ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 9, 2015) – Despite a fourth place finish in the ultra-competitive GT Le Mans class, Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen were the big winners for Chevrolet in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America on Sunday.
In GT Le Mans (GTLM), Garcia and Magnussen used clever strategy late in the race to battle back to a fourth place class finish with their No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and increase their lead in the class’ Driver’s Championship.
With three GTLM races to go, Garcia and Magnussen have a four-point advantage heading into the next round at Virginia International Raceway in two weeks. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R crew made the call to make their final stop earlier than most of their competitors, which allowed Garcia to push hard on new Michelin tires while others’ tires were falling off. The move allowed the No. 3 Corvette to gain four positions over the final 42 minutes.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed seventh in their No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Milner drove two stints in the opening 82 minutes while the No. 3 Corvette changed drivers on their first three stops. Gavin was charging hard to pick up multiple positions late in the race before a fellow GTLM competitor forced him off track in the final minutes.
The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is the Oak Tree Grand Prix from Virginia International Raceway. The GT-only race is set for 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 23. Live TV coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM
WHEN YOU GET TO THIS POINT OF THE SEASON, EVERY POINT COUNTS: “That is the point. I mean I was excited, and at some points angry (during a battle with the No. 25 BMW) but that is where it is. We are heading into the last few races of a championship. Everybody needs to run as hard as they can. I wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing, but probably; everybody tries to find the limit on protecting. At the end of the day, we didn’t touch, we didn’t have any major issues. He got caught on the only way – in traffic. At the end of the day I played my card. Traffic is part of the deal. I really used my opportunity to go by. It was difficult since I got back in the car again on our second stop. During the first stint I was saving my tires just in case, then I was just 100 percent the rest of the way because I needed to pass everybody out there. We went off sequence (on pit strategy) so we probably forced most everyone to follow us, and at the end of the day it paid off. They stayed out as much as they could. I was really aggressive when I needed to be and I passed all those cars when they were on their first two or three laps. To be fair looking at our pace, that was the best result we could achieve today, so I am happy with that.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM
WHAT DID YOU SEE AND FEEL DURING YOUR STINT? “To start out with, things were pretty good. I liked the balance of the Corvette. I lost some time at the end of my stint with pickup on the tires. It might be something I’m doing or something that we need to try and help the car with to not produce all the pickup. I’m not sure why I had it in the warmup and during my stint. It’s something we have to work at for the next race.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SEVENTH IN GTLM
IT LOOKED LIKE A CLEAN RACE BUT THINGS JUST DIDN’T GO THE WAY YOU NEEDED: “I think we all drove really hard, and raced hard with the BMWs. It was a little frustrating at the end there. I thought I was racing Lucas (Luhr) pretty fair, but he put me in the grass coming out of (Turn) 13. I’m a little frustrated about that. I didn’t think that needed to happen, but sometimes that is just racing. I looked after the tires reasonably well throughout the stint, and really gained some time back on all the guys in front of me. But there were definitely two races in the (GTLM) race today. There was the Corvette/BMW race, and then there was the Porsche/Ferrari race. When it is like that it is just very demoralizing and very frustrating that you can’t have everybody in the class racing overall for all of the positions. We knew from the very start that we didn’t have a chance to finish on the podium unless either one of the Porsches or the Ferrari broke down. I hope the series is going to look at and do something about that before we go to VIR, otherwise the rest of the season is going to be very frustrating.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTLM
WAS THE TRACK MUCH DIFFERENT WITH A DAY OF SUN AND DRY WEATHER? “The track felt pretty good. The sun certainly helps the grip level. We fought really hard with the cars around us. There was some tight and good racing. We really have nothing for the factory Porsches. They’re in a different class. We’ve really done nothing wrong today.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“Today, I think we did the best with what we had to work with. It was a very interesting race between our Corvettes, the BMWs and the Falken Porsche. I know the fans got a kick out of it. We would have liked to have a higher finish but with the way the cars are situated right now, that wasn’t going to be. We advanced ourselves in Driver and Team championship points and gathered points in the Manufacturer Championship. We’ll move on to Virginia where we’re hoping for a better result. We’re going to work hard to achieve that.”
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