After 0.003-second qualifying gap, C8.Rs start 1-2 overall in GT-only fight on NBC network
ALTON, Va. (Oct. 8, 2021) – Corvette Racing will line up 1-2 for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR on Saturday with Tommy Milner leading the way following Friday’s qualifying session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Virginia International Raceway.
Milner, driving the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, set a lap of 1:40.263 (117.410 mph) to best Corvette Racing teammate Jordan Taylor by a scant 0.003 seconds in the 15-minute session. The two Corvettes will lead the all-GT field at the start for the noon ET broadcast on the NBC network.
It was the first pole for Milner this year and his first with Corvette Racing. He was the fastest qualifier at VIR in the 2004 GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ GT class.
Milner and teammate Nick Tandy arrived at VIR with momentum following back-to-back wins at Laguna Seca and Long Beach. Their results have helped solidify Corvette Racing’s hold on the top two spots in the GTLM Drivers standings with two events to go.
Taylor and Antonio Garcia enter Saturday leading the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship on the strength of four wins and six pole positions this year. The No. 3 Corvette C8.R duo also won five races in 2020 en route to the class title.
All four Corvette drivers have tasted success at VIR. Garcia’s three VIR wins – all with Corvette Racing – ranks him second among all IMSA drivers entered for Saturday’s race. leads all active IMSA drivers with three VIR wins. Milner, Taylor and Tandy each have two victories to their credit.
In addition, Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with eight IMSA VIR wins with four coming from Corvette Racing.
The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is scheduled for noon ET on Saturday with live coverage on NBC, NBC Sports Gold and Trackpass. Live IMSA Radio coverage will air on XM 202, SiriusXM Online 992 and IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM POLE-WINNER:
“It’s relieving in some sense! It’s good to get these little victories like qualifying. It doesn’t mean everything but it means something, for sure. I’m really happy with our Corvette. The balance has been really good today, and the pace has been really good. I’m glad I could finally put it all together in qualifying to get a pole.”
“I spent almost all my entire career racing the same class of car. I got my first ever career pole position in GRAND-AM in 2004 at this racetrack. It feels fitting to get my first ALMS GT/GTLM pole here at VIR. I’m super happy. It’s good to have the pace in the Corvette. I’m happy for our guys as well. As satisfying as it is for me, it’s satisfying for them, as well. Qualifying doesn’t mean a ton, obviously; the race is what matters. To get these little battles and little victories means something for sure. It feels great.”
MOMENTUM ON THE NO. 4 CORVETTE SIDE: “We need to keep doing what we’ve been doing… finding every last little bit out of the car, out ourselves and out of the pit stops. Even though there are three cars in the class, we are racing harder than we ever have against our teammates. It’s great racing. For the fans watching and at the track they can tell that when we are racing, we are racing these guys as hard as we ever have anyone else in our careers. Those guys are the best competition to have – the same car, the same equipment and same everything. To get these little victories means something.”
RACE OUTLOOK: “The race is going to be very challenging for both our cars and the Porsche as well. Maybe not in qualifying speed, they aren’t the fastest. But if you look at practice times, they do seem to have the faster car. It will be a big challenge for both the Corvettes to maximize our strategy as best as we possibly can. We are racing our teammates, for sure, but we’ll our best to make sure a Corvette wins the race. If that means we have to work together a little bit at the start of the race to not fight ourselves too much in order to get as much as a gap as we can, then we’ll do that. I’ve never felt like I’ve had to race so hard in my life than racing our teammates this year. They have been super fast and competitive. It’s taken us a little bit to get to their level in some sense and get these wins. But I’m happy we’re there. I’m looking forward to the race.”
RACING IN HIS HOME STATE: “VIR is essentially my home track. I live in northern Virginia and only four hours away from here. It’s a track where I’ve raced for many, many years and I’ve had success in the past. It’s one of your classic, all-time great sports car tracks in the world. It has some of the best people who run this racetrack as well, so it’s always a pleasure to be here. The fans are awesome. There are lots of campers, lots of families and lots of people having a good time. In years past, the race atmosphere has been great and the fan walk is always packed full of people. I’m excited to put on a good show tomorrow for the fans.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED SECOND IN GTLM:
“It was good. Three-thousandths of a second… I should have gone to the bathroom before qualifying. Actually I did but I should have gone again… maybe three times! It was good to get to show how close these cars are. Looking at the data, you can really see how close everything was. It’s good to get another 1-2. The race will be interesting tomorrow. It still looks like there will be mixed conditions. So there’s still a lot to play for.”
Aaaaaaaand… we're off! @jordan10taylor and @TommyMilner out first. @IMSA and Tommy report track is sketchy at the far end by Oak Tree Corner #Corvette #C8R #MichelinVIR @TeamChevy @VIRNow pic.twitter.com/lR3PdXye9l— Corvette Racing (@CorvetteRacing) October 8, 2021