MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2018) – For the second year in a row, Corvette Racing will head to the finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the Driver and Team points lead in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category.
Antonio García and Jan Magnussen placed third in class Sunday in the America’s Tire 250 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It is the seventh consecutive podium finish for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and increased the points advantage for Garcia and Magnussen to nine points with only the 10-hour Petit Le Mans left in the season.
A fourth-place class finish at Road Atlanta would give the duo their second consecutive GTLM title.
Meanwhile, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fifth Sunday in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette following a chaotic race that saw four full-course caution periods in the first 80 minutes including one at the race start. Once the race finally went green for more than a lap, the two Corvettes ran first and second in class – with Gavin ahead of Magnussen – as a number of different strategies began to emerge.
The pair of yellow C7.Rs swapped positions on the teams’ first pit stops for fuel 40 minutes into the race and during the race’s third full-course caution. Only two GTLM cars elected to stay out, and the Corvettes rejoined third and fourth in class. The five lead GTLM cars, including the Corvettes, all pitted again near the halfway point under the final yellow. Magnussen handed off to Garcia during that stop, and Milner also took over for Gavin.
The race went green for the last 70 minutes. Garcia, now in the lead, made his last fuel stop with 46 minutes left. Milner had stopped from third only minutes later and rejoined fifth. As the race clock wound down, all the Corvette squad could do is watch as the two lead cars made it to the finish without stopping again.
Corvette Racing closes the IMSA season on Saturday, October 13 at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “We thought nobody could make it to the end if it was green and (our competitors) were gambling on a yellow. They made it. It’s easy to think about ‘what if.’ That’s what it means to be doing a little bit of something different on strategy. I think we were on the back foot, also. We were fighting for the championship and those two guys are not… they were gambling on the win. It’s difficult to gamble when they can take no risks and you take a lot of risk. That was the main thing. It is good to open up a few more points toward Petit Le Mans. Definitely our competitors will be forced to win. I also have the feel we could have won here and locked the championship again, like we did last year.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: «For the championship, another podium is great. It’s not at all what we thought we were going to be able to do here. To be completely honest, I’m a little bit disappointed, but it is what it is. The other cars went really, really long on the last tank – over half of the race distance which is pretty incredible. That’s what it is. Another podium for the championship. We are in a better position in the points than when we came here, so that’s positive. Off to the last one at Road Atlanta and go for a win there.»