Second win of 2013 for No. 4 Compuware Corvette; Garcia/Magnussen place fourth
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (July 21, 2013) – Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner scored their second victory in the American Le Mans Series on Sunday with a hard-earned effort in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Milner took the checkered flag in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R for the fifth round of the ALMS as the duo became the first in the GT class to win multiple races in 2013.
The victory played out in thrilling style before a live audience on ESPN2. Milner drove a pressure-packed final stint to win by 0.267 seconds. It moved Gavin and Milner into second place in the GT championship lead as they seek to win back-to-back titles. Corvette Racing retained its lead in the team standings, as did Chevrolet in the manufacturers’ race.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed fourth in class after a stellar effort. The No. 3 Corvette started from the rear of the grid after a massive crash by Magnussen in Saturday’s qualifying. They stand third in the unofficial driver standings.
“What a fantastic weekend for everyone at Corvette Racing,” said Mark Kent, Director of Racing – Chevrolet. “Congratulations to Oliver, Tommy and everyone on the No. 4 crew for a flawless performance. Likewise, I cannot minimize the effort by the No. 3 team to rebound from Saturday’s massive crash in qualifying. Once again, Corvette Racing never gave up.”
Gavin won for the 40th time in the series – third-most in its history. He made the most of an overnight adjustment to the No. 4 car and picked up two spots on the opening lap to move into third place. He settled in for the duration of his stint and pitted from the lead as cars in front of him pitted earlier. The No. 4 crew gave Gavin a precious two-second advantage during the first stop, which saw Milner move to the front shortly after the driver change.
The young American drove a strong double-stint to the end and got added help from the pit crew on a final stop that gave him another second over his nearest competition.
Garcia made up four positions in class in the opening 24 laps despite losing time attempting to overtake a slower GT car for the better part of 15 laps. Once around, he ran as high as third during his stint before handing off to Magnussen. The No. 3 crew short-filled on fuel during its first stop in an attempt to gain position while hoping for a caution period at the same time.
The No. 3 car did come away with the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge trophy for the GT class. The award goes to the car that exhibits clean, fast and efficient performance levels in the ALMS.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“(The start) was very difficult. You’re on own from the back of the field. The car is very good. I passed a lot of cars right away and then I got stuck behind the No. 17. He was going very slow. He was defending for no reason and I don’t know what was going on. Running behind him was like losing all aero completely. We lost about 10 seconds. But we definitely had a competitive car. We would have liked a yellow but it seems like we need one we never get it!”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“Maybe we could have gotten a podium. On the last restart, I got bogged down a little in the last corner and the Viper got a run on me into Turn 1 and squeezed his way by me. After that it was a matter of getting by the BMW. We were able to get some points on them in terms of the manufacturer and team championship. We would have liked some more points. The car was very good in the race but everyone is so evenly matched.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“The change we made overnight certainly seemed to have the car right in the window again. It was very busy at the start. I didn’t think I was on the right side of the track when it went green. Our lane wasn’t going very quickly and it looked like the BMW and a couple other cars were going to get by. Then all of a sudden it freed up and I was able to go by one of the BMWs at Turn 2. Coming off Turn 5 I was able to get around the other one. Then it was a case of following the Vipers around. “The guys did a fantastic job in the pits before I handed over the car to Tommy. He drove brilliantly and withstood a massive amount of pressure from the Viper. He showed once again that at the end of the race when there is big pressure on, he can get the job done. It was a fantastic effort.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I knew after our great pit stop that it was a matter of doing qualifying laps. We came out just ahead of the Viper and I was able to get around him. Then the BMW was coming out on the next time around and I got around him too. I tried to focus forward and focus on my own race. After the caution period, I knew the last 30 minutes was going to be tough. I ran into some traffic on the last lap with a GTC car that held me up big-time and allowed Dominik (Farnbacher) to get right on my bumper. It was a big battle. I had to do everything I thought I could without getting a penalty to keep him behind. Our car wasn’t as quick as theirs going into Turn 8, so I told myself I was going to either spin at Turn 8 or I’m going to throw it in, make it stick and keep the lead. It held and here we are in P1. It was a fantastic effort by the team. It’s good for Oliver and I. It’s been a couple of bad races in a row so it’s good to get back on the podium again.”
Pictures courtest of Team Chevy on Facebook
Next up for Corvette Racing is the Orion Energy Systems on Sunday, Aug. 11 from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving