Sixth-place finish with Taylor enough to take title at Road Atlanta; No. 4 Corvette places 10th
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 19, 2013) – Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen closed the American Le Mans Series era by winning the GT drivers’ championship Saturday at Petit Le Mans. The pairing drove with Jordan Taylor to a sixth-place finish in the No. 3 Compuware Chevrolet Corvette C6.R at Road Atlanta. Garcia won his first ALMS title, and Magnussen claimed another to go along with his 2008 GT1 championship.
Chevrolet and Corvette Racing clinched the GT manufacturers’ and team championships in the previous ALMS round at Virginia International Raceway two weeks ago. Garcia and Magnussen made it nine drivers’ titles for the manufacturer and team since 2001. The results were fitting ones in the final year of the C6.R in the hands of Corvette Racing.
“Congratulations to Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and the No. 3 Corvette C6.R team on clinching the American Le Mans Series GT driver’s championship,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Antonio, Jan and the team raced incredible competition in the GT class and persevered. Preparation, teamwork, efficient pit stops – along with a Chevrolet Powertrain that delivered the right combination of power, fuel efficiency and reliability – were key components of the team’s success.
“It was a total team effort for Chevrolet to win the GT manufacturers’ championship, Corvette Racing to win the GT team championship, and Antonio and Jan to win GT the drivers’ championship in the final season of the American Le Mans Series.”
Garcia and Magnussen led all drivers in the ALMS’ GT class with three victories – Laguna Seca, Baltimore and Circuit of The Americas. They also finished on the class podium six times in 10 races, despite finishing with zero points at Sebring to start the year.
Saturday’s race was not without its dramas for the new champions. Taylor was running second in the race’s sixth hour when he ran over an oil slick and spun the No. 3 out of control. The car ran fifth for most of the final two hours before safety falling back to its eventual finishing position.
“Antonio and Jan are very deserving champions of the ALMS’ GT class,” said Mark Kent, Chevrolet’s Director of Racing. “Their performance, along with that of the team’s crew members and engineers, set the standard in what arguably is the toughest class of sports car racing in North America. Congratulations to Antonio and Jan, everyone at Pratt & Miller and GM Racing Powertrain for a phenomenal end of the season and final race for the Corvette C6.R.”
The No. 4 Compuware Corvette of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook ran in 10th place and six laps down after two lengthy stops to replace a pair of alternator belts. Gavin had moved from seventh to second in the first two laps before the telemetry showed the alternator was not charging the battery at the 30-minute mark. Gavin brought the car in for fuel, tires and driver change to Milner along with a belt replacement. That belt proved faulty, and Milner pitted again on the next lap for another replacement. This time, the belt functioned properly and the car continued with the battery fully charging.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“For sure this is a great day for us. We had a fantastic season. There is no way we could think about this after no points at Sebring. The Corvette Racing team just kept digging. We went from zero wins last year to three wins this year. It was a very competitive year, and congratulations to all our competitors who raced against us. They were all very good teams. So I am very happy for my first ALMS title. Now we are looking forward to the next era for Corvette Racing. “It’s a really hard to celebrate anything. I lost a very close friend last week – Maria De Villota – and then Sean Edwards this week. Even when I went by the checkered flag, I didn’t feel like I could celebrate and be happy. I was more thinking about them.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“This is an incredible championship. I could not believe Antonio and I would walk away with this after how the season started for us. We both have to say thank you to the entire Corvette Racing team for their hard work and great pit stops all year. For sure we would have liked to win the race but I will trade that for a championship any day. “It is a fantastic day. My son Kevin won the World Series by Renault this morning, so that was a good way to start the day. It was nice that he got it over with so I could concentrate on my own championship! I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of him. I wish I could have been celebrating with him but it’s great we can have a chance to win a big championship on the same day. We will celebrate when we get home.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“Congratulations to Jan and Antonio on a terrific season. The guys really gave it everything they had, and they deserve this championship. The second half of the race didn’t go as smooth as we would have liked. The spin on a fluid leak from another car set us back. But at the end of the day, I’m glad to have helped the team win this championship. Topping this off with the Rolex DP championship makes this an incredible end to the season.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“These last few races have been extremely difficult and tough for us. But today is all about the No. 3 car. Antonio and Jan deserve this championship thoroughly. They bounced back from a heart-breaking Sebring. But since then they have driven brilliantly. They had great strategy and pit stops. They executed every weekend and scored points every time they were allowed to. A full, hearty congratulations to them. “For Tommy and I, the 2013 season can’t come to an end soon enough. It seemed like every which way we turned, things were not going right for us. Our luck just ran out. I’m just now focused on 2014 with the new car and hitting the ground running at Daytona. We had two really big highlights – winning at Sebring and Canada was fantastic. But the rest of it has been under par to say the least.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“At the end of the day, we obviously would have loved to finish better. But Antonio and Jan got their championship, which is fantastic. We’re team champions and manufacturer champions just like last year. It’s a great send-off for the C6.R and we’re looking forward to the C7.R now. It was a rough day for us –that was our season in a nutshell. There were just little problems that sometimes can be easily fixed and solved. But this year, every little thing cost us a lot of time. All in all, and looking back on the season it was a great one again. The car was fantastic and it’s always a pleasure working with the guys at Corvette Racing. I’m looking forward to a lot more years.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 4 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I’m absolutely for Antonio, Jan and Jordan. They’re part of the Corvette Racing team, but they’re also mates. It’s great to see your mates celebrate like that. From our point of view, we can’t wait to get going on next year. Sebring seems like a long time ago. It was our high of the year. You can’t have good years every year. It will make us stronger and tougher. All of us will work harder over the winter. Today again, we proved we had a great car but Lady Luck was against us.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER“Today was probably the most important sixth-place finish in Corvette Racing history. As we closed out the 15th season of the American Le Mans Series – a historic run – Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia clinched the GT drivers’ championship. It gives Chevrolet and Corvette Racing a second consecutive sweep of all three ALMS championships. Jan and Antonio’s climb back from scoring zero points at Sebring is emblematic of the never give up fighting spirit at Corvette Racing. I couldn’t be more proud of Jan, Antonio, Jordan Taylor and the entire crew and engineering group on the No. 3 Corvette. As satisfying as this is, we are excited and looking forward to the start of a new era in Corvette Racing – the first race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Daytona in January.”
Corvette Racing will open the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with the Corvette C7.R race car at the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26.
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