DETROIT (Sept. 16, 2014) – Corvette Racing heads deep in the heart of Texas this weekend for the Lone Star Le Mans race and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Circuit of The Americas. It is the second-to-last round of the TUDOR Championship and the race for the Championship is tighter than ever!
The 2013 season was the first time Corvette Racing competed at COTA. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen won in the American Le Mans Series’ GT class in a fantastic battle.
A repeat victory at Circuit of The Americas is on the mind of everyone at Corvette Racing. Following four straight GTLM victories for Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, the class championship has tightened with Garcia holding a six-point lead in points. After missing the VIR round three weeks ago as a precaution following a hard crash during practice, Magnussen now stands fourth. Fortunately, the Dane will be back in the Corvette alongside Garcia for the weekend.
The Garcia/Magnussen pairing won a thriller that saw Garcia hold off multiple challengers for the entirety of his 58-minute final stint. Their third win of the season put them in the ALMS GT championship lead, and they never relinquished it.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette hope to right their season at a track that left them and the No. 4 crew stunned in last year’s race. Milner led early before the gearbox in his Corvette C6.R failed and the car lost drive just shy of an hour into the race.
VIR began promising for the Gavin/Milner duo. Gavin made up four spots at the start and moved from near the back of the class grid to fifth in 13 laps. Milner was on the move too when he began his stint and made up four places before being pushed off track.
FOX Sports 1’s television coverage of the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase starts at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday. Live coverage of qualifying begins at 4:20 p.m. ET Friday on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“(Last year’s race) was probably one of my best. The team was a big part of that. Both Jan and I benefitted from really good strategy and pit stops. Everything really came together including the last stop. The execution was great and all I had to do was defend; I was out front and the deal was I never had to pass anyone. It was a great race and the key race where everything started to go our way toward the championship. This year, we don’t know how strong we will be compared to the rest of the GTLM field. The last two races have been difficult to keep up with the rest of the field and be competitive. All we can do is be as prepared as possible.
“The key thing about this track is that the fear factor is lower than anywhere else. Runoffs are huge sections of tarmac so you can really drive beyond your limits and see what happens without risking everything. You can try different things at COTA whereas you can’t really anywhere else.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Having to sit out VIR was difficult. There was nothing I could except watch any hopes for winning a championship slip away. It was really unfortunate and the tough thing about concussions. It was still the right call. Getting back in the car will be just like any other race except with just a longer break. There are absolutely no ill effects and I will be ready to race.
“It was a tough race last year. Hopefully we will have a little easier time of it this year. However the last few races have been difficult for us to be at the front. With the improvements made the C7.R, we will have a little easier time. It’s a cool place to be, and we’ve already shown we can win there. We are hoping that with a new car we can do it again.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“As we witnessed last year, Circuit of The Americas is a great place for us to race. We are there with the FIA World Endurance Championship, so people coming out are going to see the highest quality of sports cars from around the world – whether it’s our GT class or the likes of Audi and Toyota in the LMP1 class of the WEC. People will have a great show and get a great taste of sports car racing.
“Hopefully this time around Tommy and I will have much better luck in the race. It was great watching him lead in the ALMS’ GT class before our gearbox gave out. Unfortunately I never got time in the car. So in that sense, I am going back there with a score to settle. Tommy, myself and the entire No. 4 crew are definitely due to have some breaks go our way for a change. We’re all confident that we can return to form this weekend.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Oliver, myself and everyone on the No. 4 car are working hard to get a good result at the end of the year to sort of lift our spirits a little bit. We feel like we’re due a good result. That’s our focus – help support our teammates and help Chevrolet in the manufacturer’s championship. In many ways, we can be the rabbit in some ways and push really hard and push our competitors really hard in the race by being aggressive.
“The track as we saw last year allowed for everyone to be more aggressive than usual, especially in traffic and trying to get by your competitors. If you go to a track like Mosport or VIR, you have to be dead-on with your passes and be certain that it will work. But that’s not a problem at Austin.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER
“Circuit of The Americas is without a doubt one of the finest venues anywhere in North America. The Austin scene is vibrant, and we’re glad to be bringing our Corvette C7.Rs there for the first time. As you remember, last year’s race went down as one of the most dramatic in Corvette Racing history. This time around will be just as challenging but we’re hopeful that the recent performance adjustments from IMSA will provide a level playing field for all the manufacturers in GTLM – Chevrolet included.”
TUDOR Championship – GTLM Standings
- Antonio Garcia – 270
- Jonathan Bomarito/Kuno Wittmer – 264
- Bill Auberlen/Andy Priaulx – 250
Dominik Farnbacher/Marc Goossens – 250
Dirk Muller/Andy Priaulx – 250
- Jan Magnussen – 246
- Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 240
- No. 3 Corvette Racing – 270
- No. 93 SRT Motorsports – 264
- No. 56 BMW Team RLL – 250
- No. 55 BMW Team RLL – 250
- No. 91 SRT Motorsports – 250
- No. 62 RISI Competizione – 248
- No. 4 Corvette Racing – 240
- Porsche – 276
- Chevrolet – 274
- SRT – 273
- BMW – 272
- Ferrari – 264
Lone Star Le Mans – TUDOR Championship (all times CT)
- TUDOR Championship Practice 1: 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18
- TUDOR Championship Practice 2: 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 19
- TUDOR Championship Practice 3: 3:20 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19
- TUDOR Championship GTLM Qualifying: 4:50 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19
- TUDOR Championship Prototype Qualifying: 5:35 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19
- TUDOR Championship Warmup: 8:40 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 20
- Lone Star Le Mans: 11:35 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 20
Lone Star Le Mans – Watch It (all times ET)
- Qualifying: 5:30 p.m. ET (IMSA.com), Friday, Sept. 19
- Race: 12:30 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 2), Saturday, Sept. 20
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
Corvette Racing at VIR: Tough Going for Pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs
Corvette Racing at Road America: Sixth, Seventh for Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs
Corvette Racing at Indianapolis: Corvette C7.Rs Place Fourth and Fifth in GTLM