DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2020) – Corvette Racing will roll off third and fourth in the first race for the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R following GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying for Saturday’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. A three-time winner of the Rolex 24, the Corvette Racing program hopes to start the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a debut victory for the mid-engine Corvette.
Antonio Garcia set the quickest time for the team in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R that he shares this weekend with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg. Garcia’s time of 1:42.545 (124.979 mph) put him just 0.338 seconds off Nick Tandy’s pole-winning time.
Tommy Milner, in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R, was right behind his teammate at 1:42.801 (124.668 mph). He’ll share his Corvette with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler – the GTLM-winning trio from 2016.
Thursday’s two practice sessions prior to qualifying were in mixed conditions – overcast skies on an alternating dry and wet track. Qualifying was fully dry and was the first time Corvette Racing ran the Corvette C8.R on a fully dry track since the three-day Roar Before the 24 earlier this month.
Corvette Racing’s first Rolex victory came in 2001 with the Corvette C5-R, and the team went back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 with the Corvette C7.R. The Corvette C8.R is the fifth racing version that Corvette Racing has fielded since its first season in 1999. The team’s record since its debut is unmatched – 107 victories, 13 IMSA Team Championships, and 12 Manufacturer and Driver titles.
The program also can reach another landmark at Daytona: it needs to complete 870 miles – 245 laps – to go over the 300,000-mile mark… more than 50,000 miles longer than the Apollo 13 mission.
The Corvette C8.R is based on the strong foundation of the 2020 Corvette Stingray with both developed simultaneously. There is a deeper level of technology transfer between the race car and production Corvette than ever before, which helps contribute to many of its advancements. As a result, the C8.R shares the highest percentage of parts between the production and race car than any previous generation.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona is set for Jan. 23-26 with live television coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App. IMSA Radio will broadcast all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race on IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTLM:
“It’s not bad. It is difficult to predict where you will end up. I’m happy with my laps. Before the rain we were still working on setup. I don’t know if that is where we will end up racing. What is important is there is still 2.5 hours left of practice time. We definitely need to use that time to improve the Corvette a little bit. Porsche is still faster than us so we definitely need to work a little bit more and I’m sure there is room for improvement.
“I am pleased with the lap I put together. Maybe getting a little bit longer session, we could have gotten a little bit better time. It is a good comparison to know where we are in the field. We still have the two hours of practice and we have a long race in front of us. The main thing about this race will be the actual pace. I’m sure this C8.R will be good but I think we will learn as we go along. We need to be prepared for that and be ready for the race.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED FOURTH IN GTLM:
“Third and fourth… not bad for the Corvette C8.R first qualifying effort. I think we were shooting for a little bit more, but all things considered not too far off. We still have work to do for sure. We are learning every time we are taking this Corvette out on the track.
“This was another learning experience for us. We made some setup changes in practice and we wanted to stick with that, but we may have gone the wrong way with that. I’m not unhappy by any means. Third and fourth are good starting places. Most of all we learned more about the car and getting ready for the race is the most important thing. We gave it a good shot in qualifying we were looking for some more but definitely a not disappointed.
“Thankfully I can trust the guy who is starting next to me! As always, it is a long race so where you start doesn’t matter too much. We use these opportunities whether it is a 24-hour race or a two-hour race; we use those opportunities to keep learning.”
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