Corvette Racing driver Antonio Garcia had to overcome diversity late in the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway to take his second win in a row with teammate Jordan Taylor.
In fact, Garcia thought at first the sudden severe vibrations caused by the failure of a diffuser on the C8.R car was going to end his day prematurely.
Garcia said it took “a little bit” to figure out why his whole car was shaking “a lot” about 200 kph.
“I thought it was terminal,” he said, “because it was vibrating really bad. But once I got used to it and knew it wasn’t interfering with the performance, I knew I could handle it. It was stressful not knowing what would happen if the rear diffuser would have fallen off, but the C8.R held on.”
That persistence gave Corvette Racing its fourth consecutive victory for the first time since 2014 and kept the duo of Garcia/Taylor in the lead for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship and Chevrolet atop the Manufacturer’s standings.
Just as Garcia’s car started shaking, he was able to regain the lead when Nick Tandy and his Porsche RSR-19 had to enter the pits with a damaged rear tire with 17 minutes left in the race.
“I saw him pull in the pits and I went by the front straight the whole thing started to shake a lot,” Garcia explained, saying that the C8.R is still good with almost no rear diffuser or rear splitter.
“I’m very proud of that,” he said. “Very proud that everything stayed in one piece even though it was very challenging to drive there at the end.”
In case you missed Saturday’s race, you can check out the extended highlights here: