Excellent pit work, never-give-up spirit highlights 2017 opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2017) –Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller led Corvette Racing’s effort in the GT Le Mans class of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Sunday. The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R placed fourth in a battle that saw the top seven entries separated by 7.5 seconds after a grueling opening race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The No. 3 Corvette ran a nearly perfect race with no mistakes and incredible performances in pitlane. With a majority of the race run in cold, damp conditions, the Corvette Racing team found itself in position to challenge for a third straight Rolex 24 class victory heading into the final three hours.
Twice in the final two hours, the No. 3 Corvette crew sent Garcia out in the lead – making up four spots on the penultimate stop and three on the final stop. Over the last three stops of the race, the No. 3 Corvette gained nine positions. Garcia eventually finished 4.593 behind the class winner after coming back from a lap down in the early morning hours that saw rain soak Daytona International Speedway for more than 12 hours.
“It was a very good race today,” said Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, General Motors. “Everybody was on the same lap there in the end. All the manufacturers placed there one through four, so it was really a good race.
“They (Corvette Racing) never give up. They never lose hope. I think we won in the pits. I watched them beat all the other teams many times. This is a tough race to win. They did a great job, and I am very proud of the Corvette team.”
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R, the class-winner in 2016, placed ninth in GTLM after suffering a loss of power and a broken right-rear lower control arm following contact with another GTLM competitor near the six-hour mark. Gavin, Milner and Fässler all cycled through in the cold and wet conditions to help support the team’s strategy for the No. 3 Corvette.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 15-18 from Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. The race will air from 12:30-11 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Corvette Racing has won at Sebring 10 times since 2001.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM:
“I think we need to be happy with the race we had. In any race, you have to do your best and take it to 100 percent and more. Corvette Racing did that today – optimizing everything we had to have a perfect race and a perfect Corvette to the end. What else can you say about the pit stops? We made up so many positions and came out first so many times. When you have all that and don’t have the pace to keep it, it’s a shame. We gave everything we had. We congratulate the winners.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM:
“It wasn’t what we wanted. We were just lacking a little bit of the speed that we needed to be able to fight at the end there. The team did a fantastic job there throughout the event. The pit work today was absolutely fantastic. We came out in front almost every time. Unfortunately we didn’t quite have the speed to stay there. Antonio did a fantastic job at the end, and Rocky drove really well too. This is a great group of drivers with a great crew, a great team and a great car in the Corvette. It just wasn’t quite enough this time.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM:
“We did all we could to try and win the race. The result is pretty much what we kind of expected after practice sessions if you look at the pure speed we had. Even though we had a good chance at the end, we knew it likely wouldn’t be for long because you need to have speed on the straights. We just didn’t have enough to stay ahead of the others but I have to say thanks to my teammates and my team. It was good fun in these difficult conditions. We kept fighting till the end. It was nice to be there at the end to feel the emotion of maybe winning the race. We were there again although not as close as last year. Everyone tried hard, and that’s racing. Congratulations to the 66 car. I think they deserved it. Today just wasn’t for us.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“The first lap, as it always is here, was difficult to weigh the risks of looking to pass someone, shooting a gap with so many cars. You try to weigh the risks. It was a good first couple of laps. I was able to pass a couple of cars and it seemed to go backward and forward. Overall it was a good first stint. I was pleased to get it done and out of the way.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“I was having fun which is a positive thing. We were so far behind that we were just trying to get laps back and doing everything we were supposed to. We were competitive aside from the incidents, which also makes it more fun. So some you win, some you don’t. With the contact early on and then the electrical problem we had, that is racing. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“In those difficult conditions the only thing you can do is stay patient and stay on the track. It is really very easy to make big mistakes. It was very tough. Behind the spray on restarts you couldn’t see. We had to survive these showers before we could push again.”
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