CORVETTE RACING IN CANADA: Garcia, Magnussen Reclaim GTLM Points Lead
Wayne Taylor Racing, No. 31 Action Express Racing Corvette DPs 1-2 in Prototype
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 12, 2015) – Corvette Racing and the Corvette Daytona Prototype program each had days to remember Sunday in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia regained the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans Driver points lead while Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor led a 1-2 overall finish for the Corvette DP at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Garcia and Magnussen drove their No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to a third-place finish – a result that seemed unlikely in the race’s opening half. The duo moved from seventh at the one-hour mark to the podium for the first time since the third race of the season at Long Beach. Doubly important is that they broke a first-place tie for driver points as Garcia took advantage of a mistake with two laps to go by the No. 25 BMW, whose drivers were tied with the No. 3 for the championship lead entering the race.
Garcia and Magnussen now lead by two points heading to Road America in August.
The No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner finished fifth in class but gained three spots from the start in a solid late-race push. Both Corvettes were part of an opening-hour battle between five GTLM cars that ran one behind the other for a considerable stretch. With passing at a premium, each of the Corvette Racing pit crews gained their cars multiple positions on the final round of stops with 55 minutes remaining.
Of note, Garcia stopped between one and three laps later than some of the front-runners, which allowed him to go all-out over the final 53 minutes. He also set the fastest GTLM lap of the race.
Pit stops and strategy also determined the outcome in the Prototype category as Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP won for the second time this year. Jordan Taylor won by 0.477 seconds over Dane Cameron in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP. Cameron – who drove with Eric Curran – stopped from the lead with 10 minutes left for a late splash of fuel and left-rear tire, which was just enough time for Taylor to drive by as Cameron left the pits.
The 1-2 finish allowed Chevrolet to increase its championship lead in the Prototype Engine Manufacturer standings. Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante were fourth in VisitFlorida.com Racing’s No. 90 Corvette DP to keep their lead in the Prototype Driver’s standings. Next up was Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in fifth. The duo appeared poised for their first win since March before having to pit from second place with 12 minutes left for a left-rear tire. They still stand second in points albeit just ahead of Curran and Cameron.
The next race for Corvette Racing and the Corvette Daytona Prototypes is the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase from Road America on Sunday, Aug. 9.
CORVETTE RACING QUOTES
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD: “When you have that kind of spread of only three or four tenths from first to eighth at this track, you can’t really pass. It was like a train of GTs all around and nobody could slipstream because everyone was pulled by each other. I couldn’t really go much faster and I decided to start saving fuel at the end of my first stint. So I think that saved us a lot which enabled us to run four or five laps at the end by myself, and that combined with a good last pit stop gave us an opportunity. If I might have been a second ahead I might have been able to go on to get second place. But third position with what wasn’t the best pace we’ve had this year is a positive result. We just need to focus a little bit more with track position with our Corvette. For sure qualifying is definitely important, especially on this kind of track. If the championship comes down to tracks like Road Atlanta, even if it’s a nine-hour race, we definitely need to be up front because then things are much easier.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD: “For sure. I think the BMW ran out of tires at the end there. Antonio did a good job taking care of his. So with two laps to go, Antonio had a chance and he took it. It was fantastic. It puts us back in the points lead. We’re very, very happy. It didn’t look like that was going to happen at the beginning of the race. It was so difficult pass here. Track position was so important. I felt like in most areas we had an advantage over the other cars. But when you’re in traffic and in the draft and you don’t have the downforce when you’re stuck behind the guys in front of you, it makes it really difficult. To come away here in third place is a fantastic result. It was really a great job by the whole Corvette Racing team.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FIFTH: “There was always traffic in front of us, around us and passing us. It was a matter of managing the car and staying out of trouble. Our Corvette was pretty loose. It wasn’t that comfortable to drive and we had a bit of downshift problem. There was some kind of emergency mode the car went into, but we figured that out with Tommy in the car. I was able to sneak by one of the Porsches after he was hit by the DeltaWing, but he was able to get by me when I had one of the issues downshifting. It’s a tough day. We didn’t have the ultimate pace to race the guys up front. So it was all about maximizing the points we could get today.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FIFTH: “We’ve seen here in the past where it’s hard to pass. You can get stuck behind some guys who aren’t that much slower than you are, but every tenth counts in our class. In the end, I’m happy with how the race went. I would have loved to have gotten another podium, but I’m proud of how we kept fighting and got our Corvette better for the end. Antonio and I were kind of pushing our way trying to get those BMWs. It’s tough here. Passing is not easy for anybody and it’s frustrating. I certainly can see that toward the end, I lost quite a bit of time. All in all, our Corvette was good. It was fast. It’s just one of those races that now you can look back and go, ‘man if we had run a little bit better, we would have been ahead of some of those guys.’ So we’ll just use that for more motivation going forward and try to qualify as high as we possibly can.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “It was a very interesting race today. Into the program, we simply didn’t have the speed to compete at the front. What we did was make up for it with great fuel strategy, tremendous pit stops and at the end had adjusted tire pressures so we could run faster laps. You race till the end, and today Jan and Antonio were beneficiaries of the Corvette Racing mantra, ‘Never give up.’”
CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUOTES
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER: “Today was a weird day. We started on the pole and everything was going smoothly. And then I started having some serious power steering issues. But the guys never gave up and, somehow, the power steering fixed itself. Jordan just kept his head and picked people off as they started having issues of their own. And, somehow we ended up leading the race with five minutes to go. I don’t know how it happened, but we’ll take it with all the Konica Minolta and DLL guests we have here this weekend. It was a good day. We’re still pretty far back in the points but who knows, with these kind of performances, what can happen by season’s end.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – RACE WINNER: “It was a perfect team effort. Ricky had issues with power steering at the beginning, so he had a tough stint. Once I got in the car, I was basically just running laps for three stints, not really battling with anyone but listening to what the guys wanted to do, strategy-wise. They called it perfectly with what tires to take, when to pit, and we came out just ahead of the 31 at the end. Like I said, it was a perfect team effort. And it was great to have all of our partners from Konica Minolta and DLL here at this event. I saw them out in Turn Three during the cooldown lap and they were all cheering. So, it was a great memory for everyone.”
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING CORVETTE DP – FINISHED SECOND: “David Leach (engineer) on the pit box did a great job pulling it together for us. It was tough. We were way off sequence; we pitted early and did the driver change early. Dane ran a long time in the car today and did most of the work. The Whelen Engineering Corvette was fast as always. We had a tire going down in my run and another little issue. I think the big load of this place and all the sharp, worn out curbs around the track were hard on the tires. But the Continental tires held up well. We kept putting them on and kept going fast. Dane was great at the end but couldn’t quite get (the No. 10 Corvette). We were so close but will take second place. It’s a great points day for us, so we’re happy.”
DANE CAMERON, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING CORVETTE DP – FINISHED SECOND: “It was pretty flat out today and was a really tough race. We were kind of on our own a little bit, but unfortunately I was dropping the wheels off-track on the front straightaway so we were having some soft leaks on the tires. We were always having to pit early and that’s what made us do that last pitstop. We had it timed perfectly but sometimes it’s not your day and things don’t go to plan.”
JIM LUTZ, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER: "This was a thrilling race for the fans at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Congratulations go to Jordan, Ricky and Wayne Taylor Racing as well as Dane, Eric and the Action Express Racing/Whelen Engineering effort. The different strategies employed by each team on one of the toughest tracks we race on made for a fantastic finish. It's great to score our first victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and build our lead in Prototype Engine Manufacturer points."