Team hoping for repeat of magical GTLM finish in 2016
DETROIT (Aug. 1, 2017) – Of all the tracks at which Corvette Racing has competed – 25 around the world – none may be as universally praised as Road America. It is where endurance racing’s premier production-based team heads this weekend in hopes of building its points lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) title race. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen lead the Driver’s Championship and Chevrolet heads the Manufacturer’s standings with four races left.
The 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in the picturesque Kettle Moraine along Wisconsin’s coast of Lake Michigan is a place where both Corvette Racing and Chevrolet have a deep history. Chevy leadership oftentimes used the track to test and reveal a number of high-performance production cars in the 1960s. The relationship between the track and brand is solidified by the landmark Corvette Bridge that competitors pass under each lap.
Corvette Racing has achieved a number of successes at Road America since its first race there in 2002… which ended in victory. There have been seven total at the track but perhaps none were as dramatic as last year’s run to victory for Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin. The pairing in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R went from fifth to first with 15 minutes remaining to earn their fourth victory of the season en route to the GTLM Driver’s, Manufacturer’s and Team Championship.
This year, it’s teammates Garcia and Magnussen who lead in points heading into the eighth race of the season. The pairing has won twice so far in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and holds a slim seven-point lead with a maximum of 36 points available in Sunday’s race.
They won races earlier this year at Sebring and Circuit of The Americas in addition to a third-place class finish at Watkins Glen. Garcia and Magnussen were second in class at Road America in 2013. Corvette Racing’s group of four drivers has won seven times at Road America, led by Gavin with four victories and four pole positions.
Corvette Racing on Display at Road America
Corvette Racing’s return to Road America also means a return of the Corvette Racing Display to the historic Wisconsin track. From Friday through Sunday, fans on-hand can view and learn about a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, accessories and attractions including:
- The 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 and Equinox Premier
- The Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze Hatchback, Colorado Z71 Crew Diesel, Silverado 2500 Crew High Country and Malibu
- A Corvette C7.R show car
- Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer
- A variety of Chevrolet and racing related activities for adults and kids
- Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.
The Corvette Racing Display opens at 9 a.m. on Friday at Saturday, and 8 a.m. on Sunday.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase is set for 1:35 p.m. CT on Sunday, August 6. FOX Sports 1 will air the race live starting at 2:30 p.m. ET with live audio coverage from IMSA Radio and a Corvette Racing In-Car feed available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“I drove there for the first time in 2010 or 2011 for a Le Mans test. I found it super-hard to get up to speed. It’s a very long lap with many corners. Even after three laps, I felt I was going along pretty well and close to the limit but was still four or five seconds off the pace! That’s shows you how difficult the track is. But once you get it, it’s great fun. It’s one of the best tracks we go to all year. We are in a rhythm of great race tracks in the U.S., and certainly Road America is one of those. I’ve been close to winning there many times and very much want to win there.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“Road America another fantastic place we go. From a European standpoint, it reminds a lot of us of Spa. It has some super-challenging corners like the Carousel and the Kink but also a lot of technical corners that you have to get right. That’s why I enjoy racing in America – because we get to go to all of these old-school tracks like Road America. The modern tracks look nice but there is something missing because there is so much room. There are no consequences there. At the old-school tracks, there definitely are consequences if you put a foot wrong. I like that.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“My very first time racing at Road America in a Lola prototype in 2000. I instantly fell in love with the track. It was just a magical place that was fast, challenging and had lots of elevation change. There is so much at the track you can get into. You do seem to get rewarded where you drive the car hard there. At some circuits, it’s easy to overdrive the car and get in trouble. But at Road America, you can push a car to a limit and sit there on that limit quite well. I was in the car for a long time that year and we came close to winning. It’s such a great area, and I really enjoy going there every year.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“I still shake my head and laugh about (last year’s finish). It was such a feel-good moment, for sure. We weren’t quick all weekend and in the race we were really bad to start. We made a couple of changes and all of a sudden the car came alive. During that last caution, we were thinking, ‘Man, what a missed opportunity. The car is now really good and I wish we were a little closer.’ Then we got that opportunity but not having been around many of our competitors, we didn’t know how good of a car we had. All of the cards fell in my favor… like hitting the jackpot three times in three laps. It’s a cool story to tell and fun to think back to a moment where it all went right for us.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“I am not aware of any driver or team who doesn’t look forward to Road America. This is THE quintessential circuit for road racing in North America… period! This also is a special place for Chevrolet, the Corvette brand and Corvette Racing. We’ve made so many great memories here over the years – from historic road car debuts to ultra-competitive racing. It’s tough to think of a better moment than last year’s result… the skill of our crew, engineers and drivers all came together for our seventh win at Road America. Another victory would be incredibly beneficial for our championship chances, and we’d no doubt thrill many of our fans and owners at the historic site of the first Corvette Corral!”
2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
(After Seven of 11 Events)
- 1. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 211
- Alexander Sims/Bill Auberlen – 204
- Dirk Muller/Joey Hand – 196
- Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe – 195
- Dirk Werner/Patrick Pilet – 194
- No. 3 Corvette Racing – 211
- No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 204
- No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 196
- No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 195
- No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 194
- Chevrolet – 224
- Ford – 219
- BMW – 216
- Porsche – 209
- Ferrari – 112
Corvette Racing at Lime Rock Park: No. 3 Corvette Extends GTLM Points Lead
Corvette Racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park: Championship Leads Intact
Corvette Racing at Watkins Glen: Podium Finish for No. 3 Corvette C7.R