Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the most successful venue for leading GTLM team
DETROIT (July 6, 2016) – Of all the tracks where Corvette Racing has won a sports car race, no other venue has been as good to the team as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In 17 years, Corvette Racing has won 11 times at the historic 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit formerly known as Mosport. The team gets a shot at an even dozen with Sunday’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance.
It will be the second consecutive event weekend for teams in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. It’s the middle portion of a stretch that sees Corvette Racing compete three times in four weeks on top of its annual trek to the 24 Hours of Le Mans each summer.
The two-car team and its pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs are in the thick of a tense fight for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) championships for drivers, manufacturers and teams. Following Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner maintain their season-long lead in the Driver’s Championship following back-to-back victories to open the season.
Corvette Racing’s four drivers have amassed 12 victories at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park dating back to 1999. Jan Magnussen leads the quartet with six with five coming in Corvette Racing entries. The Dane, who teams with Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, won overall in 1999 before reeling off five wins in eight years with the team: 2007-2009, 2011 and 2014.
He and Garcia won the GTLM race in 2014, which was the first race at the track for the Corvette C7.R. The previous year, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won a thrilling GT race as part of the American Le Mans Series. It marked Milner’s first win at the track and Gavin’s fourth.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is recognized by drivers as one of the most challenging tracks on the schedule and features fast speeds, big elevation changes and high risk. It’s a layout that hasn’t changed much since its founding in the early 1960s. Since then it has played host to Can-Am, Formula 5000, USAC stock cars, IndyCar, Trans-Am, Formula Atlantic, and of course the American Le Mans Series and IMSA. Most notably, the circuit was the site of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix eight times between 1967-77.
Corvette Racing legend Ron Fellows is part of the ownership group and has helped oversee a transformation in venue facilities since 2011.
The 2016-spec Corvette C7.R is an updated racecar 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 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 10. It will air live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 11 a.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:
“We as drivers enjoy Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and the Corvette seems to as well. The flow and speeds there are fantastic. It’s very similar to Watkins Glen where you feel like you are always flat-out. It’s always a good time to go to Canada, where we have been very successful over the years. We will do our best to keep it that way. These three races in a row are always fun to do – Le Mans, Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Coming from Le Mans, then to Watkins Glen to CTMP is a good three-race stretch – they are some of the best race tracks we go to every year.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“It’s hard to find a driver that doesn’t enjoy Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s another classic North American track that I really, really like. This is a great stretch of races in IMSA where we are at old-school circuits like this one, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, Road America and VIR. For me, I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success at CTMP with a lot of wins – all but one in a Corvette. There are a lot of great memories here and to have that kind of record at such a historic place where some of racing’s greats have won is really special.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“Canadian Tire Motorsport Park does seem to be a win-or-bust track for me! But it’s a track that I enjoy. It’s fast, flowing and aggressive. It’s going to be fun in these cars, for sure. I’m looking forward to that aspect of it – it’s such a thrill to drive. I’ve won there with a lot of different Corvette Racing teammates. It’s a place where if it all clicks then we end up winning. If it doesn’t, then we usually have a really bad day. Hopefully it’s the first!”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:
“The most satisfying race of my career was probably 2013 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I basically had to drive the wheels off our car for about an hour to keep second place behind me. I pick that one over a big win like Le Mans, Daytona or Sebring because that was one of the first races where my performance in the car made a difference. Make no mistake that racing is a huge team sport. But that was a race where I had to be perfect. I really sort of challenged myself in the car mentally just to be the best. I had never to that point had a feeling in the race car like that – where my performance in the car made a difference. That was a huge confidence boost for me.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“No summer would be complete without our annual trek to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The drivers love the place… it is wicked fast and has the ‘thrill” element they they all really enjoy. Adding to that are all our Canadian fans. They are dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about IMSA road racing. Our history at CTMP is very strong and shows the consistency of the Corvette platform over the years. Everyone at Corvette Racing will do everything we can to extend that record of success for all our loyal Corvette fans and owners.”
2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Provisional GTLM Standings
(After five of 10 events)
- Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 159
- Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbook – 151
- Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner – 141
- Earl Bamber/Frederic Makowiecki – 140 / Daniel Serra – 140
- Giancarlo Fisichella/Toni Vilander – 139
- Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 133
- No. 4 Corvette Racing – 159
- No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 151
- No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 141
- No. 68 Scuderia Corsa – 140
- No. 912 Porsche North America – 140
- No. 62 Risi Competizione – 139
- No. 3 Corvette Racing – 133
- Chevrolet – 160
- Porsche – 153
- Ford – 150
- Ferrari – 148
- BMW – 144