· García, Taylor, Catsburg finish fourth in GTLM
· No. 3 Corvette C8.R completes program-record distance in Rolex 24
· Gavin, Milner, Fässler fight through to finish after mid-race issues
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2020) – Corvette Racing’s new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R finished its maiden race with a fourth-place finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Antonio García, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg led the team’s effort Saturday and Sunday in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which had a mostly trouble-free run in its competition debut. The trio completed 785 laps for 2,794.6 miles – the greatest distance for any Corvette entry in Rolex 24 history.
The No. 3 C8.R led twice and was in contention for victory in its first race for the majority of the 24. The performance showed the potential of the mid-engine Corvette, which was developed simultaneously with the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
“It was a tremendous honor to debut the Corvette C8.R at the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona – 22 years after we debuted the C5-R in the same location,” said Jim Campbell, US Vice President Performance and Motorsports. “I’m so proud of our team and how they prepared and executed the race with the 2020 mid-engine Corvette. I can’t wait for the rest of the season and watch the excitement from our fans grow with every race.”
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler underwent multiple trials Saturday and Sunday, but the trio ultimately finished the race as well. While things looked optimistic in the first eight hours with the team racing inside the top-five, an oil leak near the ninth hour forced the No. 4 Corvette into the garage for extensive work. Complicating matters, the leak was in an area that required the team’s crew to remove the engine in order to make the repair.
Diligent and non-stop work for nearly nine hours brought the Corvette back into the race with the aim of evaluating tire settings and setup options to help the No. 3 for the end of the race.
“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is a demanding race, so to even finish here with a brand-new car with a brand-new engine is a major accomplishment,” said Mark Kent, Chevrolet Director of Motorsports Competition. “To have both of the new Corvette C8.Rs finish – and one of them nearly finish on the lead lap – is a tremendous reflection of the strength of this car and this program.”
Corvette Racing’s next event is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 19-21 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “I’m proud that at least one car finished near the lead lap. For sure every time out we want to win and do the very best possible. Today, this was the best possible result. Probably we didn’t have enough pace to be on the podium or to win. Once we lost track position and not having many yellows, we had to react to that and be aggressive on the strategy. A yellow would have put us a little ahead and maybe given us a chance to fight. But I’m proud that we gambled and tried to do better than what we actually might be. Instead of being comfortable with fourth, we went to try and win it. I’m very happy the Corvette C8.R went across the finish line for the first time. It wasn’t a win, but I’m sure that knowing how it reacts and how much room there is for development, this Corvette will be a winning machine before long.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “I think it is impressive to have a finish like this. It’s always difficult with a brand new car and limited testing to go 24 hours without issues. That’s a testament to the team, Corvette Racing, Pratt & Miller, the Corvette brand and everyone that is behind this program. It’s a good start to the season. Obviously we wanted to be on the podium or win the race, especially when you have a flawless race. If you would have told us two weeks ago that we would have no issues all the way through the race, we would have taken that all day long. I’m excited for the rest of the year.”
On Wayne Taylor Racing’s overall victory: “Obviously that is a great team. This is their third win in four years and only one year without finishing on the podium. It’s an incredible team and incredible victory. A lot of good guys on the team are like family. I’m very happy for them.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “There isn’t much to be disappointed about. All the people that worked on this Corvette, tested the car, developed it… they can be proud. To come to Daytona for the first time with a car this new and being in contention to win for a long time is quite remarkable. I’ve seen it happen in a very different way in the past. It’s something to be proud of. It’s not so nice to finish just off the podium in P4. But we can be happy with this first event. We have some time and work to do in order to improve for Sebring. From my personal standpoint, this is a great team, a very nice car and very nice people. I really enjoyed it. Personally, I’m somewhat in the middle about my performance. I’m happy with the pace. There were some small mistakes that shouldn’t have not have been there. But in the end, we can all be quite happy.”