BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2015) – Corvette Racing posted solid efforts in challenging conditions Friday at Road Atlanta ahead of Petit Le Mans. The final race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship on Saturday will see a bright yellow Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on the inside of the second row in GT Le Mans (GTLM) following rain-soaked qualifying sessions.
Oliver Gavin qualified third in GTLM with a 1:31.685 (99.733 mph) in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. A five-time winner at Petit Le Mans, Gavin will drive with Tommy Milner and Ryan Briscoe in the 10-hour endurance race that likely will be run in the rain.
Gavin, Milner and Briscoe – who will drive in both the team’s Corvette C7.Rs – stand second in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It is a competition made up of the TUDOR Championship’s four endurance races: Daytona, Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen and Petit Le Mans. Points are awarded at the four-, eight- and 10-hour marks at Road Atlanta; five points go to the leading car, four to second place, three for third place, and two points for fourth place on back.
The trio is second only to teammates Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R. Garcia qualified seventh in class with a 1:33.773 (97.512 mph) but admitted his concern was more about bringing the car back safely that outright speed.
Garcia and Magnussen are still in the hunt for the GTLM Driver’s Championship and are 10 points out of first place with 36 available to Saturday’s winners. The duo and Briscoe won the opening two races of the season – the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
A victory Saturday would be the 10th at Petit Le Mans for Corvette Racing.
VisitFlorida.com’s Richard Westbrook claimed the overall pole position in the No. 90 Corvette DP that he shares with Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller. Westbrook’s best lap was a 1:27.860 (104.075 mph) to beat out Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi by 1.060 seconds.
Westbrook and Valiante enter Petit Le Mans with the Prototype Driver’s Championship lead by six points. They need to finish third or better to win the title.
The 18th annual Petit Le Mans is set for 11:15 a.m. ET for Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. It is the 10th and final race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. It will air live on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports Go and IMSA.com throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“We were following the track conditions. The car seems to be good most of the time. There was a lot of standing water, so instead of pressing today, I prefer to press tomorrow. I approached qualifying in a very careful way. I only did one lap, then a cool-down and was about to go for a second attempt and the red flag came. So I didn’t really do any driving or anything. There was a lot of standing water and rivers going across the track, so it was more about faith and trust in our Corvette and the grip. I saw one car go off after a half of a lap, and the accident for the 912 Porsche that caused the red flag, so that could have been me. For sure, another lap would have been faster. Tomorrow isn’t a sprint race. Tomorrow is going to be the same situation. At some point the order is going to reshuffle. We just need to keep focusing on what we do, and I don’t take too much into this qualifying.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“This qualifying session was all about just trying to get a good read on the car in the rain in direct comparison to our competition. But it also was to make sure we are at the sharp end because the race tomorrow is going to be one of a lot of cautions. It’s going to be a test of survival. It’s going to be an awful lot of luck, but also about being smart. Generally when you start further up the grid, chances are you are going to be able to stay out of trouble – at least we hope that’s the case. When you are at the front of the field, you can usually see more. But it is going to be a massive challenge tomorrow; there is no doubting that for everybody whether it is crew, tire guys, tire manufacturers, the track, the officials…it is going to test everybody. I am delighted to be third. It is great to be up there and to be fighting with the BMW and Ferrari. The Porsche was something else; they were a little bit out there in front but they have been every time in the rain this year. If they check out and get away, we’ll be the best of the rest.”
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