DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.(Jan. 6, 2019) – Corvette Racing completed its final test ahead of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway, site of the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Sunday marked the third and final day of running at the annual Roar Before the 24 around the 3.56-mile Daytona road course. Corvette Racing’s pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs completed 341 laps and more than 1,200 miles from Friday through Sunday.
The highlight of the weekend was Jan Magnussen’s fastest GT Le Mans (GTLM) lap during qualifying for garage and pit positions for the Rolex 24. With drafting help from teammate Oliver Gavin, Magnussen posted a lap of 1:42.651 (124.844 mph) in the No. 3 Corvette.
As they did a year ago during time trials for the Roar and Rolex 24, the two yellow C7.Rs worked in tandem to take full advantage of the tow that cars generate on the super-speedway portion of Daytona. Magnussen, driving with Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller, used that to his advantage to take the GTLM pole in last year’s Rolex 24 qualifying.
Gavin, who will team with Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler, set the No. 4 Corvette’s best lap during the qualifying session at 1:43.193 (124.188 mph). It was more indicative of the single-car pace of the Corvette around Daytona.
Apart from qualifying, Corvette Racing spent Friday through Sunday working through a variety of setup and Michelin tire options for the Rolex 24. Practice time will be limited during the week of the race, which heightens the importance of data-gathering for Corvette Racing engineers.
The best-possible result in the Rolex 24 will springboard Corvette Racing’s challenge for a fourth consecutive GTLM Driver’s Championship and 13th IMSA Manufacturer’s Championship in the class.
Corvette Racing will be back at Daytona International Speedway for the 57tth Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 24-27.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUICKEST IN GTLM QUALIFYING
WOULD YOU GAUGE HOW THE WEEKEND HAS GONE?“We didn’t have a lot of new stuff to try out this year. We have a new tire from Michelin that we needed to get our heads around; we had some experience with it beforehand but here is where it matters. We did a good job developing the setup of our Corvette to suit the tire.”
TALK ABOUT THE LAP IN QUALIFYING.“We did exactly the same as we did last year where we agreed who was going to tow who. It was me again like in race qualifying last year. That gave us a good top-speed advantage in that session. Olly (Gavin) did a fantastic job placing himself at the right distance out of Turn Six so I could take full advantage of the tow down to the Bus Stop and then go by him at start/finish to get the fastest lap. We did the exact same thing at the Roar and the race last year, so I don’t really know why everyone else is doing the exact same thing. But it seems we’re the only one doing it at the moment, and it’s working out really well for us.”
WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THE ROLEX 24?“The time today was a little artificial because of the towing we did, but we did want to try and win the session. We had one car at the front and one at the back. The difference between our cars is the difference the tow makes. We have some work to do in order to be competitive over the full race. I’m confident the guys at Corvette Racing and Michelin will give us the best chance to win the race.”
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES OF GOING FOR FOUR DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIPS IN A ROW FOR CORVETTE RACING?“What did for us last year was that we do work as a team. All the drivers here are to make Corvette Racing win races. That means we do work together. Very often the focus is put on one car. It’s not always the same car. If we work as a team like we did last year, then I’m sure we’ll have a great shot at getting another championship for Corvette Racing.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO BETWEEN NOW THE RACE TO MAKE SURE THE CAR IS AS FAST OR FASTER THAN TODAY?“We’ll do another session in the Chevrolet simulator, and I believe we’ll work through the program we ran here to make sure everything we do in the simulator is relevant. There’s a ton of data for the engineers to go through and fine-tune our setup. All of the drivers will hand in reports on their experiences with the different setups and the changes we think need to be done. Then it’ll be up to the engineers to come up with a good plan. We’ll have a little bit of testing at the race so we can try some different things. But we need to arrive back here with a car that’s ready for qualifying and for the race.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:“In the last couple of sessions, we were able to dial in and find something that we should be relatively comfortable with in our Corvette. We set up qualifying to get the best possible outcome for one car. Jan and I talked beforehand how we were going to do it, and we executed it really well. We knew at what lap the tire was going to be at its best. I was really mindful of where I was in positioning so Jan could come off the Bus Stop and get a really good run. It all works and came together from a good plan. It’s nice having the team work together and carrying on in the same vein as last year. It’s a great result for all of Corvette Racing.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:“It’s very difficult to gauge after this weekend where everyone will be come Saturday of the race. We’ve done all we needed to do and ran through our testing plans. There’s not a ton on our Corvettes that we can try that is different. Everyone got good time in the car, which is great. The one area we needed to focus on most are the new Michelin tires, and know we have an idea of what to expect. We’ll analyze all we’ve done during these three days to come back as fast and as reliable as possible. If that’s enough then great. If not then we’ve done our best to perform at 100 percent.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R:“Overall we had a solid time at the Roar. We didn’t change a lot of things because we know the car inside and out, plus we know the track very well, too. We ran through a couple of small adjustments and tried to get me some seat time for me. I hadn’t driven the car since Le Mans last June. I really enjoyed my time back with Corvette Racing. The weather and conditions were great except for Friday night’s rain. Hopefully it stays like this for the race.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Coming here for the Roar gives us an opportunity to try a lot of things we won’t have time to try come race week. So it’s a good thing to run through all those setup options. It’s still tough to get a lot of running here even though it’s three days; we’ve had a lot of red flags and relatively short sessions. It was good to get some final laps in the afternoon session. We’ve been here many years now with the C7.R and we have a handle on what it takes to go fast here. There are always things to try and to learn. We’ll put all that information to make our best effort come the Rolex 24.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s been important for me to get back in the Corvette to get some rhythm and get back in a racing mindset for the race. It was important to do as many laps as possible, and it was really quality time spent in the car. So I’m happy on the performance side. We’ve tested a few things this weekend looking ahead to the race. I’m happy from the weekend. We’re all looking forward with some positive thoughts and are all motivated for the race.”