BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 13, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio García and Jan Magnussen won their second straight IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver title Saturday, and in true Corvette Racing fashion it was a team effort.
Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler placed second in class at Road Atlanta’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to close Corvette Racing’s 20th season of competition in IMSA. García, Magnussen and Fässler co-drove the No. 3 Corvette to an eighth-place finish – a result good enough to secure the GTLM Driver and Team championships.
It is the 12th Driver Championship for Corvette Racing and 13th Team title in the program’s 20-year history.
“Congratulations to Antonio, Jan and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team on clinching the GTLM Driver Championship. This team never gave up all season to deliver our 12th Driver title for Corvette Racing over 20 seasons of competition,” said Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President and President Global Product Group and Cadillac. “And congratulations to Corvette Racing and Pratt & Miller on their 13th Team Championship. They prepared a race car that delivered consistent performance and that great combination of power, durability and efficiency.”
Both Corvettes showed race-winning pace throughout the day and into the night as both cars led multiple times in the 10 hours. But pitwork ultimately proved to play a huge role.
The No. 4 pit crew got Milner out ahead of the No. 3 Corvette’s lone remaining championship contender on his final pit stop with 48 minutes to go. That was only half the story, however.
The No. 3 Corvette crew needed just five-and-a-half minutes to repair its C7.R after a crash with García at the wheel following a pit stop with less than three hours to go. Among other items, the crew replaced the Corvette’s nose, front fender and engine floor in lightning quick speed to keep the No. 3 C7.R in the race and in the championship hunt.
At that point, the focus turned to the No. 4 Corvette. Gavin, Milner and Fässler – who drove both Corvette entries in the race – fought and clawed their way to a position where Milner could pressure the sister car’s championship challenger late. The team’s effort proved even more important as the No. 4 Corvette went from fifth to third in the final GTLM Driver and Team standings.
Although Corvette Racing’s IMSA season is complete, there is one more race left in 2018. Corvette Racing will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Shanghai on Nov. 16-18.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “It was definitely a tough race. From Lap 1, I went in the lead and every time I was in the car I was going for it instead of holding position. It probably went from one of my best races of my career to the most embarrassing moment of my career. But that means Team Chevy and Corvette Racing did all the prep work before this race and allowed us to come back from that. Thank you to the 4 car for keeping the pressure up on the 67 car, which had to go for the win for the (championship) result. That’s part of this championship – the 4 car keeping the pressure up at the end. I’m very happy. It will take me a little bit to forget that mistake, but I’m very happy for the whole team.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “The way it turned out, the way the 4 car went in there and really put pressure on changed things around. Fantastic. Such a massive team effort to make this happen. I’m so proud to be a part of this. We had a good car and were going to be right there in the mix and the pit exit stuff happened and put everything on its head. It looked like we were out of it, trying to figure out how to still make it happen. I think what really did it was the 4 car got sent super aggressively and changed the balance of things. Obviously the 4 car went for the win but they knew why they were doing it. It turned things in our favor.”