CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Pair of Prototype Podium Positions
Garcia, Magnussen lead GTLM efforts for Corvette Racing
• Wayne Taylor Racing, VisitFlorida.com Racing second and third overall
• Tough fight for both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs in GTLM
• Chevrolet closes in on Prototype Engine Manufacturer title
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept.19, 2015) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen remain in the hunt for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s title in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship headed to the season’s final race.
The pairing led the team’s efforts with the two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs on Saturday in the Lone Star Le Mans race at Circuit of The Americas. Winners of the first two events of 2015 – the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – Garcia, Magnussen and the rest of Corvette Racing can now turn their attention to the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in two weeks time.
Also in Saturday’s TUDOR Championship race, Wayne Taylor Racing and VisitFlorida.com Racing scored podium finishes with their Corvette Daytona Prototypes to move Chevrolet closer to clinching its fourth consecutive Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship.
Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor placed second in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for their third runner-up finish of the season. Prototype championship leaders Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante were third in VisitFlorida.com Racing’s No. 90 Corvette DP and unofficially increased their points lead to six points heading to Petit Le Mans.
Action Express Racing’s two Corvette DPs are tied for second in the championship after Saturday’s race. Eric Curran and Dane Cameron were fifth in their No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette DP after leading the race early, while defending Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi were sixth in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.
In GTLM, Garcia started fourth and drove the first 90 minutes in the oppressive heat and was able to stick with the lead cars during his double stint. Magnussen took over at that point and attempted to keep the No. 3 Corvette close in the race’s final hour. However he had to stop two laps from the end for a late splash of fuel and finished sixth.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jordan Taylor in the GTE Pro class, placed eighth in GTLM with their No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Milner started the race from sixth and gained a spot early. After struggling early in the week, the stronger pace for the No. 4 Corvette was evident early on.
Milner drove the opening 80 minutes before the No. 4 crew called him to pitlane in a strategic call. Gavin replaced Milner on the stop and rejoined the field just before the race’s second and final full-course caution period. Gavin ran second on the restart and tried to hold his position on older tires compared to the rest of his competitors.
The final race for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is Petit Le Mans on Saturday, Oct. 3 from Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.
CORVETTE RACING GTLM QUOTES
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH: “At the start, everyone seemed to be aggressive. Early on everything seemed to go as planned. Going into the race we didn’t know what kind of pace we would all have. The Porsches had speed and were either controlling the pace or running their own pace. I was mostly able to match. In the opening stint, I opened a gap on the 25 car and learned what our Michelin tire would do, and that helped on the second stint. There isn’t much you can do at that point except try and stay with the lead pack. Once I was there, it was a matter of how much risk you would take to gain a position versus saving fuel.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH: “It was a difficult day for our Corvette. Honestly that wasn’t unexpected given the current rules. We tried to save fuel after the driver change but just didn’t have enough to get to the end. The way the race played out, it was the only chance we had to score decent points. Now we will head to Road Atlanta and do our best to end the season with another win, just like how we started it.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED EIGHTH: “Tommy drove a very good stint to start, and full credit to our Corvette Racing crew on improving the car as much as they did from the opening practice. We tried to make something happen with an earlier second stop than the rest of the class. Unfortunately the strategy went against us with the second yellow and we had to stop late. Whenever you are experiencing a gap in performance, you have to think outside the box to try and create your own luck. It just didn’t go our way today. So we’ll look forward to Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans to end the season on a high note.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED EIGHTH: “The car was the best it’s been all weekend. That’s what you want in the race, obviously. These Corvette Racing guys worked really hard. We were pretty far off the pace all through practice, but that ‘never-give-up’ attitude never went away. We worked really hard on the setup to get something that would be optimal for the race. We tried to go a little off-sequence on pit stops but the last yellow kind of did that in. I’m proud of the job the team did to get the car as fast as it was. Traffic was a little weird. I had two prototype cars… one got in the way and the other one wasn’t paying attention. It was hot and I’m sure people were fatigued. The class was so close. In that heat, things kind of normalized.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “I can’t remember a time when everyone on the Corvette Racing team worked this hard for a less productive result than today. They have had their shoulders to the wheel the last three months trying to overcome the performance challenges we face. There were some bright spots that we absolutely will take to Road Atlanta for what we do best - long-distance endurance racing. We’re thankful for the support of our Corvette fans for sticking with us and cheering us on. They can rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to get Corvette Racing back to the podium.”
CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUOTES
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – FINISHED SECOND: “We had a good day. I think the team maximized our performance for the day. The stops were great. The strategy was good. We didn’t have the car to win, I don’t think, today, but the team gave us a shot and that’s all you can ever ask for. It’s nice to get on the podium again in front of all of our Konica Minolta partners who came out in full force this weekend to cheer us on. We’ll go on to Petit and build on this momentum and hopefully close out the year on a positive note like we did last year.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – FINISHED SECOND: “It was a good stint. It was a hot day so we were trying to extend my stint to make Ricky’s a little bit shorter. I did two stints and they were pretty clean for the most part. We ran second for pretty much the whole day. I was behind the 01 for my first one and then was somewhat stuck behind the 31 for my second stint. That kind of opened up strategy a bit and stopped us early from behind the 31 when he couldn’t jump into the pits. And Ricky pretty much kept it clean from there. The 31 pretty much took himself out of the race. Same for the 5 car. And the 01 was too far ahead to catch. Second place, I think we’re pretty happy with that today.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, VISITFLORIDA.COM RACING NO. 90 CORVETTE DP – FINISHED THIRD: “Michael drove like a champion today. We were dead set on getting good points today. It seemed like the other two contenders got a bit hot-headed out there. We had a good VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP today until the tires started to go off; we chose not to take tires on the last stint. In the end I had nothing, so I didn’t know if I could hold Oz Negri back. I love racing Oz and would have loved to have seen that Justin Wilson logo on the podium but it wasn’t meant to be. I enjoy racing Oz. He’s so fair and I could race him all day. Thanks to VisitFlorida.com and Team Chevy today. We want to finish up the season strong for them.”
MICHAEL VALIANTE, VISITFLORIDA.COM RACING NO. 90 CORVETTE DP – FINISHED THIRD: “It’s been a tough weekend for us. We had a number of problems. These are the weekends where you don’t have the speed that you just need to finish. It was a hard race for us in the VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP. Richard drove extremely well and the team performed really well. On now to Atlanta where anything can happen.”
JIM LUTZ, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER: "We achieved our goal of collecting valuable Manufacturer Championship points today. You never want anything less than a win but second and third is the next best result. Congratulations go to our partner teams at Wayne Taylor Racing and VisitFlorida.com Racing on today's solid results. It puts us on the doorstep of another Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship at Road Atlanta."