Photo Credit: IMSA.com
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 3, 2015) – A damp Petit Le Mans ended Saturday with Corvette Racing earning a podium finish and a title in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed third in GT Le Mans after leading the race overall on multiple occasions. The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R started the season with a podium at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and ended it in like fashion.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R also ended the season in championship style by winning the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup in GT Le Mans. The competition consists of the TUDOR Championship’s four endurance races: Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen and Petit Le Mans. Garcia and Magnussen won at Daytona and Sebring with Ryan Briscoe to put themselves in control of the championship.
“For the Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R teams, the 2015 season was filled with incredible successes and a few challenges along the way,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The season started strong with the class win at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and Sebring 12 Hours, and it continued with the eighth class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours – sports car racing’s Triple Crown. And after some challenging races, it was great to have the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team clinch the GTLM title in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup championship. Having the No. 4 Corvette C7.R on the podium adds to a great close to our season.”
Gavin began from pole position in class and ran among the leaders for most of his double-stint. He recovered from a minor off in his second stint before handing off to Milner. He drove a storming double-stint to move into the class lead nearly the halfway mark and then the overall lead a couple laps later before handing back over to Gavin.
Not long after the pit stop, race officials threw a red flag to halt the race due to the deteriorating conditions. The stoppage lasted about 30 minutes before the race resumed under full-course yellow conditions. Two more yellows came out over the final hour before the race was called.
Garcia and Magnussen challenged for the class and overall lead at different points, as well. Magnussen led for two laps after the No. 4 Corvette pitted near the 4:15 mark. However a pair of unscheduled pit stops – one early and one with an hour to go hampered their chances.
The 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31 from Daytona International Raceway.
Photo Credit: JanMagnussen.dk
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM:
“Finishing on the podium really bookends our season. We started off the year at Daytona with pole position and finishing third. We got pole position here and ended up finishing third. About 25 minutes ago before they decided to checker the race, we were in the lead. With strategy and such, it was going to come around to us again that we were going to be in the top two. The Porsche was quick. Were we going to beat them in these conditions? Unlikely. But it was all about survival today. When I had my off early on in the race I was thinking that maybe had blown it for us and I was thinking about what I said to people before I got in the car about being smart and surviving and not doing something crazy. Then I just got into turn one a little bit too deep and just ran a little bit wide and once it was on the grass, I was a passenger. That was frustrating. But Tommy (Milner) drove really well. We had a good strategy. The guys worked really well in the pits and we marched ourselves back to the front and then we were there genuinely on pace which was nice. You can take a lot of positives from the results we had here today. We had a strong start to the season, we are having a strong finish. We can carry that over to 2016 and look forward.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM:
“The end result is good. There were good fights when the track conditions were good. I’m glad we’re on the podium because I think we earned it and deserved it. Our Corvette C7.R was great, and the Michelin tires were good. Our pit stops were great all day. We did everything we needed to do to have a good race. It would have been a shame to not get a podium after the pace we showed. I’m a little unhappy with how the race ended – staying out in track conditions that were pretty much undriveable. But we made it through and here we are in third.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SIXTH IN GTLM, TEQUILA PATRÓN NORTH AMERICAN ENDURANCE CUP GTLM CHAMPION:
“My approach wasn’t quite like surviving; I was going. The car worked really good. All that I couldn’t do in qualifying yesterday I was able to do today. I had good rhythm, and everything seemed to be very good. I took every opportunity I had to pass the 25 BMW, the 62 BMW, and then closed up on Oliver (Gavin) in the 4 Corvette and the 24 BMW. Halfway through that stint, I felt something funny on the rear of the car, and I asked the team if there was something wrong with the pressures. We found out that the nut was loose and we lost track position. Thankfully it didn’t come all the way loose. I went all the way to the back again but was on the move again under green. That’s how good the car was.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SIXTH IN GTLM, TEQUILA PATRÓN NORTH AMERICAN ENDURANCE CUP GTLM CHAMPION
(Winning the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup): “That’s definitely something. I am glad we came away with a championship this year. The way things were going it didn’t look like it. I’m so very happy and super proud for the whole crew to win that one.”
(On the race): “When the conditions were just a normal wet track, the car was really good and we were competitive. That’s a little bit new for us. But the conditions sometimes got so, so bad, and I don’t understand why they didn’t call a red flag or call the race earlier. At the end there I was screaming on the radio that they needed to stop this right now, it was so dangerous. They stopped the race and that was a good decision.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“Sanctioning bodies can control most everything in a racing event. What they can’t control is a team’s enthusiasm, passion and drive. Today, Corvette Racing once again demonstrated against insurmountable odds their ability to get the job done. Winning at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans, plus the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, shows why Corvette Racing is renowned as the world’s best endurance team.”
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