Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R


Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 5, 2019) – Three days at Daytona International Speedway gave Corvette Racing an encouraging result with the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R as the Roar Before the 24 wrapped Sunday ahead of this month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvettes combined to complete 341 laps for 1,213.96 miles around 3.56-mile road course at Daytona. All six Corvette Racing drivers expressed satisfaction with the progress of the C8.R ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s opening event January 25-26.

Tommy Milner posted Corvette Racing’s best time of the weekend during the GT Le Mans qualifying session for pitlane and garage assignments in the Rolex 24 – a 1:42.793 (124.671 mph) pass in the No. 4 Corvette that he shares with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler. That was good enough for third place in GTLM.

Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R

Antonio Garcia wasn’t far behind in the No. 3 Corvette with a lap of 1:43.131 (124.263 mph) that he will drive with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg. As has been the case throughout testing, the primary objective of Corvette Racing team focused on reliability of the chassis, powertrain elements and systems within the C8.R. Showing strong pace right away was a pleasing development for the drivers and team.

Months of on-track testing and work in Chevrolet Racing’s simulator aided in the development of the new Corvette – along with its production counterpart, the 2020 Corvette Stingray – ahead of this weekend’s public debut. Analysis and further simulation work will follow between now and the Rolex 24’s first practice session on Jan. 23.

Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R

Corvette Racing has won the Rolex 24 three times including 2015 and 2016 with the Corvette C7.R. It also claimed an overall victory in 2001.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is set for Jan. 23-26 with live television coverage on NBC, NBC Sports and the NBC Sports App. IMSA Radio will broadcast all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race on

Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R


“I think we’ve done a good job with our test plan. We need to figure out when we get back what work and what didn’t work. Every lap counts when you are testing, especially with a new car. I’m confident that the car is doing the right things and we’ve been testing quite a few different things to prepare for different conditions and car behaviors. We will carry on working with our plan to get all our drivers comfortable; that is the main thing. I hope it continues to go the right way.”


“We had a massively long list but I think we got through most of everything we wanted to. The pace of the Corvette C8.R was there pretty quickly but we were working toward our plan toward the Rolex. Being fast wasn’t important but it is more about reliability. We’re happy. The car was good and consistent to drive. All of us were pleased, which is good for a 24-hour race when everyone wants the same thing. Getting to work on little things like seatbelts, driver comfort and driver changes… you don’t get a lot of chances to practice that on a live pit lane. We checked a lot of boxes, but we found some other ones we can work on come the week of the race.”


“It was nice to jump in the car, to experience and feel like it was like. I feel like I’ve gotten a decent number of laps. I’m comfortable in the car and with the system, but not completely 100 percent. I think that is true for all of us. We will continue to work on that. In terms of my first experience and first few laps, it’s good. It feels like a very natural experience to drive. In the same way, the first experiences with Corvette Racing have been very good. This has been a positive experience all the way around.”


“We’ve gotten quite a lot covered and made some steps forward with understanding the C8.R and the Michelin tires for this track. There are still some things we need to get right… procedural things that we would like to get better. But that is pretty normal with a new car. It’s very rare to come to the Roar and then the Rolex 24 with a brand new car and have absolutely everything covered. We’ve all been through this race many times and know what it can throw at you. We’re all eyes-open but somewhat satisfied with how things have gone and progressed.”


“We have obviously done a lot of testing in private and felt like we came here with a good car. Certainly we have had a program to work through, but we had work to do once we got here with setup and things like that. Every test is different, obviously. I think we were a little bit out of the window to start with here in figuring the tires out, and the car setup wise and things like that. Each day that has gone by we have gotten the car a little bit better for each of us to drive and a little bit faster. It was a lot of fun there to drive in qualifying. Obviously just the fact that it is called a qualifying session you can tell that everybody ramps it up a little bit. Most of all just really happy with how the Corvette felt. All the changes that we have made the last few days have made a big improvement. It’s encouraging that we can start with a balance that we are all not too happy with and find a good place for all of us. It’s taken two days, but with this new C8.R, we don’t have the knowledge base that we have had in the past. So it’s been trying a lot of different things we’ve never tried before in some ways or just going down a new path completely. I think it is a good experience for us as drivers working with the engineering to figure out how we can get the most out of the car. It was fun to have that qualifying session where we can go on low fuel and new tires and see how we good we could do. Third is pretty good. It looks like everyone is pretty close out there on lap times. It should be another very close and competitive for GTLM class at the Rolex 24.”


“Before this weekend, I had heard a lot already about how good the Corvette C8.R is to drive, so I was very much looking forward to getting in it for the first time. I can admit what everyone has said – that the car is amazing to drive. There hasn’t been a lot of time to get used to the car, but you can see the potential. Also you can feel how much a difference seven years makes from when the C7.R first arrived. The car is very agile, and you can fight it harder and push pretty hard. It’s great to have this opportunity to drive this new Corvette.”

Corvette Racing at Daytona: Encouraging Test Weekend for Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R


[VIDEO] Corvette C8.R Start Up and Testing at Daytona
[PIC] First Look at the C8.R’s Flat-Plane Crank V8 Engine
[PIC] The 2020 Corvette with the C8.Rs on the High Banks of Daytona International Speedway



  1. I really hope the new non Chevy-esque V8 lasts for the 24 hours. I’m gonna miss that deep ground shaking rumble. Still, it’s my brand, so I wish them the best!

  2. @Dave, they’ll work out the kinks in due course, but they need to get back to winning ASAP! The sound will take some getting used to, but its the flat-plane’s acoustic signature- pulses flowing through the exhaust streams in a sequential order, vice “banging” into each other as seen in a cross-plane configuration. It also offers more top end power, which is very likely the reason why they elected to go with the DOHC-FPC architecture in a racing platform. I also think that the LT2 plant will be the last pushrod in a Corvette.

  3. I spent the weekend glued to my computer staring at IMSA’s Timing & Scoring Web page. [Had an on-line conversation with IMSA about the lack of audio, in-car, for all the promotion and advertising they did about the ROAR. They over sold, under delivered!!] And I plotted all their best lap times on a spread sheet.
    Now, I’m reading all the articles about the ROAR.
    Have to say, even though it is the C8.Rs first time out, it is not the C8.Rs first time out! They have been all over the place testing.
    I was disappointed with the lap times of the regular drivers. The new guys, admittedly, do have a learning curve.
    I am sure the engines and trans have been on simulation dynos, putting both thru their paces for durability and reliability. There should be no question they will last. Suspension, tires….all that and more has been analyzed [X] Pi to the 20th decimal.
    For reference, the C7.R had the following 2019 Daytona qualifying times: #3 1:42.583, #4 1:43.239.
    I had expected the C8.R to surpass those numbers. While the ROAR Qualifying was for Pit Box and Garage, and not starting position, it was still Qualifying. I’m very much looking forward to January 23-26th.

    Also for reference take a look at these videos….
    C8.R at Daytona
    C7.R at Daytona

    Mike 8TY4SPD & MNL13GS

  4. @Mike, I do agree. The IMSA app sux! I had expected live audio (it was just a Radio LeMans feed not synched to the activity on track), live video (nonexistent, but I heard about some independent streams on YouTube after the fact), and both fell short…to say nothing about the app crashing time and time again.


    With respect to the lap times, the BOP, in my opinion, is masking the cars potential. The fact that the car is still new, and how a certain Stuttgart-based manufacturer always manages to top the charts no matter what for the most part, isn’t helping. My understanding from IMSA (on their own site, explaining BOP) is that the BMW is the baseline car this year.

    All this said, I have high hopes for the C8.R; it would be cool if GM made it available to private teams. After all, it is our sports car!!

    Lastly, Ferrari and Aston Martin need to be full time in GTLM, and Lamborghini and McLaren need to consider a program as well!!

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