Championship-leading No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to start on second row Saturday
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 22, 2016) – Corvette Racing’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs will start Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix from the second and third rows of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class following qualifying for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Tommy Milner qualified third in the GTLM championship-leading No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with Jan Magnussen sixth in the No. 3 Corvette.
Milner, who shares the GTLM Driver’s Championship lead with teammate Oliver Gavin, posted a best lap time of 50.858 (104.3 mph) in the 15-minute qualifying session. It was a tight fight in the class with the top five cars within 0.267 seconds.
Milner may have had the most consistent qualifying effort with four consecutive laps under the 51-second barrier. He finished 0.110 seconds behind pole-winner and ex-Corvette Racing teammate Richard Westbrook, and the two will be in line formation for the 3 p.m. ET start live on FOX.
Magnussen, who will team with Antonio Garcia, record a best lap of 51.264 (103.5 mph)
Both Corvettes showed well in Friday’s two practice sessions. Gavin was quickest in GTLM in the first practice, and Milner and Magnussen were third and fourth in the second session.
As expected, the biggest hurdles Friday were traffic and heat. More than 30 cars shared the 1.474-mile track in the two practice sessions, but the field qualified by class. The constants throughout the day, though, were the temperatures. The ambient temperature at the start of qualifying was 97 F with a track temperature of 114 – remarkably 19 degrees cooler than the highest reading of the day at 133F.
This is the first race at Lime Rock Park for Corvette Racing since 2013. Garcia and Magnussen were second in the American Le Mans Series’ GT class in 2012 and 2013. Gavin leads the team with three victories.
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 Northeast Grand Prix is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 23 with live coverage on FOX. IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras will be available on IMSA.com.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTLM:
“Three laps under 51 seconds… the car was really good. We made some good changes before qualifying. It’s always a risk to make those changes but today they really worked. So the engineers get a big pat on the back today. They had it all figured out for qualifying. I’m happy but I made a mistake on one of my quickest laps at Turn Six, so I’m a little bummed about that. I was trying hard and pushing hard. But at the end of the day, starting third here is so huge. It’s going to be so easy to get caught in traffic. It seems like the further up the field you are, the better the breaks go for you. I’m looking forward to keeping my nose stuck up behind the Ford or the BMW. I’ll follow them around for a little bit and if I can get around them, I’ll take it for sure. It’s going to be really tough for all us physically with the heat for the crew guys. It’s hot everywhere around here. It will be about minimizing mistakes and not trying to be too aggressive and too anxious in traffic. We have to realize the race is two hours, 40 minutes and not a 30- or 40-minute sprint.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SIXTH IN GTLM:
“The balance on the No. 3 Corvette wasn’t great. It was difficult to find a good lap time, plus it’s super-hot. Once the lap time was there, it was difficult to improve on anything. I’m disappointed but we will see what tomorrow gives us.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“Qualifying today at Lime Rock was a prime example of great car, great engineering and great execution by Tommy. With only hundredths of a second between the top cars, starting position will take on a more important role based the incredibly short 1.474-mile layout. Passing here is extremely difficult, and running with the GTD and PC cars presents just another monumental challenge. In addition, with temps in the 90s, every member of our team will be thoroughly tested. In the end, we all know we have the personnel and equipment to get both Corvette C7.Rs to the front. Stay tuned to FOX at 3 p.m. tomorrow because all this will make for a great show for our fans!”