Corvette Racing at VIR: In Search of a Repeat on GT-Only Weekend

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Corvette Racing at VIR: In Search of a Repeat on GT-Only Weekend


Garcia, Magnussen defending race-winners in No. 3 Corvette

DETROIT (Aug. 22, 2017) – It’s getting down to crunch time for Corvette Racing. With the end of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season quickly approaching, endurance racing’s premier GT program hopes to tighten its grip on another GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s and Manufacturer’s championship.

The next opportunity comes this weekend in the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway – a 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit in southern Virginia that has a knack for taking the breath away from the world’s best drivers. It has a mix of mid-speed and diabolical high-speed corners, significant elevation changes and of course the famous Oak Tree Turn … still sans the mighty Oak that fell in 2013.

Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen return to VIR with the No. 3 Mobil 1/SirisuXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R after claiming an overall victory in the 2016 race. They hold the lead in the GTLM Driver’s Championship while Chevrolet is a single point out of the lead in Manufacturer’s points.

A carbon copy of last year would suit the Garcia/Magnussen combo just fine. They dominated by leading 84 of 90 laps, and Magnussen also led a 1-2 qualifying effort for the team with a GTLM track record lap of 1:41.557 (115.8 mph). Garcia (who set the fastest GT race lap in 2012) and Magnussen have won twice this year – tied for the most in class.

Oliver Gavin and Virginia native Tommy Milner, teammates in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R are itching for another victory at VIR, as well. Their triumph in 2012 victory wrapped up the American Le Mans Series GT championship, and Gavin set the race’s fastest lap a year ago.

He and Milner were race-winners earlier this year at Long Beach, and a second victory would help the defending GTLM champions salvage their season.

Corvette Racing on Display in Virginia

Chevrolet is bringing its Corvette Racing Display back to VIR as part of the Michelin GT Challenge weekend. On Saturday and Sunday in the fan midway, spectators on-hand can view and learn about a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, accessories and attractions including:

  • The 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Equinox
  • The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback and Silverado 1500 Redline
  • Samples of Chevrolet 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 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is set for 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 27. FOX Sports 1 will air the race live starting at 1:30 p.m. ET with live audio coverage from IMSA Radio and a Corvette Racing In-Car feed available on IMSA.com.

Corvette Racing at VIR: In Search of a Repeat on GT-Only Weekend


ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:

“VIR has always been good for us in terms of pace and how the Corvette behaves. We’ve been fast over the years there. The No. 4 car has won once, we’ve won another time in the No. 3 Corvette; pretty much every year we have been competitive. It definitely would help in the championship to have another good race there. We know it will be super-tight. It was last year with several cars. It’s never easy in this class or at that track. Hopefully, our car is fast enough and good enough to repeat what we did last year.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:

“A repeat of last year at VIR would be fantastic. But it’s so close. We go into every race thinking we have a chance to win, but we also know that we can’t make any mistakes. All year, the whole field has been split by less than a second most times. So that means no mistakes and you have to be on it every time you are on track for every lap. I’m really looking forward to going back to VIR. It was a fantastic win last year and pole position. Even if we don’t win it, hopefully, we can keep our lead in the championship and extend it a little bit.”

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:

“The key to getting right around VIR is having a car that changes direction well but is also stable at the rear. It also has to have good traction off the corner. There are a lot of slow- and medium-speed corners there with good flow. Last year, we seemed to make the Corvette and Michelin tire work there. We were very strong through toward the end of the race, and the sister car had a very good run to a win there last year. Hopefully that means we can get back there and have another good weekend. It’s a circuit that’s great fun and one we really enjoy driving.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:

“What’s special about VIR is how there are certain areas that are broken up in certain ways but there is a really good rhythm to it. When you get each of those sections right, it’s an incredibly rewarding lap. But it can also be super frustrating when the car doesn’t really go well in a certain area. The track has a great mix of everything… what the European guys in the series think of a classic American circuit. You have an increasing radius corner at Turn One, a bit of a decreasing radius in the last corner. You have some really fast, rhythmic high-speed sections at the Uphill Esses. The final left-hander at the Uphill Esses is incredibly fast and fun to drive. VIR is a track where if the car is good, it’s very fun. If it’s not the best, the track is super challenging.”

DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:

“We go to a lot of great tracks on the IMSA calendar, and Virginia International Raceway certainly qualifies. This is a FUN, proper track that presents all kinds of challenges to driver, car and team. What stands out the most about VIR is the number of places that require total commitment on any given lap. That means the communication conduit between the engineers and crew is extremely critical for things like chassis setup, engine calibration, and tire compounds and pressures, among other things. It takes all those elements plus truly focused execution by the drivers to get around VIR quickly. Corvette Racing did that well last year, and we are looking forward to doing it again this time around.”

Corvette Racing at VIR: In Search of a Repeat on GT-Only Weekend


2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
(After Eight of 11 Events)

Driver Standings

  1. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 239
  2. Dirk Muller/Joey Hand – 231
  3. Alexander Sims/Bill Auberlen – 230
  4. Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe – 225
  5. Dirk Werner/Patrick Pilet – 217
8. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 200


Team Standings

  1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 239
  2. No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 231
  3. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 230
  4. No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 225
  5. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 217
8. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 200


Manufacturer Standings

  1. Ford – 254
  2. Chevrolet – 253
  3. BMW – 244
  4. Porsche – 241
  5. Ferrari – 112


Source:
CorvetteRacing.com

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