Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge

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Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge

Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing


DETROIT (Nov. 9, 2021) – Corvette Racing closes out the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season – and the last race for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category – this weekend with Petit Le Mans from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The 10-hour endurance race – the program’s 250th event all-time – will serve as a Corvette Racing celebration as the race’s green flag will officially bring another sweep of the GTLM Manufacturers, Drivers and Team championships to Chevrolet and Corvette Racing for the second year in a row.

On the strength of seven wins and nine straight pole positions, Chevrolet will lock up its 14th Manufacturers Championship in IMSA GT racing since 2001. Four of those victories came via Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, teammates in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. The duo, teaming with Nicky Catsburg at Road Atlanta, only need to start the race to wrap up their second straight GTLM title and consecutive Team championships for the No. 3 Corvette.

Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge


Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy will secure second in GTLM points once they start the race in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. They’ll team with Alexander Sims at Road Atlanta.

In addition to the full-season GTLM titles, Corvette Racing and Chevrolet also lead the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup standings in the Manufacturers, Drivers and Team categories. Points are awarded at the four-, eight- and 10-hour marks. The two Corvettes and their drivers are 1-2 in the standings while Chevy leads the Manufacturers race by two points.

Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge


Corvette Racing has eight class wins at Petit Le Mans and is seeking its first win at Road Atlanta since 2010. It would be a fitting end to the GTLM era as the program has more wins (29) than any other entrant in the class since its debut in 2014.

Taylor, Tandy and Sims each have previous victories to their credit in Petit Le Mans; Tandy leads all current IMSA drivers with four career wins in the event.

Chevrolet on Display at Road Atlanta

Chevrolet’s presence at Petit Le Mans will be evident in the Fan Zone area of Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. A must-see for any fan is the immersive Chevrolet Motorsports Display that will be open to fans throughout the weekend. Located at the infield vendor area of the circuit, the Chevrolet Motorsports Display will be full of Chevrolet vehicles and items that spectators can learn more about during a busy event.

The Chevrolet Motorsports Display opens at 8 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The feature attraction is the 2023 Corvette Z06, which was revealed only weeks ago with worldwide acclaim. Additional Chevrolet vehicles and other highlights include:

  • A Corvette Racing C8.R showcar
  • A 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition coupe
  • Additional Chevrolet products such as the Camaro ZL1, Blazer RS, Silverado Trail Boss and Tahoe RST
  • A special display with various Corvette Racing artifacts including past driver firesuits and credentials, assorted gearbox components and steering wheel
  • An opportunity to receive a Team Chevy T-shirt

Petit Le Mans is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 13 from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The live television broadcast begins at noon ET on NBC followed by 7.5 hours of coverage on NBCSN from 3 to 10:30 pm. ET. The full race will stream on TrackPass and NBC Sports Gold. Live IMSA Radio coverage will air on XM 202, SiriusXM Online 992 and IMSA.com, which also will host live timing and scoring.

Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge


ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“I personally really want to win this race really bad! This is something about Petit Le Mans – apart from last year – always being the last race. You usually play it a little different. There were many years where we were contesting for the championship. Your approach was a little different compared to how you raced at Daytona and Sebring, where you are all-out to win the race. Here in the past, we would focus on covering the cars that were in the championship with us. Then there were other cars that weren’t in contention for the championship that would take gambles and go for the win. That’s probably one of the reasons I haven’t won the race although we did win many championships here. I’ll take that. Maybe we didn’t get the glory of the race wins but I have many memories of winning championships. Maybe this year we can do both!”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“We’re in a great position in the championship. We just need to start the race to clinch it. That’s a good feeling. But at the end of the day, Petit Le Mans is its own race and a big deal. Antonio and Nicky haven’t won it yet, so I know it’s at the top of their list. With the championship being pretty much over, it means we can take all the risks we want in the race. It opens up options on track and with strategy, and puts us in a pretty good situation.

“The track at Road Atlanta is unique. It’s narrow, high-speed and has one good racing line. When it comes to traffic with how many classes we have now, it makes it busy. For us, we can be more aggressive and take some risks to overtake cars and not have to worry about points. I think that will work in our favor.”

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“This definitely is an event we all want to win. Antonio has been here for a long time and has never won it. He keeps mentioning it so there’s a lot of pressure to win it! I’ve not won here either so I’d love to win it as well. Last year we got close but never really had the real pace to beat the winning car. Things feel good. We have had some testing so that we can be more prepared.

“Being in a good spot in the championship definitely takes away a lot of the pressure. I do feel like, especially in IMSA races in the early parts, sometimes I could be a little too aggressive and it’s not so rewarding, especially at the beginning of the race. Every time it will get equalized with the yellows. So even though there is no championship on the line, it’s almost better to be careful early. Toward the end, we can of course push a bit more and take more risks than if you were still racing for the championship.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“We’re coming to Petit Le Mans, and it’s the end of GTLM. The future for the GT classes looks better than ever but it would be awesome to send this class off in IMSA with a win for us in the 4 car. I’m sure the 3 car guys would love to be P1 as well. Nick and I have been on a roll here the last couple of races. We’d love to keep that momentum going but as always with Petit Le Mans, it’s always a very challenging race. Ten hours here is very hard. The traffic management is always difficult. It’s no easy task, plus we have the BMWs back for even more competition.

“This track has more of the risk vs. reward benefits. But as you would expect, the biggest risks come with the biggest rewards but also potentially bigger problems. With how IMSA is structured with safety cars, it’s hard to make a lot of time on your competitors. Therefore it’s hard to lose a lot of time as well. That doesn’t play quite as big a role early in the race but certainly late in the race and the last hour, there are opportunities to take bigger risks to get a bigger gap in traffic or close a gap. We’ll have to go off all our years of experience and knowledge of where you can and can’t pass, how the traffic works to the best of our ability.”

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“Petit Le Mans is a different animal compared to a lot of events. The track is quite short. It being a long race with a lot of classes, there are that many more cars on track at the same time. It’s a lot different than having the same number of cars at a place like Sebring, for example. The event and the race are typically quite fraught, and it’s easy to get mixed up in trouble during the race. The track is fast and lends itself well to multi-class racing. There are different lines you can take, and there are places where cars can co-exist together on-track. But there also are places where it’s easy to get into trouble. So experience matters in this race.

“Petit Le Mans was my first big win and is probably my most successful event in terms of winning a big event. A lot of the time it’s been really kind to me. I enjoy going into the darkness at night for the last couple of hours after starting in the day. The night-time isn’t so long, so if you have a driver that is adaptable, they can often make a difference come the end of the race. Hopefully my success in the past will carry on this year. We’ve also got the Michelin Endurance Cup, which we’ll have an eye on. This is something that the team and all of us would like to get ahold of. Hopefully by Hour Four it should look pretty rosy and we can crack on and start working our way back from the end of the race rather looking ahead of the four- and eight-hour mark.”

ALEXANDER SIMS, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“First off, to come back to Road Atlanta and drive this track is a pleasure. It has such a nice mixture of corners – some banking, some slightly off-camber, some crests, high-speed and low-speed stuff, esses… to get the car turned in to all those different types of corners, it’s always nice when you do find that sweet spot. The race itself has been pretty eventful the last couple of times I’ve done it. There is a good mixture of cars in the field, a reasonable scope for yellow flags to bunch the field up and create close racing. Also driving into the night is quite special. There are only a handful of races where you drive in the night during a season. This being one of them is pretty cool when you make that transition. It will get dark earlier this year as well.

“I don’t have a huge amount of understanding the C8.R around this track, but it was nice to be at Road Atlanta to get some experience ahead of the race. It’s been a brilliant year to drive with the team, Nick and Tommy. I’d like to think it was the inspiration that I gave them at Le Mans of the car being able to achieve the fastest lap has pushed them on! I have learned a lot from them about how to extract time out of this car. I’ve really enjoyed every moment.”

Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: No Small Challenge


2021 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM
(After Nine of 10 Events)

Driver Standings
1. Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 3,269
2. Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy – 3,142
3. Cooper MacNeil – 2,974
4. Matt Campbell – 1,702
5. Mathieu Jaminet – 1,324

Team Standings
1. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 3,269
2. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 3,142
3. No. 79 WeatherTech Racing – 2,974
4. No. 24 BMW Team RLL – 1,001
5. No. 25 BMW Team RLL – 966

Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevrolet – 3,385
2. Porsche – 3,164
3. BMW – 1,052
4. Ferrari – 330


Source:
CorvetteRacing.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Mobil 1 the Grid: How Corvette Racing Prepares for an Endurance Race
Corvette Racing May Run in Both the WEC and IMSA in 2022
Corvette Racing at VIR: Third Straight for Milner, Tandy, No. 4 C8.R

 



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