Gavin fifth in No. 4 C7.R as team gears for third VIR win four tries
ALTON, Va. (August 24, 2019) – Corvette Racing will start from the front row of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) grid Sunday for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR following Jan Magnussen’s final lap flyer Saturday at Virginia International Raceway in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Magnussen was second and Oliver Gavin fifth in the pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs. Magnussen, in the No. 3 Corvette, set a lap of 1:40.708 (116.892 mph) was only 0.078 seconds off overall pole-winner Laurens Vanthoor. Gavin’s last lap also was his best – 1:41.578 (115.890 mph) – and moved the No. 4 Corvette from seventh to fifth on the grid.
Even more remarkable was a 65-minute engine change before qualifying after the team discovered a potential fuel delivery issues after Saturday morning’s practice.
Sunday’s race is a critical one in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTLM title chase. Magnussen and teammate Antonio Garcia stand fourth in Drivers points and remain in the hunt for a third consecutive championship and fourth straight for the Corvette Racing program.
All four Corvette Racing drivers have claimed victories at VIR since the team’s first appearance there in 2012. Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner were winners that year in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series, and they clinched the class title that weekend.
Magnussen and Garcia won in both 2016 and 2017, and they were second last season.
The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is August 23-25. Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race will air live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App at 1:30 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage will be available on IMSA Radio, Sirius 138, XM 202 and SiriusXM Online 972.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SECOND:
“That was a super exciting and very tricky with the track drying. There was a full dry line but it was difficult to see where that line was in places. I was careful to work into it a little bit, but there was no holding back. It was absolutely as fast as you could go. There were no places where on-line there were no issues, but because that line was so narrow the slightest mistake would put you in a heap of trouble. So I’m very happy with the result. When you’re seven-hundredths of a second off and you look at the data afterward, you can find that somewhere! So that will irritate me until tomorrow but that’s how it is. We’ll start from the front row and see if we can get something good out of it tomorrow.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH:
“It’s been a bit of frantic day for us. We had a last-minute engine change before qualifying. It was a great effort by everyone at Corvette Racing to complete that work in just over an hour so we could make qualifying. That was huge. We decided as a team to wait to go out a few minutes into qualifying, which I suppose was a little bit of our undoing and not being up there with Jan closer to the front. I was getting quicker and quicker each lap and basically ran out of time. It’s unfortunate; in these conditions you need every lap. We have saved the tires a little bit, which is a positive. Well done to Jan; that was a hell of a lap there for him at the end. It should be an interesting race tomorrow. It should be dry and we’re in a good spot.”