No. 3 Corvette C8.R nearly claims third straight overall VIR victory.
ALTON, Va. (Aug. 28, 2022) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor finished second in the Michelin GT Challenge
at VIR on Sunday, their second consecutive podium finish this year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Taylor made a last-lap charge to finish 0.823 seconds behind the race-winning Pfaff Motorsports entry. He and Garcia were going for their second overall win at Virginia International Raceway in three years and Corvette Racing’s third consecutive victory at the fast and flowing 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit. The runner-up result was the second for the No. 3 Corvette on the season.
Garcia began second but ran third after the opening lap as fuel-savings began almost immediately for the top three cars. He ran anywhere between 0.3-0.6 seconds behind second-place Matt Campbell before the No. 3 Corvette team called in Garcia for the first time at 48 minutes running.
The No. 3 Corvette was the first GTD PRO car to stop and took fuel and four fresh Michelin tires as Garcia handed off to Taylor. The call and stop were perfect, as was Taylor’s outlap, as the C8.R went from third and nearly two seconds back to a nine-second advantage after the first pit cycle completed.
Taylor maintained that gap while saving fuel up to the race’s first full-course yellow near the 80-minute mark. It wasn’t what the team was hoping for as the Corvette needed more fuel than the rest of the GTD PRO field due to its early stop.
The race went back to green with 66 minutes to go and Taylor fourth in class – seventh overall. He picked up one spot in the overall standings at the start and diced his way through the regular GTD field to challenge for third in class 10 minutes later.
He moved to second overall with 55 minutes to go before stopping for a final splash of fuel to get to the end of the race. He trailed Mathieu Jaminet by as much as five seconds before running down the fuel-starved leader late. Slower GTD cars impeded Taylor in the closing laps but he charged back to finish within an eyelash of the No. 3 Corvette’s second victory of the season.
Corvette Racing closes its IMSA season with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans on Saturday, Oct. 1 from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND: «I think we had a good race. We didn’t get lucky with the yellow, for sure. We were the ones taking the gamble on the earliest first stop. From that point on, that 10-second lead we had didn’t last. Over the last few years, I don’t think we had a yellow here. It was the right choice to get up there with that strategy. It’s a shame in that respect. But we showed more pace and performance today. Great job by Jordan and the team. Let’s take this on to Petit Le Mans.»
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND: «I knew Antonio wanted an easy day today! He’s had a lot of long days this year! The Corvette was so good. The team did a great job with the strategy. That first call was the right one. At the time, we jumped ahead and had a nice lead. We were controlling it at the front but that yellow was really unfortunate; otherwise I think it would have been an easy day. Once that came out, we had to battle back past and passed some guys on track. After the last stop, I was trying to take care of the tires as long as possible, knowing it was going to be a long stint. Some of the Am cars lapping through there made it difficult to pass. That was frustrating or else I think we could have had a shot to win, especially seeing how close it was at the end. It was a tough day but it was nice to be back in a competitive spot. Hopefully we can go to Petit Le Mans with similar performance.»