Ryan Briscoe (Left) with Antonia Garcia (Center) and Jan Magnussen (Right) after winning the 2015 Rolex 24 of Daytona
For the second year in a row, Chevrolet driver Ryan Briscoe will be once again join Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No.3 C7.R Corvette at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The inclusion of Briscoe kept the team competitive in 2014’s Daytona 24 Hour race as well as the 12 Hours of Sebring, but issues with the new C7-based Corvette racer kept the team from achiving any kind of real success.
But that was last year.
For 2015, the No.3 Corvette C7.R with Briscoe, Magnussen and Garcia took the checkered flag in the opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship which gave Corvette Racing their first Daytona GT victory since 2001.
Briscoe is no stranger to Sebring International Raceway, where last year the No.3 Corvette finished eighth in class. He has won there previously in 2013 with Level 5 Motorsports where he, Scott Tucker and Marino Franchitti took the victory in the P2 class.
Prior to his stint with Corvette Racing, the 33 year old Aussie was known for IndyCar racing where he had 130 starts in the Verizon IndyCar series, winning eight races and capturing 13 poles. At the Indy 500, Briscoe has started on the front row three different times and won the pole for Team Penske in 2012. His best finish in nine races at the Indianapolis 500 was fifth place in both 2007 and 2012.
After the win at Daytona this year, Briscoe and the Corvette Racing team will try to carry that momentum to Sebring. IMSA.com caught up to Ryan Briscoe and asked him about his thoughts on the win at Daytona, the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring and plans afterwards:
How big was winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona for Corvette Racing?
“It was cool. Everything just went right. The team did an awesome job preparing the car. As far as the setup goes, we just kept to the plan and kept things very calm. We made a few small changes over the race weekend – nothing huge – and everything went right. It was an amazing race to win, for sure.”
After spending your career racing IndyCars and Prototypes, how difficult was the transition to a GTLM Corvette?
“It’s a great car to drive. They’ve got pretty good downforce; good brakes. They’re pretty close to a Prototype to drive, to be honest. In fact, I’d found on the infield at Daytona we were pretty similar to the Daytona Prototypes in terms of horsepower. We just didn’t have the same horsepower on the straights. The car’s handling was really good. It hasn’t really been a problem to adapt to the car. You have to get used to how the traffic works a bit more, get used to always checking your mirrors when you get to the braking zones because you’re not the quickest car on the track. As far as the driving goes, it’s a really good car to drive.”
Can you and the team carry the Daytona momentum into Sebring?
“I really hope so. There’s really tough competition in the class, extremely close. The key is going to be keeping your nose clean, which is tough, because the racing is so intense in GTLM. At Daytona, it seemed from lap one that everyone was racing to the death. We did a good job of not getting caught up in that too much. I already know that the competition is going to be very tight at Sebring.”
What are your personal impressions of Sebring International Raceway?
“I love it. I’ve done lots of miles around that place [in IndyCar testing]. It’s fast. It’s got some really high-speed corners. It has both bumpy and smooth sections to the track. The wind always plays a huge part on the balance around the whole circuit. It’s kind of like Indianapolis. Every time you hit the track you watch the wind, because you know that’s going to play a big effect on your car’s balance from corner to corner. I like that.”
What are your personal highlights from Sebring? Was it winning your class with Level 5 Motorsports?
“Winning (P2 with Level 5 Motorsport in 2013) was really cool. But I’d say racing the [Penske Racing Porsche] RS Spyder was the highlight. Those cars were incredible around that place, back in ‘07 and ’08. The downforce those cars had was just super exciting and very fast. We didn’t manage to win in that car – we had mechanical issues.”
What are your plans for the remainder of the season?
“After Sebring, the plan is for me to be at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – the team will probably do the Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen with only two drivers. It’s tough trying to find something for the Indy 500, there aren’t really many teams out there with sponsorship that can offer much. I’m going to keep working on it, and hopefully something comes together for the 500. It’s definitely something I’d like to have on my schedule this year.”
Ryan Briscoe Set to Join Corvette Racing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Corvette Racing at Daytona: Rolex 24 GTLM Win for Corvette C7.R
IndyCar Stars Pagenaud and Briscoe Join Corvette Racing for Daytona and Sebring