Corvette Racing at Sebring: What Might Have Been

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Corvette Racing at Sebring: What Might Have Been

Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing


SEBRING, Fla. (March 20, 2021) – > Corvette Racing ended an up-and-down day with fourth- and fifth-place class finishes in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts. Both Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs faced adversity throughout, and the team nearly won for the 13th time at Sebring International Raceway.

The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg placed fourth in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category after leading much of the day in the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Garcia began on the class pole position, and the trio controlled from the outset and led 211 of 334 laps. After winning the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 3 Corvette team appeared on its way to a Florida sweep before Garcia was spun from the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Corvette Racing at Sebring: What Might Have Been


On the opposite side of the Corvette garage, the No. 4 Corvette C8.R trio of Tommy Milner, Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims had a day to forget. Beginning the race second in GTLM, the No. 4 C8.R developed an electrical problem from the outset that hampered the Corvette’s performance. Milner, Tandy and Sims – who finished second in GTLM at Daytona – were fifth in class Saturday at Sebring.

Despite a couple of mid-race setbacks, the Garcia/Taylor/Catsburg trio re-established themselves as the race entered twilight with a mix of fuel savings and solid strategy. A fortunate pit stop before a full-course caution period with less than two hours to go allowed the No. 3 Corvette to take the lead, although never by more than three seconds.

Corvette Racing at Sebring: What Might Have Been


Garcia drove the final 2.5 hours and attempted to work his way through traffic when he was forcefully hit under braking by the second-place GTLM car and sent spinning out of the hairpin Turn 7.

The front-left of the C8.R was damaged, and Garcia had to pit with a flat tire. The damage was too great, and the No. 3 Corvette missed the podium.

The outcome spoiled a weekend in which Corvette Racing and Chevrolet celebrated a 25-year technology partnership with Mobil 1. Both of the Corvette C8.Rs sported liveries that matched the Mobil 1 brand.


Corvette Racing’s next event is the Six Hours of Spa in the FIA World Endurance Championship on May 1.


ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FOURTH IN GTLM:

“I don’t know what to say. I’m definitely disappointed in the whole situation. It was a very hard race for all of us. We managed to be up there, and with two stints to go we were both going flat-out. It definitely was between them (the No. 25) and us. Up to that point, it was fair. The whole thing was good. He was pushing hard, and I was pushing as hard as I could. I think we put on a good show but I’m disappointed with the way it ended. I’m sure we would have been super happy to bring home a real result. It’s a tough break, especially after such a long race. I’m disappointed for the guys, for Corvette, for Team Chevy and the fans. We all deserved a little bit better. We will just move on. My next stop is Spa and I’m looking forward to that and the rest of the season. Thank you to Jordan and Nicky… it’s just a tough break.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FOURTH IN GTLM:

“It’s definitely a tough end to the day. We came back from some adversity mid-race which is good and got back in the race with strategy and good fuel mileage for the last few hours. We were able to jump everybody in the pits on that last yellow stop which was great. Then Antonio was able to build a small gap and maintain it. Unfortunately the race ended the way it did. But at least we were competitive. When we were here for the 12 Hours last year, we had our own issues we had to deal with. So taking some positives away, we ran a flawless race reliability-wise for our car with no issues, so I think that is one promising thing we can leave here with and only hope for better next time.”

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FOURTH IN GTLM:

“It was crazy… up and down. We went from in the lead to being almost last to being in the lead and then being fourth. Honestly, there were too many mistakes from our side but we recovered and did really well. The Corvette held up really well even after my spin; the car was still in good shape. We managed to get back with good strategy and good pace. Then it looked like we were going for the win… we had the right man at the right moment in the car. This is typical Sebring, though. You see the same thing in Sebring every year. You win some and you lose some. This was very unfortunate, a bit of a divebomb from the 25. These things happen. We need to regroup, learn from the mistakes we made and try to improve for the next race.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIFTH IN GTLM:

“Frustrating is probably the best word to describe it. It was a bit of a waste of a race for us unfortunately. I felt something wrong pretty much at the start and we were low on power. We drove the entire 12 hours like that. While I was out there, I didn’t know what was wrong and why we couldn’t fix it. I don’t know those answers. So yeah… it was pretty frustrating.”

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIFTH IN GTLM:

“Obviously it was a tough race for the whole team. On the No. 4 side of the garage, to know we were going into the battle with one hand tied behind our back right from the very beginning was tough, but there was optimism. The guys did everything possible to try and figure out and resolve the issue. But in the end we took the view that it would be better to carry on and try to pick up pieces if anything happened rather than take time out and spend a lot of time in the garage. I’m proud of the people for the work they put in trying to get the car to the end. We accomplished that. It goes to show the vagaries of motorsports from the highs of Daytona to the lows of Sebring. This is how motorsport is sometimes.”

ALEXANDER SIMS, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIFTH IN GTLM:

“It was a tough day for everyone on the whole team. Certainly on the 4 car, it was a long day. It was quite clear very quickly that we were going to be up against it to get anything from the race. We went into it seeing what we could salvage, and in the end we couldn’t salvage much. From a personal point of view, it was good to get more miles in the Corvette. I found a decent amount of performance in myself between first stint and second stint in the car. It was helpful to keep gaining miles. In practices this weekend, you only get 10 or 12 laps before the race starts, and that’s just not enough to get back into it. That’s the biggest positive from my side.”

Corvette Racing at Sebring: What Might Have Been


Source:
CorvetteRacing.com

Related:
Corvette Racing at Sebring: Garcia Leads Corvette 1-2 in GTLM Qualifying
Corvette Racing at Sebring: Special Mobil 1 Livery for 12 Hours
Corvette Racing at Sebring: Aiming for Florida Sweep

 



11 COMMENTS

  1. “Forcefully????? hit and sent spinning” A better choice of word would be “intentionally” hit hard and sent spinning!!!!!!! It should have resulted in a black flag not just a drive through penalty!

  2. The Beammer drivers ended TWO front contenders to the podium by bumping them out of contention… In the same turn 17 at different Times towards the end of the race… WTF?
    So I agree with DT, Drive Through Penalty with warning should have been given on the first incident, Black flag on the Second.

  3. DePhillippi: “Sorry man, I didn’t see your grey car”
    Garcia: “Sure wish I could have flipped a switch to make my car bright yellow!”

    Just Sayin’……………..

  4. Don’t sugar coat it. A darn poor showing for the odds-on favorites, and only factory backed team in the class.

  5. “Well, if you ain’t rubbin’, you ain’t racing.” I hate that maxim.

    I’ve seen crazier races and CR was able to bounce back fast and hard, but this was chaos.

  6. Ya I watched this bs happen, Garcia had it in the bag. BMW needs better drivers, jerk offs.

  7. Garcia can’t say it so I will for him: DePhillipi is a cheating douche bag. I watched it live and it was clearly deliberate to take Garcia out. The dude also constantly flashed his headlights at Garcia just to try and piss him off. IMSA should suspend him, drive through wasn’t nearly enough of a penalty.

  8. The incident was intentional and DePhillippi certified himself as an a**hole. And the high beam flashing – #25 was never even close enough to pass. Apparently IMSA doesn’t monitor driver behavior. Too bad old Dale Earnhardt Sr. isn’t around to take a lap or two with DePhillippi on the track. Dale had a way to fix those kinds of problem people. Hated it for both teams. #4 car never even got up to race speed – just rode around for 12 hours. Not one of their better days for either team.

  9. I agree with Shawn and Billy. I was standing on the viewing mound at the hairpin and watched it happen. Should have been a stiffer penalty for De Phillippi for sure. And the Porsche win should never have happened.

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