No. 3 Corvette wins over No. 4 C8.R in weather-shortened, GT-only race.
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 17, 2021) – Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Antonio García won a weather-shortened Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, their third straight victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Taylor and García had the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R ahead when the race was stopped with 70 minutes left due to lightning in the immediate area of the track. Race officials called the race with 25 minutes left in the two-hour, 40-minute GT-only contest.
The mid-engine Corvette C8.R won its Lime Rock debut, and Corvette Racing won at the circuit for the sixth time. It also marked the first overall Lime Rock victory for Corvette Racing.
Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy placed second in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R, their second straight runner-up finish. Saturday’s results increased the lead for García and Taylor in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship and Chevrolet’s advantage in the Manufacturers standings.
Taylor began from pole position and Milner third following a precautionary engine change overnight. Milner moved the No. 4 up to second behind Taylor at the start, and the two Corvettes ran 1-2 throughout the race. Both cars made their first stops a lap apart just past the 30-minute mark for fuel and tires. By that point, both Taylor and Milner were mired in slower GTD traffic and on a three-stop strategy.
Milner, who suffered damage in his second stint after contact from a slower car, was the first Corvette driver to make his second stop and handed off to Tandy with 80 minutes remaining. Taylor did the same a lap later with a swap to Garcia as both Corvettes took fuel and fresh Michelin tires.
Five minutes later, race officials called for a full-course caution to monitor the approaching weather and stopped the race a lap later.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the IMSA SportsCar Weekend on Aug. 6-8 from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Same-day coverage on NBCSN starts at 8 p.m. ET with live streaming coverage on TrackPass and NBC Sports Gold at 2:35 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio will be available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE-WINNER: “For sure, Jordan did an amazing job. He drove the first two stints and it was the plan for me to be in for the other two. We knew this could happen. In a way, I’m happy that he drove so well and managed to keep the 4 car at a distance the whole time and control it so I could have a really quick driver change. That helped us extend our lead. But you never know. It would have tight; I don’t know if it would have been raining or not at the end so it would have been hard to keep the lead. I’m really pleased for another Corvette 1-2. Looking at how Jordan and Tommy (Milner) drove, it seemed like very hard work with tire degradation, especially. I will definitely take it. It’s my first win at Lime Rock so I’m happy with this.”
HAVE YOU HAD A RACE TO END LIKE THIS? “No, I don’t think so. But it is what it is. We had a ton of fans out here today and safety comes first. This time we were lucky in that we were leading when the red flag came. For sure, you need to be up there in that position to benefit from the conditions.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE-WINNER: “It was odd. We kind of knew what was going to happen going into it. We knew it was going to be a race of tire degradation and strategy, whether it be a two-stop or three-stop race just looking at the history of the race. Twenty laps in, we knew it was going to be a three-stop race doing 45-lap stints. It was about fuel mileage, saving tires and getting through traffic cleanly. Thankfully we executed well and the driver change went well. We knew the weather was imminent at some point and that it could be red-flagged, so we knew track position was going to be important. Thankfully we were out front when that came.”
HAVE YOU HAD A RACE TO END LIKE THIS? “The 2019 Rolex 24, we won when it was red-flagged for too much rain. It was a similar feeling sitting in the pitlane with an hour to go and maybe no more pit stops. You’re waiting to see if it’s going to go green again, so it’s kind of very stressful with the unknown. Today looking at the radar, a couple of miles north of the track there were a crazy amount of lightning strikes so I think it was going to come this way no matter what. It wasn’t as rainy as Daytona that year, but today was a similar feeling.”
TOMMY SAID HE HAD A LACK OF REAR GRIP EARLY. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO CARS IN THE OPENING? “I don’t know if it was a big advantage. If it was anything, I think it was getting fortunate in traffic. You could gain or lose a second-and-a-half depending on where you got traffic. Some laps I could see myself gaining in traffic and on another lap I’d lose two seconds and he’d be right there again. I think the ebb and flow of that would show the gaps. I don’t know if the lap-time delta was going to be that big on a clear track. We were saving tires right from the get-go. The tire degradation was a lot bigger than I expected. To do a two-stop race was going to be almost impossible. Even doing a three-stopper with 45-lap stints… once you got to 35 laps there was a steep drop-off. Maybe they suffered a little bit more than we did with that. We started with a setup knowing the car was going in that direction and using tools like the traction control and everything we had in the car to save tires early on and hopefully benefit later in the stint.”