CORVETTE RACING AT LONG BEACH: Gavin, Milner Go Back-to-Back!
Seventh victory for Corvette Racing, Team Chevy in IMSA at Long Beach
- 50th victory for Oliver Gavin with Corvette Racing
- Garcia, Magnussen battle back to finish fourth in GTLM
- 107th all-time class victory for Corvette Racing
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner raced their way to back-to-back victories in southern California by claiming the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second year in a row. The duo won by 2.157 seconds in their No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
It was the 107th class victory all-time for Corvette Racing and the first of its 20th season of competition. The team also won for the 16th time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
“This team just does not give up,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. ” While we didn’t have the ideal starting position, Olly and Tommy took advantage of every opportunity on track and the crew executed in the pits. Congratulations to the No. 4 Corvette team for back-to-back wins at Long Beach.”
Gavin also won for the 50th time with Corvette Racing – the most of any driver in program history. He now has five victories at Long Beach…three of them with Milner.
Antonio García and Jan Magnussen finished fourth in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in what ended up being a comeback drive for Garcia. A mechanical issue dropped him from second to eighth on a restart with 52 minutes left.
Gavin started the race fifth and drove the first 40 minutes before handing off to Milner during a full-course caution period. The No. 4 Corvette crew leap-frogged the No. 66 Ford in the pitlane, and Milner joined third among GTLM cars that stopped during the yellow.
The first car in class out of the pitlane was the No. 3 Corvette, which gained two spots on the stop. Magnussen started fourth and moved to third on the opening lap. Things looked to be going the way of the No. 3 Corvette until it didn’t go in gear on the restart. Once Garcia got under way, he went from eighth to fourth in the span of 36 minutes. He ended less than two seconds from a podium position.
Meanwhile, Milner went from third to second with 37 minutes left and took the lead for good 15 minutes later. It was a much more conventional victory than a year ago when he and Gavin won after the track became blocked in the final corner, and he got around the stuck No. 3 Corvette.
Corvette Racing’s next event is May 4-6 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: “Amazing the way that all came around. Yes we had a little bit of luck, but Tommy had to drive brilliantly at the end there and stay out of trouble. There were a number of incidents there. Man, we could have gotten taken out. We could have gotten in the wall. Tommy just navigated. We had a great pit stop. The guys did an amazing job at the stop. We jumped a number of people and put us in position there we we could challenge for that victory. And we got it! That is our first win in season No. 20 for Corvette Racing. And it is my 50th victory with the team. That is pretty amazing. I am just thrilled.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE-WINNER: “There is something about Long Beach. Something about having magic here. I don’t know what it is. We had it today. We had it last year. Whatever it is, I want to keep it. Really tough race today. The track was really, really tough with the marbles off-line. Super difficult. I almost threw it away on the last corner, last lap. Really, really tough conditions. But, Corvette was great. Michelins were great. They were super strong right to the end. Just had that little bit of magic, little bit of luck and that’s all we needed today!”
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FOURTH IN GTLM: “Another year and it happened again at the Hairpin. It’s a shame. We were having a little bit of a difficult week because we weren’t as strong as we have been in the past. But you never know here. Jan did a great job in qualifying and in his stint. The pit stop was incredible to get us out first. The only car in front of us didn’t pit so I thought the race was done. But things happen. It happened to Jan on the recon lap, and for no reason it happened again when I went back to power on the restart. You feel very helpless…I hit every button inside the car, and it took forever to get back in gear. From that point, I knew the race was gone but I had to carry on. Things were super slippery with a lot of marbles and pickup. I tried to pressure people and they kept making mistakes. We made up some good positions. It was shame I couldn’t get on the podium because I thought I had more pace than the Fords. At the end of the day, Corvette Racing won this race. It’s good for the Manufacturer’s title. Olly and Tommy deserve this win. It’s just a shame we couldn’t make it a 1-2 but that’s Long Beach.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FOURTH IN GTLM: “That’s not at all the result we were hoping for. It looked very good after the pit stop when Antonio got in the car. We had a small issue on the restart that put him from first to last. After that, he did a great job of recovering as best he could. Getting fourth-place points is much better than last year, but if things had gone a little differently we could have won. But we’re a two-car team; the No. 4 Corvette took advantage of that and other people’s mistakes, and Olly and Tommy did a fantastic job to get back-to-back wins here. We have some work to do now. Hopefully we can start turning this around to look like championship contenders in the second half of the season.”