Team to contend for class, overall win on GT-only weekend
DETROIT (Aug. 23, 2016) – Corvette Racing has won 101 races in its impressive history of endurance sports car racing. No. 3 of 101 stands out for a particular reason: the team’s lone overall victory that came in the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
This weekend, Corvette Racing can add overall win No. 2 and class victory No. 102 at the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway. It’s is the only race this season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship where the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category is the main class. And like each previous race this season, two Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs are on the entry list – the No. 3 Corvette for Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen and the championship-leading No. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
Corvette Racing will look to add a second VIR victory to its résumé. Gavin and Milner won in 2012 – the team’s first race at the circuit – to clinch the American Le Mans Series’ Driver, Manufacturer and Team GT championships. A year later, Garcia and Magnussen finished third to score another Manufacturer title for Chevrolet and Team title for Corvette Racing.
Gavin and Milner come in with as much momentum as any driver pairing has had this season. They have won their last two events: Lime Rock Park for Corvette Racing’s 100th win and then earlier this month at Road America. Those triumphs are in addition to wins to open the season in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
Strategy, pit work and solid driving has been the name of the game for the No. 4 Corvette team in the last four events. The squad used a great engineering call and a stellar final pit stop to finish fourth at Watkins Glen in June when it had been seventh with an hour left. Gavin and Milner were second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the next race before leading a team 1-2 GTLM finish at Lime Rock. At Road America, the No. 4 Corvette went from fifth to first in the final three laps after another round of excellent execution on the crew and engineering sides during the final pit stop.
Garcia and Magnussen have three GTLM podium finishes to their credit this season including runner-up finishes at Daytona and Lime Rock. They also were third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, where Garcia claimed pole position and the No. 3 car led a majority of the race. By and large, Garcia, Magnussen and the No. 3 team have been the equals of their No. 4 teammates in a number of areas.
This is the first trip to VIR for the 2016-spec Corvette C7.R, which is an updated racecar from 2015 due to changes in Automobile Club de l’Ouest regulations for top-level GT cars that compete in the IMSA GTLM class. There are a number of aerodynamic changes including a larger splitter at the front and diffuser at the rear of the Corvette. Side skirts and a repositioned wing also are among the most notable changes, along with updated safety features that are now mandated on all GTLM cars.
The two-hour, 40-minute Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 28. It will air live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 1:30 p.m. ET with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“The VIR race is unique in that it’s a GT-only race. So an overall win for Jan and I is possible. It would be a great way to rebound on what has been a disappointing season so far for us. Our Corvette has shown good speed over the last three races but there has always been something against us – whether its strategy, track position or whatever else. Yes, it’s frustrating but we know that if everything goes to plan we can run up front and contend for a win this weekend.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“VIR is a super fun track, and should be even more so with the additional downforce we have in our Chevrolet Corvettes this year. I’ve won at VIR before but not in the Corvette. We need a win in the No. 3 C7.R this year. Our team deserves it and it would go a long way to keeping us in third place for the championship.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“We certainly seem to have momentum on our side at the moment on the No. 4 Corvette C7.R team after the great wins at Lime Rock and Road America. Now we are heading to VIR, where Tommy and I won four years ago and won the ALMS GT Driver’s and Team championships as well as the Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet in the process. With three events left, it is still a very tight points race. We need to keep maximizing our results as we have done over the last four races.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“I have lot of great racing memories at VIR, and it would be great to add another with our fifth win of the season in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette. This is a track that is really fun to drive. It’s incredibly fast, it’s flowing and has a couple of really good elevation changes. A GT only race is a nice dynamic for us where we have a chance for an overall win. The most important thing we can do though is score as many points as possible.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“We’ve not raced at VIR as often as some other tracks on the schedule, but this is a circuit that offers a little bit of everything to competitors and fans alike. It’s a beautiful setting but there is a degree of risk for the drivers in a lot of areas. We have had success at VIR with the Corvette and clinched a couple of championships there. Coming off two dramatic wins at Lime Rock and Road America, there is plenty of confidence and momentum. Our goal will be to keep that rolling and continue to rack up valuable championship points.”
2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
(After eight of 11 events)
- Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 264
- Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbook – 251
- Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 223
- Giancarlo Fisichella/Toni Vilander – 220
- Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner – 219 / Earl Bamber/Frederic Makowiecki – 219
- No. 4 Corvette Racing – 264
- No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 251
- No. 3 Corvette Racing – 223
- No. 62 Risi Competizione – 220
- No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 219
Chevrolet – 262
Ford – 249
Porsche – 237
BMW – 230
Ferrari – 230
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