Third-place for García, Magnussen in No. 3 Corvette C7.R; Gavin, Milner take fourth.
MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2019) – An aggressive race strategy paid off for Corvette Racing on Sunday as Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen landed on the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class podium in the Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R placed third in the next-to-last round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as both yellow Corvettes rebounded from disappointing qualifying efforts Saturday. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, driving the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette, placed fourth as each pairing gained four positions from the first lap of the race to the finish.
Sunday’s results inched García and Magnussen closer in the GTLM Drivers standings. Championship winners the last two years, they are third in points – 15 from the leaders and three from second place – with one race left in the season.
Starting from sixth and seventh on the grid – and running seventh and eighth after a jumbled start from the field – Corvette Racing engineers elected early to go with a three-stop strategy to maximize tire performance at the expense of an extra stop to most of the other GTLM runners. The aggressive strategy also allowed Milner to set the fastest GTLM lap of the race.
Magnussen brought in the No. 3 Corvette in for its first stop 32 minutes into the race and handed off to Garcia, with Gavin swapping the No. 4 C7.R with Tommy Milner a lap later.
García and Magnussen went the rest of the distance on two more stops each – both for tires and fuel. Each time they stopped, the two Corvettes ran first and second, with Garcia making his final stop with 42 minutes left and Milner with 40 minutes to go. When the No. 4 Corvette rejoined, Milner ran fifth and Garcia just ahead in fourth.
It didn’t take long for García and Milner to chase down the third-place BMW of Connor De Phillippi. Garcia, constantly hounding the No. 25 entry for a number of laps, got around and onto the podium with 12 minutes left in the race. Milner followed his teammate through into fourth but traffic eventually halted their pursuit of the second-place car.
Corvette Racing closes the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “That was all we had today. It’s never easy to do an extra but all things considered we did the perfect strategy. There were no mistakes on the pit stops. We were quick in the pits and quick in the car. I think I just lost too much time passing the 25 to make second place. Maybe if we had gotten a yellow after our last stop, it would have been interesting; we had 10-15 laps less than them on tires. That was our gamble and it paid out coming from seventh on our first stop. It would have been better to win, but for sure today was a great result.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “We got the most of our three-stop strategy. In practice, we learned that the degradation for us was quite high. It was a bit better in the race than I had feared; maybe we could have gotten away with two stops. But we stuck to our plan and ran our race. We got a podium out of it, which was a lot better than qualifying. I’m as happy as I can be for a third-place finish.”