Photo Credit: IMSA.com
Garcia, Taylor finish seventh in GTLM; crash results in ninth place for Gavin, Milner
ALTON, Va. (Aug. 24, 2014) – Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor led Corvette Racing’s effort at the Oak Tree Grand Prix with a seventh-place finish Sunday at Virginia International Raceway. The result keeps Garcia in the lead of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans driver standings and the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R entry first in the class team championship.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R were ninth in Sunday’s race after Milner was forced off track midway through the race and lost four laps. Two races remain in the inaugural TUDOR Championship season. Corvette Racing has four class victories on the season – the most of any team in GTLM.
Gavin and Milner looked to be the stronger of the two Corvette Racing entries in the race’s first half. Gavin opened with a strong stint that saw the Brit move from ninth at the start to fifth by the time he handed off to Milner. The American was battling with the eventual race-winning Ferrari just prior to the halfway point when he was hit hard from behind by another GTLM competitor.
The impact pushed Milner far off the track and heavily damaged the left-front of the Corvette C7.R and ended their podium challenge. The Gavin/Milner duo hoped to replicate their 2012 American Le Mans Series class victory at VIR.
Taylor started the No. 3 Corvette C7.R in place of Jan Magnussen, Garcia’s regular teammate. As a precaution following a crash involving Magnussen in Saturday’s practice session, the Dane and Chevrolet Racing management agreed he would not race.
Sunday morning’s warmup marked the first laps in the Corvette C7.R around VIR for Taylor, who drives for Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove a measured stint following a careful start and was second when he pitted at the 53-minute mark to hand off to Garcia.
The Spaniard drove a solid double-stint and led with 50 minutes left when he made his final stop for fuel and tires. Try as he might, Garcia was unable to advance from seventh place. The result meant that Chevrolet fell out of the lead in the GTLM manufacturer championship.
The next TUDOR Championship race for Corvette Racing is the Lone Star Le Mans on Saturday, Sept. 20 from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. The team also will field a Corvette C7.R in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s six-hour race on the same day.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“This was a very difficult and frustrating day. First of all, it disappointing not having Jan race but we were fortunate to have Jordan. He did a great job in his stint, especially for not having been in the car on this track. The Corvette Racing team was great on our pit stops. There were no mistakes. The result is what it is. Everyone on the team did what they needed to do. We got the maximum result we could out of the car.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was difficult. I don’t know what I should have expected. Jumping in the car for the first time on the day of the race is tough. I’d never taken the start before. I was a little cautious and a couple of guys got past. When things settled in, I think we had good pace. Once we saw where we were, we started saving fuel and made up a lap or two on some of the other guys. It put us in decent position for what we had.”
OLIVER GAVIN NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“The start was a little bit messy. It wasn’t a fantastic start for the Falken in front of me. The Ferrari ran wide out of Turn 10, and when he came back on just as I was coming into 11, he bombed me. Then I got side-by-side with one of the Porsches on the way down into Turn 14, and he didn’t give me enough room. As he was trying to go through on the outside, we touched and we both were sideways; he lost the rear and spun around. It was just a racing incident. After that, it was a matter of catching the Falken car. It was good racing with Bryan (Sellers) and he gave me lots of room; it was decent and fair. Jordan (Taylor) was good with me. He was trying to get a feel of things being brand new and fresh with the car. and gave me plenty of room at Turn 1. We both tried to get through that first stint without any contact or problems.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“The breaks continue to go against us. I was racing hard with the Ferrari going into the brake zone off the backstretch. I had to give up the position and in doing so lost another spot before being hit hard by an impatient Porsche. That was our race. I had to come in and have most of the left-front replaced. It’s a real shame because Oliver had a good stint to put us in the position to challenge the front-runners.”
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving