastic AC unit. The Michelin tires are doing a phenomenal job. The only cars that seem to be able to out-brake us in the whole field are the P2 cars. It seems like we’ve go some good performance from the tire. There is some very creative driving out there from some drivers, and there was one particular DP car I got caught behind for quite some laps. It’s going well, and there is still plenty of racing to be done here. You just never really know. It only takes one guy to drive into the side of your car and you’d be taken out like so many of these cars today. It is just what happens with so many cars on the grid. It’s certainly very entertaining and non-stop Sebring 12-Hour. I will be getting back in I believe. Just want to say a big thanks to everybody at Mobil 1, Chevrolet, Corvette Racing for giving me such a wonderful car.”
RICKY TAYLOR, NO. 10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING CORVETTE DP
“It is really a great family atmosphere for us, and a great team atmosphere. But my first Sebring 12 Hour – Holy Cow. It is definitely like what they say, it is like a 24 Hour. I feel like I got tired twice as fast You have to focus so hard. It is such a handful out there and you try to not make any mistakes. Our Velocity guys have done a great job trying to get us back up there in contention, and I am confident that we will get there. It is very slick. I had a couple of near-off moments. It is so slick, and then there is the marbles so first of all the slippery track puts you off line, and when you go off line, you get marbles. Then you have to try and scrub them off.”
Release Date: March 15, 2014