Fifth-place GTD PRO finish for García, Taylor, Catsburg in No. 3 Corvette C8.R
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 1, 2022) – Corvette Racing closed its season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday with a fifth-place finish in the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO class after the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Antonio García, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg entered Saturday hoping to replicate their victory from earlier this year at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Ultimately, two separate incidents of contact didn’t help the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s quest for its second victory of the season.
The result was enough for Garcia and Taylor to take third in the GTD Drivers Championship and Chevrolet to finish third in the final Manufacturers standings.
The day began strong with Garcia moving forward from the green flag. He picked up two positions to third on the opening two laps of the race and moved to the lead just past the hour mark. He drove the first 92 minutes before handing off to Taylor, who ran first or second for the first 90 minutes of his time in the Corvette.
The day’s first setback came near the three-hour mark when Taylor’s right-rear Michelin went down while leading on a restart following contact with the No. 9 Porsche. He was able to dive directly into the pits for four fresh tires but fell down to sixth.
The march back toward the front came over the next two hours as two more full-course yellows and penalties to some of its competitors allowed the Corvette to make up track position. By the time Catsburg took over near the four-and-a-half-hour mark, the No. 3 was back with the lead back in GTD PRO and ran as high as second before Garcia returned to the driver’s seat near the seven-hour mark.
Things came undone for the No. 3 Corvette with a little more than two hours to go as García spun at Turn 11 after contact with the 62 Ferrari. He dropped from third to fifth and then down to sixth as Corvette Racing engineers immediately went on an alternate pit strategy in hopes of a yellow to get the C8.R back into contention.
The race’s final yellow came with 52 minutes remaining and brought García to within five seconds of the lead inside the final 30 minutes but couldn’t draw closer at the end.
Corvette Racing closes its 2022 program with the Eight Hours of Bahrain and the final race of the FIA World Endurance Championship on Nov. 10-12.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTD PRO: “It’s difficult when you have GTD cars fighting for the same thing as you and their performance is completely opposite of yours. It’s impossible to race when one car achieves a lap time in one way and the rest do it another. I must say it’s the story of the season. We showed at the beginning of the race that if we are up front and can do our own pace, we’re good and we can race. As soon as you have someone in front of you that you can’t pass and another car gets to you, they will go past because you have nothing to help you defend. That’s been the thing this year. Frustrating day, frustrating season… but the effort from everyone at Corvette Racing has been great all season. We couldn’t ask for more from the team. That’s 110 percent.”
On the start: “The start of the race was easy and relaxed in a way. We had good pace to the other cars in front of those and managed to jump most of those in the pits. Then the pace was really good. I had to catch the 79, which seemed doable and got into the lead. But one more year where I’ve won many stints at Petit Le Mans but never the whole race.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTD PRO: “I feel like we put ourselves in some good spots today. At the end of it, we just didn’t have the pace to battle guys. After that last restart we were kind of in a position to fight again but got motored by. That was pretty much our season in one race. Hopefully we can go into the offseason, figure out what all we learned and come back stronger next year.”
Opening stint: «Our car was decent. We had a little bit of contact, which was unfortunate. It kind of cycled us to the back but we were still in a good position. It’s really hard to pass around here with the traffic. I wasn’t going to give the position (to the 9 Porsche). I was trying to be aggressive and hold him off. We were racing for the Endurance Cup so I think that’s why we were racing that aggressively that early on.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTD PRO: “It was a tough race. We didn’t have the pace at the end. It seems like everyone else had something left and we didn’t. I had fun but unfortunately this was the maximum we could do.
«Honestly there wasn’t a lot of crazy action. It was quite fun. Unfortunately on both pit entries, I got held up by a couple of stints and lost some time. But that didn’t mean so much for our pace. It just means that all the effort you put in during the stint is then lost for no reason, which is very annoying.”