Gavin third, Garcia fifth in GT Le Mans qualifying in chase for IMSA victory No. 100
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2019) – Corvette Racing will try for its 100th victory in International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) competition from the second and third rows of its category Saturday in the Bubba Burger Sports Grand Prix at Long Beach.
Oliver Gavin, in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, qualified third among GT Le Mans (GTLM) cars from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Friday. A five-time winner at Long Beach with Corvette Racing, Gavin set a time of 1:16.520 (92.587 mph) around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit in southern California.
He and teammate Tommy Milner have won the last two years in GTLM at Long Beach in their Corvette, and they also teamed for victory in 2012 at the venue.
Antonio Garcia, who shares the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with Jan Magnussen, will start fifth Saturday after his lap of 1:16.685 (92.338 mph) in qualifying. The duo were 2014 winners at Long Beach for the first victory for the Corvette C7.R.
Saturday’s race can check off a list of milestones with a Corvette Racing victory. The program would be the first in IMSA history to reach 100 victories. In 21-plus years of competition, Corvette Racing has won 107 races around the world including eight at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
No IMSA team has been as successful at Long Beach as Corvette Racing with seven class victories dating back to 2007.
The GTLM class was separated by just 0.923 seconds with only 0.372 seconds covering the five-fastest qualifiers.
The Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix from Long Beach begins at 2:05 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 13. It will air on live on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Sports app starting at 5 p.m. Live audio coverage of practices, qualifying and the race from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTLM:
“It’s been a good day for us in the No. 4 Corvette. We’ve been at the sharp end for every session. I worked hard with Chuck (Houghton, engineer), Brian (Hoye, car chief), their guys and Tommy on getting the car just a tick better. We kept ourselves sort of in the mix. But there was one change we kept in the car from practice that I convinced Chuck to keep in the car, and we probably should have taken out. It might have made the difference to get a bit closer to the front or maybe even get the pole. But third is good. We can race from there. We know you can win this race from pretty much anywhere on the grid. We have to be smart, keep it clean and execute. We have the best team in the pitlane for that and a great teammate in Tommy. Hopefully we can come away with our third win in a row at Long Beach, the 100th win in IMSA for Corvette Racing and my sixth win at Long Beach, which would be really cool.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTLM:
“It was my first ever qualifying at Long Beach for me. There are still many things yet to discover, I have to say. Even if I had a chance to run a new set of tires in that last practice, I kind of still had something to learn. I felt I was lacking a little bit in a few spots where I thought I could have gone a little bit faster. The time was there to go maybe a couple of tenths faster, but not much more than that. It is difficult to really nail it here and I believe I didn’t quite do it. It’s not a bad result, but I would have like to have been a little higher.”
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