DETROIT (Sept. 2, 2020) – Corvette Racing returns to the endurance stage this weekend in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on a four-race win streak and an increased margin in the series’ GT Le Mans (GTLM) category.
The TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is the Corvette program’s sixth race of the year and fifth in the IMSA Championship. At six hours in duration, it also marks the first long-distance endurance race for the team since a February round of the World Endurance Championship and the first in IMSA since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January – also the debut of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Much has changed since the early days of 2020, to say the least. Racing is back since an extended shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and since that time no team has been on as big a roll as Corvette Racing. The team has reeled off four consecutive victories – three by GTLM Driver’s Championship leaders Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, including two weeks ago at VIR.
Teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R have reeled off a win and runner-up finish since Corvette Racing returned to action at Daytona in July. Those results have moved them up to third in the GTLM Championship, and the combined efforts of the two Corvettes have Chevrolet comfortably ahead in the class Manufacturer’s Championship.
The four-race win run has been remarkable in the ways that the program has claimed victory. Rather than having outright power and pace of its competitors, Corvette Racing has relied on execution and minimizing mistakes while capitalizing on those of others.
This weekend’s race takes the place of the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen, originally set for late June at Watkins Glen International. The move to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta means Corvette Racing – and the rest of the WeatherTech Championship – will compete in two long-distance events at the circuit in less than two months with Petit Le Mans scheduled for Oct. 15-17.
The Corvette Racing program has won 10 times at Road Atlanta, eight of those in long-distance endurance rounds. Gavin is IMSA’s winningest active driver at the circuit with five wins, and Taylor is a past IMSA winner at the track, having won twice in a prototype.
Road Atlanta is one of the tracks at which Corvette Racing tested the mid-engine C8.R during its development phase, albeit more than a year ago. It has been a good omen so far with victories at Daytona, Sebring, Road America and VIR – all places where the Corvette C8.R was tested in the past.
Both the Corvette C8.R and the 2020 Corvette Stingray production car were developed simultaneously with a deeper level of technology transfer between the race car and a 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 TireRack.com Grand Prix is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. ET on Saturday with live coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 11:30 a.m. ET before continuing on Trackpass at 12:30 p.m. and returning to NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. IMSA Radio will stream Friday’s qualifying 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:
“It’s true that we’ve won three of the last four races, but we cannot get complacent with a lot of races to go. In all of these races, our pace has been decent compared to the other GTLM cars. What has impressed me the most during this run is the attention to details and how Corvette Racing always seems to have us in position to capitalize on mistakes. That comes down some to strategy, how we maintain track position and yes some luck as well. But the results speak for themselves. Let’s see if that continues this weekend at Atlanta.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“I’m looking forward to going back to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. It’s a month earlier than we had originally planned, but it’s always good to go there. I’ve enjoyed success there before in both Prototype and GT cars, and it would be great to add to it this weekend with the C8.R. The last two months have been pretty crazy not just with winning races but how we’ve done it. That’s the never-give-up attitude that Corvette Racing has shown for more than 20 years. We try and find a way to be in the best position to take advantage when breaks come our way.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“It’s been an up-and-down season for us on the No. 4 Corvette, but we’re going to a track I really enjoy. There have been a lot of fantastic moments and race wins at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in both sprint and long-distance races. This six-hour race has a lot of potential for myself, Tommy and Corvette Racing. We were right there at VIR two weeks ago, and the two tracks share a handful of characteristics – a good mix of mid- to high-speed corners and significant elevation changes. I enjoyed driving the C8.R around Road Atlanta during our test program, and it should be that much better this time around.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“It will be interesting to race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta twice in a short span. We have a lot of laps and data there, and fortunately some in the C8.R during our early testing program. The conditions for this weekend will be considerably warmer which should make the track greasier during the heat of the day Saturday. How we manage our tires and track position will go a long way to determining where we end up. We’ve learned a lot about tire life and how this new mid-engine Corvette changes and evolves during a race. We’ll put that to good practice this weekend.”
2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 165
2. Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor – 146
3. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 145
4. Fred Makowiecki/Nick Tandy – 143
5. Jesse Krohn/John Edwards – 141
1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 165
2. No. 912 Porsche GT Team – 146
3. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 145
4. No. 911 Porsche GT Team – 143
5. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 141
1. Chevrolet – 170
2. BMW – 159
3. Porsche – 156
4. Ferrari – 28
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