Milner second as Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs sweep front row in Virginia
ALTON, Va. (Aug. 27, 2016) – Jan Magnussen put the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on pole position Saturday for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, the first overall pole for Corvette Racing in team history. Magnussen set a class record with a lap of 1:41.557 (115.9 mph) in the Corvette he shares with Antonio Garcia to lead the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category and the overall standings on the GT-only weekend at Virginia International Raceway.
Tommy Milner, in the GTLM championship-leading No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R, gave Corvette Racing a 1-2 effort in time trials with a lap of 1:41.568 (115.9 mph). It is the first 1-2 qualifying effort for the team since 2012 in the American Le Mans Series.
Saturday also marked Magnussen’s first GTLM pole since 2014 at Long Beach. He and Garcia went on to win the race.
The two Corvette C7.Rs will lead the 21-car to the field for Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. race – the ninth round for GTLM cars in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Corvette Racing is a past winner at VIR with Milner and teammate Oliver Gavin winning in 2012 on their way to the ALMS GT title.
Magnussen and Garcia were third in the 2013 race to clinch the ALMS GT Manufacturer’s Championship for Chevrolet and the Team title for Corvette Racing; the pair went on to win the Driver’s Championship to close the season.
Magnussen also was fastest in Saturday morning’s final practice session, and Garcia was the fastest driver in Friday’s afternoon session. The two Corvettes spent two days testing at Road Atlanta earlier this week and implemented some of the lessons learned there to VIR. It paid off in a major way and could help Corvette Racing to the GTLM championships.
Gavin and Milner lead in GTLM Driver points with four victories this year including the last two races at Lime Rock Park – Corvette Racing’s 100th all-time win – and a dramatic comeback at Road America. Chevrolet also leads the Manufacturer Championship as does the No. 4 Corvette Racing entry in the Team standings.
Garcia and Magnussen stand third in Driver points with runner-up finishes at Daytona and Lime Rock – both to Gavin and Milner.
The two-hour, 40-minute Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 28. It will air live on FOX Sports 1 starting at 1:30 p.m. ET with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM AND OVERALL POLE-WINNER:
“I’m so happy. It’s an overall pole so that is even better! The team has done a fantastic job with our Corvette C7.R. It’s so close out there. I knew I needed every single hundredth (of a second) to beat the No. 4 Corvette! It’s a fantastic effort for everyone at Corvette Racing. We really pulled things together after a great test earlier this week and were able to use some of that here. We can’t wait for tomorrow. Hopefully the two Corvettes can have a great race together from the front.”
HAS THE NEW SURFACE CHANGED HOW THE CAR DRIVES SIGNIFICANTLY? “I’ve always been a huge fan of VIR. “It’s a fantastic place to drive; you spend lots of time down through the Esses and the new surface makes it a great experience. I can’t remember when a GT car went around here with this much grip. It feels like a whole different category.”
DOES THE HEAT HELP YOUR CAR? “The tarmac has a lot more grip than last year. We like it a lot. We thought the track would be a lot slower this afternoon but it wasn’t by much if at all.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SECOND IN GTLM AND OVERALL:
“That’s a great qualifying effort for the team today. Our Corvette is quick, that’s been obvious the last two days. I’m really thrilled to be on the front row with Jan. It’ll be great having two Corvettes at the front heading to Turn One tomorrow.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“Pole position is not anything we really try to achieve. We focus more on giving the drivers a car they can use throughout the scope of the entire race. Finishing 1-2 in qualifying is a testament to how hard our engineering team has worked and how well our Corvette really likes this race track. Every time we have shown up here, we have reached a higher level of performance. Here in Virginia, the Corvette really likes the countryside! We’ll take that into tomorrow and see what kind of result it can give us.”
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