ALTON, Va. (Oct. 9, 2021) – Corvette Racing’s Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner took their third straight victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship by winning the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR on Saturday as the late-season roll continues for the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Tandy went from third to first in the span of a contact-filled, half-lap with 50 minutes to go for the winning move. Saturday’s victory goes along with the triumphs at Laguna Seca and Long Beach for the No. 4 Corvette C8.R.
Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, leaders in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship, finished second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. They only need to start the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to wrap up their second straight title and another Manufacturers Championship for Chevorlet.
Saturday’s race was full of momentum changes and strategies – all on NBC’s national television audience. Taylor led from the start, overtaking pole-sitter Milner into the first corner. The two Corvettes stretched out their lead over third-place Cooper MacNeil to around 35 seconds before Milner made the first Corvette pit stop 28 minutes into the race for fuel, Michelin tires and a driver change to Tandy. That came in response to a full-service stop for the No. 79 10 minutes earlier, and the combo of the No. 4 Corvette’s pace and a quick stop meant Tandy was clear in second place by 40 seconds.
The No. 4 Corvette inherited the lead on a slow stop for the No. 3 C8.R team 53 minutes into the race. Taylor led by more than a minute, but the pit stop misstep relegated Garcia to second but still clear of Kevin Estre in the No. 79.
The race’s lone full-course caution came near the halfway point and shifted the strategy fortunes. Tandy stopped for fuel and tires, the earlier stop allowing the No. 4 team to perform a tire change while refueling the Corvette. Garcia got tires only after barely 20 minutes of green flag running.
The restart with 66 minutes left saw the three GTLM contenders in a line. Estre shoved Tandy out of the way for second place with about 50 minutes left and did the same to Garcia – still on older tires – shortly thereafter. The battle between the No. 3 Corvette and the 79 allowed Tandy to catch back up to the lead pair. He got by Garcia during the 3 vs. 79 fight and stuffed the No. 4 Corvette to the inside at Turn 12 leading on to the backstretch to take the lead.
Corvette Racing will close the 2021 season at Petit Le Mans from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, November 13.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – SECOND IN GTLM: «It was an up-and-down race that ended in another Corvette 1-2. It looked good for us on the 3 car side for much of the race until the yellow came out. That really gave the tire advantage back to Nick as well the 79 since they both were on a three-stop strategy. It made it difficult to defend from the Porsche, and to be honest it wasn’t a clean overtake. In the end, we ended with a 1-2 team finish. Sure we would have liked to be back on the top step but it didn’t work out. We’ll try to get back there at Atlanta.»
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – SECOND IN GTLM: «It’s not the way we wanted to end the day after being in control of it from the green flag through the first half of the race on the two-stop strategy. Once the yellow came out, it kind of mixed things up. It was a tough fight all the way to the end. It was a good job by the 4 Corvette and a tough fight with the 79 there in the middle. Good job today for Corvette Racing with another 1-2. We can go to Petit Le Mans now and race as hard as we want to for a win there.»