CORVETTE RACING AT PETIT LE MANS: Tough Fight to Close C7.R Era

BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Corvette Racing ended its run with the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on Saturday with fourth- and seventh-place class finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship’s Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller led Corvette Racing’s effort in the final race of the season. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler took the finish shortly thereafter in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette.

Petit Le Mans closed the Corvette Racing program’s 21st season of racing and the six-year campaign of the Corvette C7.R. In that span, it won 17 times around the world and helped Corvette Racing claim three Drivers’ Championships and two Manufacturer titles for Chevrolet. The new-for-2020 Corvette C8.R will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.

The hope Saturday was to send the C7.R off with a victory but it wasn’t to be. The Corvettes started seventh and ninth on the GTLM grid, and the team struggled with tire grip throughout the first part of the race. A couple extra pit stops to chase tire compounds combined with a five-hour run of green-flag racing didn’t help the team’s quest.

Things turned in a positive direction for the No. 3 Corvette in the second half as Magnussen and Rockenfeller took turns in the class lead as fuel and tire strategies came into play for late in the race. Garcia drove the final two-and-a-half hours including a hard charge on fresh tires with 30 minutes left that resulted in the No. 3 Corvette going from fifth to fourth on the final lap of the race.

The result meant García and Magnussen finished tied for second in GTLM Drivers’ points with Chevrolet third in the Manufacturers’ standings.

The No. 4 Corvette team attempted a similar comeback in the race but was beset by contact from an overtaking car with Fässler at the wheel in the fourth hour. The resulting spin for the No. 4 Corvette didn’t help the team’s tire woes. Milner had led late in his stint during the pit stop cycle but the contact and extra pit stops to chase the Corvette’s handling set back the No. 4 team.

Corvette Racing will open the 2020 IMSA season with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “It was difficult right away. Starting last in the class didn’t help things today. We were playing catch-up all day. Knowing how tight everyone was made it tough to do anything different than the rest on strategy. We made some gambles on tires but that meant an extra stop. After that, we were out of sequence and did almost four or five hours keeping the same pace as the 67 Ford and the Ferrari. We were just waiting for a yellow. It was a little bit unfortunate that there wasn’t a yellow until the last 30 minutes. We showed we had their pace, but I don’t know if we could have passed them to win the race. It’s a shame not to know if we could have been on the same strategy and done something different to put our competitors on the ropes; everyone seems to get nervous when we are very close. So we were fighting, but it was fighting from far back and we weren’t much of a threat. We tried that late stop to try and gain some positions for a podium and second in the championship. But another year is done and another podium championship finish for Jan and I… eight in a row.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “We gave it the best shot we had to try and get second in the championship, but one point short. We tied for second but obviously Porsche takes that because of race wins. Knowing how everything panned out, this was the best we could get out of it I think. Everyone wanted a win for the C7.R to send it off, but it wasn’t in the cards. We put on a good show… the best we could.”

MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “On the first stint, we had a massive oversteer so we changed the rear wing setting on the pit stop and tire compound. The balance was better with the wing change but the tire just died on the left-rear really quick. It happened on both cars. I came in for the previous compound and we left the setup as it was. In that stint, I have to say we were pretty good and competitive. I had a feeling that cooling off would help us. We needed a yellow but we were in the game. It just never happened and others had a really strong pace. That is racing sometimes.”

CORVETTE RACING AT LAGUNA SECA: Aggressive Strategy Nets GTLM Podium

Third-place for García, Magnussen in No. 3 Corvette C7.R; Gavin, Milner take fourth.

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2019) – An aggressive race strategy paid off for Corvette Racing on Sunday as Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen landed on the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class podium in the Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R placed third in the next-to-last round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as both yellow Corvettes rebounded from disappointing qualifying efforts Saturday. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, driving the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette, placed fourth as each pairing gained four positions from the first lap of the race to the finish.

Sunday’s results inched García and Magnussen closer in the GTLM Drivers standings. Championship winners the last two years, they are third in points – 15 from the leaders and three from second place – with one race left in the season.

Starting from sixth and seventh on the grid – and running seventh and eighth after a jumbled start from the field – Corvette Racing engineers elected early to go with a three-stop strategy to maximize tire performance at the expense of an extra stop to most of the other GTLM runners. The aggressive strategy also allowed Milner to set the fastest GTLM lap of the race.

Magnussen brought in the No. 3 Corvette in for its first stop 32 minutes into the race and handed off to Garcia, with Gavin swapping the No. 4 C7.R with Tommy Milner a lap later.

García and Magnussen went the rest of the distance on two more stops each – both for tires and fuel. Each time they stopped, the two Corvettes ran first and second, with Garcia making his final stop with 42 minutes left and Milner with 40 minutes to go. When the No. 4 Corvette rejoined, Milner ran fifth and Garcia just ahead in fourth.

It didn’t take long for García and Milner to chase down the third-place BMW of Connor De Phillippi. Garcia, constantly hounding the No. 25 entry for a number of laps, got around and onto the podium with 12 minutes left in the race. Milner followed his teammate through into fourth but traffic eventually halted their pursuit of the second-place car.

Corvette Racing closes the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “That was all we had today. It’s never easy to do an extra but all things considered we did the perfect strategy. There were no mistakes on the pit stops. We were quick in the pits and quick in the car. I think I just lost too much time passing the 25 to make second place. Maybe if we had gotten a yellow after our last stop, it would have been interesting; we had 10-15 laps less than them on tires. That was our gamble and it paid out coming from seventh on our first stop. It would have been better to win, but for sure today was a great result.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “We got the most of our three-stop strategy. In practice, we learned that the degradation for us was quite high. It was a bit better in the race than I had feared; maybe we could have gotten away with two stops. But we stuck to our plan and ran our race. We got a podium out of it, which was a lot better than qualifying. I’m as happy as I can be for a third-place finish.”

CORVETTE RACING AT VIR: Back on the Podium for No. 3 Corvette

García, Magnussen third just ahead of Gavin, Milner in No. 4 Corvette

ALTON, Va. (August 25, 2019) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio García and Jan Magnussen returned to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) podium in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday with a third-place finish in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.

The duo in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R recorded their fourth straight top-three finish at Virginia International Raceway on the heels of victories in 2016 and 2017 and last year’s runner-up result. Corvette teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner were right behind in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R, their best result since a third-place finish at Long Beach in April.

The result moved Garcia and Magnussen back into third place in the GTLM Drivers Championship with two rounds left in the season. The two Corvettes, lacking overall pace to the race-winners, were part of a thrilling battle inside the final 30 minutes for the final podium spot.

Both Corvettes opted for three-stop strategies following an early-race caution that saw all GTLM cars pit just 22 minutes in. Magnussen – who started second and Gavin – who started fifth – each drove double-stints to start. Gavin, who gained two spots on the first round of stops thanks to a speedy tire change and fuel fill, was the first GTLM driver to make his second stop an hour into the race.

Magnussen handed over to Garcia 20 minutes later and was part of a tight fight with Dirk Mueller in the No. 66 Ford in the midpoint of the race. It was a close battle with the two cars making contact at the end of the backstraight but both got away relatively damage-free.

The two Corvettes and the two Fords were nose-to-tail following the final round of pit stops with 35 minutes remaining. Garcia made a daring move at Turn Four to move back into the podium, and Milner followed him through by overtaking both Fords a couple of corners later.

Corvette Racing’s next event is the IMSA Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 13-15.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “It was a strange race. I don’t know if we had anything for the Porsches. There was a lot going on in both stints. Initially the power was good and I could gap the Fords. But at some point after that, I had a strange feeling that felt like understeer. Then I realized I was having to give more right-turn input than left. There was probably something going on there but not due to the contact with the 66. Once I realized it wasn’t the tire going down, I could get in a rhythm and it seemed to work. It’s unfortunate to have contact with Dirk (Mueller). I didn’t want to have that, but once you’re that close. I locked up completely and was over the curb trying to avoid him. That took away a little of the gap I had over the other cars but still had time to dump grass out of the radiator after that off. It was super tight the rest of the way and was fun. It’s not a win but we will take a podium.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “A podium is great for the championship, but we are so hungry for a win. The team did great this weekend. The car was solid all the way through. We had an exciting qualifying yesterday. Good racing today. There was a small miscommunication between Antonio and Mueller but they both came back from that. On the podium is great but we want to win. A fantastic weekend.”
(Being aggressive on strategy in attempt for IMSA Win No. 100) “It is not due to lack of trying. We are there. We are right where we need to be. Unfortunately, we miss out just a little bit. Today we didn’t leave anything on the table. We will just have to find a little bit more if we are to win one of these pretty soon. I’m super happy with everything the team has done. The preparation of the car, the strategy, execution of the pit stops. Everything is fantastic. It’s just not enough for winning.”

CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Another Hard-Luck Afternoon

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (Aug. 4, 2019) – Luck wasn’t on the side of Corvette Racing on Sunday as the team logged fourth- and sixth-place finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Road Race Showcase at Road America.

Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs led the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category and were in contention for the program’s 100thh victory in IMSA competition. Ultimately, however, the race and fortune went against Corvette Racing as it went for an eighth class victory at the circuit.

Antonio García and Jan Magnussen posted Corvette Racing’s best finish in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with race pole-winner Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner two spots behind in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R. The team will regroup and prep for a GT-only race August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.

Early on, Corvette Racing engineers decided to split strategies between the two cars with Garcia and Magnussen on a three-stop strategy. Magnussen began fifth but was the second GTLM car to pit just 25 minutes into the race. He held position throughout his stint and handed over to Garcia, who reemerged seventh.

Meanwhile, Gavin led the first 40 minutes and set the fastest lap of the race. He came in from second after 44 minutes with Milner driving the rest of the way. He stopped with 62 minutes left and the No. 4 side of the pit lane hoping for a full-course caution that never came. A stop with five minutes left knocked the No. 4 Corvette from second to sixth.

Meanwhile, García stopped with just shy of 90 minutes to go for his second stop and pushed his way back to the lead with 50 minutes remaining. A cruel twist of fate awaited as the No. 3 developed an electrical issue that forced the Corvette crew to perform a battery replacement on Garcia’s final stop with 32 minutes left.

Corvette Racing’s next event is August 25 at Virginia International Raceway.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “It would have been close to a win at the end. Even going green it would have been close with the 67. We could have made them push and work instead of cruise to a win. We had a decent strategy, I have to say. We committed early to that and basically things were going well until our battery problem. I don’t know how many extra seconds that cost us, so that wasn’t ideal. I lost more time – six or seven seconds – on my in-lap from prototypes running me off the track on old tires. But in the end we had the right strategy. If there had been one yellow in the end, I don’t think the Ford would have had anything for us. We were so good and had 10 laps better tires than anyone else. At the end of the day, we executed well and did what we had to do. It’s tough to say ‘what if’ but this is tough. We are chasing victory hard, and sometimes it’s too hard. We had a car to win today. Congrats to Richard (Westbrook) and Ryan (Briscoe); they ran a perfect race so full credit to them.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH IN GTLM: “It was a pretty decent start. I was stuck behind one of the Fords that was stuck behind one of the Porsches; they didn’t have the pace of Gavin and the 67 Ford up front. So they started to gap us a bit. I couldn’t find a way by the 66, which is a shame because we were quite a bit faster than those guys and we maybe could have done something different than what we did. Later on, Antonio was doing fantastic until we had an issue that needed to be fixed in the pits, which kept us in too long. It’s a real shame. We had the strategy to do something good; it was an aggressive strategy but without the problems I think we could have been fighting for the win. It’s tough but on to the next one.”

CORVETTE RACING AT LIME ROCK: Weathering the Weather

Corvette C7.Rs finish fifth, sixth in GT-only round at steamy Lime Rock

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 20, 2019) – Corvette Racing sweat its way through the Northeast Grand Prix on Saturday to fifth- and sixth-place finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Hoping to replicate one of its finest moments – the 100th victory in program history – the pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs came short in scoring victory No. 100 in IMSA competition. The pair of velocity yellow Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvettes finished where they began on a sweltering July afternoon.

Antonio García and Jan Magnussen led the Corvette charge in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R and remained third in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship with the result. Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler were right behind in the No. 4 SiriusXM/Mobil 1 Corvette as the team now heads to Road America in two weeks.

The team elected to split their pit strategies at the halfway point of the race. Garcia and Gavin started the race with each driving a single stint before handing over to Magnussen and Fässler, respectively, near the 40-minute mark. The No. 4 Corvette stopped 40 minutes later and committed to a three-stop strategy that saw Fässler drive a double-stint and run as high as second before handing back over to Gavin for the final 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, Magnussen drove 55 minutes in his stint and switched back to Garcia for the final 63 minutes. The No. 3 Corvette managed to pick up three spots in the final run to salvage a top-five finish on much more worn tires.

Corvette Racing’s next event is the IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America from Aug. 2-4. It will be streamed live on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com at 2:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 4 and aired on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage will be available on IMSA Radio, Sirius 138, XM 202 and SiriusXM Online 972.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “Another tough day for us. The heat didn’t help with our attempt to make the tires last over a full fuel run. The strategies were all over the place and maybe we could have made a difference by going in a different direction. I don’t know but this is something we will look at for more hot races. It’s not been the best couple of races for Jan and I, and tough for our championship.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FIFTH IN GTLM: “For sure this is one of the hardest races I’ve done. Obviously it was super-hard trying to get the tires to last a full stint. There were a few different strategies going on today. I don’t know if we were on the correct one. Whatever the case, we didn’t make it work for us. This was a tough weekend and another not-so-great weekend for the championship. We’ll figure it out come Road America.”

CORVETTE RACING IN CANADA: Tough Day but Corvettes Back in One Piece

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 7, 2019) – Corvette Racing arrived at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park hoping one of its most successful tracks would result in some badly needed winning momentum. Unfortunately, the team came up short in the effort for its 12th class victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday.

The pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs finished seventh and eighth in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix. The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R of Antonio García and Jan Magnussen led Corvette Racing’s effort and remained in contention for their third straight GTLM Drivers’ Championship.

Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler were right behind in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R. It was the first race for Fässler at CTMP, and finishing the race was a positive step forward. The No. 4 Corvette team suffered a crash six hours in at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and on the opening lap of last week’s race at Watkins Glen.

The start looked promising, especially for the No. 3 Corvette. Magnussen picked up a spot at the start but the handling on the Corvettes went away quickly. Nevertheless, the Corvette Racing crews and engineers kept plugging away to try and optimize the setup on the two C7.Rs for the end of the race.

Two late caution periods tightened up the field but traffic impeded both Corvettes to the end.

The next event for Corvette Racing is the Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park on July 19-20.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SEVENTH IN GTLM: “That was not the race we wanted. We struggled with pace a lot and couldn’t make the car work. I’m not sure why yet but it is something we need to fix for Lime Rock. We will need a good result there to stay in the championship. But today was very disappointing. It’s one of the most frustrating weekends we have had in a long time. But we are confident that Corvette Racing can bounce back.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SEVENTH IN GTLM: “Obviously I’m very disappointed with the result today. It’s pretty clear we missed something on the setup. At no point in the race did we have the pace to do anything with the rest of the field. We have to go home, think about this and come up with a solution for Lime Rock. This was a pretty big hit in the championship for us, unfortunately. We have some ground to make up.”

CORVETTE RACING AT WATKINS GLEN: Runner-Up Finish for No. 3 Corvette

García, Magnussen score fourth straight GT Le Mans podium; No. 4 Corvette out early

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 30, 2019) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen finished on the podium for the fourth consecutive race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Sunday with a runner-up finish in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R finished just 0.452 seconds behind the class-winning Porsche, and the Garcia/Magnussen duo claimed their third straight podium at Watkins Glen International. The day included an added bonus: Garcia and Magnussen are a single point of the GTLM Drivers’ Championship as they seek their third consecutive title.

The news on the other side of the Corvette Racing garage wasn’t as good. Tommy Milner suffered contact and crashed on the opening lap in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R, ending the day for him and teammate Oliver Gavin.

The damage to the Corvette was extensive but the team will have the No. 4 entry repaired for this week’s Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Corvette Racing crew faced a similar rush job after a heavy crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans forced the team to switch chassis for the No. 4 Corvette ahead of Watkins Glen.

Down to one entry, the Corvette Racing team soldiered on and very nearly pulled off a storybook ending. Garcia and Magnussen led Sunday’s race four times but a call to pit ahead of a full-course yellow that never came seemingly put the No. 3 Corvette on the back foot to the end.

Magnussen, making his 150th start for Corvette Racing, drove the middle three stints and gave the Corvette back to Garcia for the final two hours and 40 minutes. A final full-course yellow set the stage for the late-race charge from seventh to very nearly a long-awaited victory.

There is little time to rest. Corvette Racing’s next event is the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix on Sunday, July 7 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “I can’t be super, super happy about the result. I think we had this race. We have such a strong field. We took one part of the strategy away thinking there would be a yellow when one didn’t come. The race was split then between half of the field and us. We could gain back some spots but when we restarted after the last yellow, we didn’t have track position. To be sixth or seventh in this field and try to win with an hour to go is tough. At the end of the day, we didn’t make it. It was a good call to top off the car on the last yellow to give me a chance to jump both Porsches at the end, but the big thing is that the winning Porsche was too far up the road. I don’t know what’s worse… ending up six or seven seconds off or three-tenths off. I think it hurts more to finish so close. But it’s good points and we’ll take that.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “We had a shot at it today, but we are just missing that last little bit. I am happy for the team and happy for the points. But it’s been awhile since our last win. We keep getting so close but it is getting hard to come up with excuses. We just need to go out there and do it… get that win. I am very happy with how the whole team performed. We could not have done much better. So we will just go on to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, another fantastic track, and see if we can get a win there.”

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: From Hopes to Heartbreak

LE MANS, France (June 16, 2019) – Corvette Racing’s hopes for a magical victory in its 20th straight appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans didn’t come to pass, but the effort of the program was never stronger than what the team displayed Saturday and Sunday in the world’s biggest endurance race.

The No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller finished ninth in the GTE Pro category on a day where the trio was firmly in contention for the first 20 hours. Three unlucky safety car periods and an untimely late trip to the garage for repairs following a spin put a dent in the plans for a ninth class victory in 20 years.

Le Mans struck hard at both Corvette Racing entries. The No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R retired following a heavy crash for Marcel Fässler near the six-hour mark. The incident happened in the lightning quick Porsche Curves toward the end of the lap. Fässler – driving with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – was hit from behind after making a pass on a slower car with the impact sending the Corvette hard into the wall on driver’s right.

The damage was too extensive to repair and return the car to the race. Fässler was evaluated at the track medical center and was sent to a local hospital for a CT scan, which came back normal.

The No. 64 Corvette was up and down the order early with Gavin climbing from 11th at the start to fourth in class during his opening two stints. Debris on his tires made it challenging for him to maintain his early pace but he and Milner had relatively calm stints before handing over to Fässler, who was matching the pace of his teammates before in incident.

The No. 63 led early and often. Garcia began the race from the third position but needed less than 20 minutes to move to the point in a frantic start.

All three drivers of the No. 63 Corvette took turns in the lead early. The first safety car period of the race during the sixth hour brought the top nine GTE Pro entries to within 15 seconds of each other at the six-hour mark. Another safety car near the 10 hours running split the two lead cars from the rest of the GTE Pro field, effectively taking what had been a nine-car battle down to two with the Corvette part of the second group.

The early-morning period saw the leading GTE Pro entry run into trouble, allowing the remaining Corvette – which had chipped away on the lead pack for a number of hours – to move back into contention. By the 16-hour mark, the C7.R had moved back into the lead and a strategic game of chess developed between the No. 63 Corvette and the eventual winning Ferrari.

The momentum seemed like it was swinging permanently toward the side of the Corvette when disaster struck with three-and-a-half hours to go. Rockenfeller pitted for fuel, tires and a driver change to Magnussen during a safety car period. The pit stop was excellent – as they had been all race – but the pit exit was closed, which once again prevented the Corvette from catching the safety car queue that included the GTE Pro leader.

Once under way, Magnussen spun late in the lap at the Porsche Curves on cold tires and contacted the outside wall with the front-left of the Corvette. The crew repaired the suspension on that corner of the Corvette, losing just six minutes but two costly laps. A final late-race visit to the garage thwarted any hopes of gaining additional positions.

There is little rest for Corvette Racing with the team returning to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in two weeks at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was super tough all race, especially for being all the way up at the front for 21 hours. The early safety car around five hours really put us down, and I got pretty upset about that. For me, I thought the race was lost but you never know at Le Mans. A few more stints in and we were back in the lead. It’s a shame that we didn’t put it together all the way to the end because I think everyone here deserved to win. The team made a fantastic effort. The preparation was really good, and we proved that to every other team out there – the preparation of the cars, the pit stops, the brake changes and the way we could go for a win instead of waiting for the race to come to us. I felt like we had everyone afraid of us. Most of the teams at Le Mans probably feel that we had the car to beat, and I think that’s right. But Ferrari did a perfect run and they won. All we can do is congratulate them. Then we will come back and win it.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Up until it all went wrong, we did the best we could and that put us in front. The guys did a fantastic job all race – the crew, the engineers and the drivers… everybody. But the safety car came out there late, we had to pit and effectively that took the win away. P2 was in the cards; that’s not what we came here for but for sure we would have taken that with the win not being on the table any longer. Unfortunately I clipped a curb on cold tires and hit the wall. I can’t begin to describe how horrible I feel for the guys and all the hard work they have put in for the past year. We had the car in front and a mistake like that takes it all away. I don’t know how to apologize for that but hopefully I can make it up to them someway.”

MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Thanks to Corvette Racing for giving me the opportunity to race here at Le Mans again. I always love it even though as we saw this weekend it can be one of the toughest races in the world in that you can be a bit unfortunate. We had a really good car… the Corvette was running super nice, especially at the end of the race. The track and everything evolved in the right direction; when it rubbered in and our car came alive… I think we had everything to fight for victory, but obviously the rules with these safety cars are a bit unfair. We’ve known this since years past and it has been proved it is not the good way of doing it. I think we need to think about it, but that is obviously not our job.

“Again, the car was prepared well and I always enjoy it to race here with Corvette Racing. Personally I was really happy to drive the car. I felt confident at the wheel, I felt I could get the most performance out of the car and really push hard and fight for it. So personally I was super happy with my own performance, but obviously the results are not what we wanted. Both cars were super unlucky… our sister car and Jan on our car, but that’s racing you know. We always push to the limit and sometimes things go wrong. And this also is something special within the Corvette team: there is no bad word about anything. And I’ve seen it different in my career, I can tell you. Here, from top to bottom, they all work together and they consider it a sport. It’s racing, you try hard, and you win and you lose together. And this is what you feel at Corvette, and this is a good feeling for a driver. Because one day you make a mistake and it’s not nice if people drag you down when they should say, ‘Hey, it happens. we’ve won so much together and sometimes things go wrong,’ which for me again shows I’m in the right team here and I hope we’ll have some more opportunities in the future to win this together.”

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: On to the Race!

García leads charge in No. 63 Corvette ahead of team’s 20th straight Le Mans start

LE MANS, France (June 13, 2019) – In its 20th consecutive appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing recorded its fastest lap in a decade around the fabled circuit Thursday on the final qualifying day for Saturday and Sunday’s race.

Antonio García set a lap of 3:48.830 (132.849 mph) in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shares with Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller. A three-time winner at Le Mans – twice with Corvette Racing – Garcia set his best time in the final of three qualifying sessions.

The lap was good enough for the No. 63 Corvette to start third among 17 GTE Pro entries for Saturday’s 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET race. Rockenfeller had been quickest in class at the annual Le Mans Test Day 10 days ago, and Garcia qualified within 0.830 seconds of the pole-winning car.

Teammate Oliver Gavin was the fastest driver in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R with a lap of 3:49.573 (131.917 mph) that also was set in Thursday’s final session. The No. 64 Corvette – with Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler – will start 11th in class but it could have been much better as Gavin was stymied on his final two laps that had his Corvette trending toward the top-five.

Track conditions around the 8.49-mile circuit were at their peak Thursday with rain having moved out Wednesday. Garcia took advantage late in the opening session with his best time placing provisionally second in class. However, a number of teams set their best times of the day immediately at the beginning of the final session. After giving his teammates a chance to sample the setup of the Corvette, Garcia went out for the final 20 minutes and very nearly delivered pole position.

Milner had sights on moving up the charts early but caught the worst of traffic and yellow-flag sectors around the track during his quick run. As darkness grew, focused turned to race setup for Saturday and Sunday until the team sent out Gavin in the final minutes for a final qualifying shot.

The achievements by the collection of six Corvette Racing drivers can’t be matched by any other entrant at Le Mans. The group has combined for 19 victories – an exemplary record at Le Mans:

• Antonio García: Three victories in 13 appearances– 2008, 2009 and 2011; runner-up in 2014; third place in 2017
• Jan Magnussen: Four victories in 20 appearances– 2004-06, 2009; runner-up in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2014; third place in 2017
• Mike Rockenfeller: Two victories in nine appearances– 2005 and 2010; third place in 2012
• Oliver Gavin: Five victories in 18 appearances  – 2002, 2004-06, 2015; runner-up in 2003; third place in 2001 and 2008
• Tommy Milner: Two victories in 10 appearances– 2011 and 2015
• Marcel Fässler:Three victories in 13 appearances– 2011-12 and 2014; runner-up in 2010; third place in 2015
The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday and will air live on the MotorTrend Network with full audio coverage on Radio Le Mans.

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTE PRO: “It was interesting and difficult. We know how the session went with the amount of yellows and slow zones, so it was kind of a gamble that we could go on track and find a clear lap and just go for it. We decided to have another go (tonight) mainly because yesterday’s time got cancelled so we needed to have a run in the first session this evening. That put us in a position where, instead of doing the classic two attempts in the final session, we had to do one in the first session when the track wasn’t as good. I drove a pretty decent and pretty fast lap. It was pretty close between Porsche and us. We obviously went a bit faster in the last session, though I don’t know whether the conditions were really better. I don’t think we would have gotten pole, because those lap times were very, very strong. But if you look all around the field you see 12 cars within 1.5 seconds and I am just 0.8 off pole position, that’s pretty close. And that’s what we can expect for the race: a train of GTE cars. But luckily, we’re in the first part of the train, which will make things a little bit easier since we’ll be a little bit more in control rather than chasing all the time. I think it’s going to be a very interesting 24 Hours, with 15 laps per hour and many cars nose to tail.”

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Leaving Test Day Satisfied. Rockenfeller sets GTE Pro pace, Milner right behind in pair of Corvette C7.Rs

LE MANS, France (June 2, 2019) – Ahead of its 20th consecutive appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing clicked off eight hours of running on the race’s annual Test Day with its pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs. Corvette Racing drivers were first and third in the 17-car GTE Pro category in the only running the Le Mans field will have before official practice and qualifying commence in 10 days.

Mike Rockenfeller was the quickest driver for Corvette Racing during the test session at 3:54.001 (130.240 mph) in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R that he will drive with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen. Perhaps no driver benefitted more from Sunday as Rockenfeller, who missed last year’s Test Day due to a previous commitment.

Teammate Tommy Milner was third-fastest with a lap of 3:54.036 (130.239 mph) in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette that he shares with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler.

Rockenfeller led a group of 12 GTE Pro cars within one second of each other, an astounding fact around an 8.4-mile circuit. Le Mans is a mix of permanent race track and public roads, and the Corvette Racing teams spent the entire eight hours tuning and setting up the two Corvette C7.Rs for handling and a solid race package – not necessarily ultimate outright pace.

The pair of Corvettes combined to complete 166 laps and covered more than 1,400 miles. The only issue was a minor mechanical one on the No. 64 Corvette C7.R that cost it a minimal amount of time in the garage. Other than that, the Test Day was fairly routine.

This is a landmark year at Le Mans for Corvette Racing. No team is on record as having made more than 20 consecutive appearances, and the program has won eight times in 19 tries. What’s more, Corvette Racing’s Le Mans record also includes eight runner-up class finishes and nearly 100,000 racing miles completed.

Le Mans is the final race in the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season. There is a total of 17 entries from five manufacturers in the GTE Pro category.
Each of the six Corvette Racing drivers own exemplary records at Le Mans:

• Antonio García: Three victories in 13 appearances– 2008, 2009 and 2011; runner-up in 2014; third place in 2017
• Jan Magnussen: Four victories in 20 appearances– 2004-06, 2009; runner-up in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2014; third place in 2017
• Mike Rockenfeller: Two victories in nine appearances– 2005 and 2010; third place in 2012
• Oliver Gavin: Five victories in 18 appearances  – 2002, 2004-06, 2015; runner-up in 2003; third place in 2001 and 2008
• Tommy Milner: Two victories in 10 appearances– 2011 and 2015

• Marcel Fässler:Three victories in 13 appearances– 2011-12 and 2014

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will air live on the MotorTrend Network with coverage of practice, qualifying and the race on Radio Le Mans.

MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FASTEST IN GTE PRO: “It’s always good to be quick but as everyone knows, today doesn’t count. It counts on the Sunday when the flag drops and the race is over. Today was really good for me to get used back to the Corvette. Today I was able to get in a lot of laps and went through a lot of tires to get confidence, which helps. For me personally, I’m very happy. In the afternoon, the track conditions were where they should be so we were able to collect a lot of data. We are very happy with that.

“The Corvette C7.R is the exact same car from last year. In the end, we tried to establish a base setup. We did a little bit of tuning but not much – normal stuff like camber and dampers. Then we really tried to learn about the compounds we have available from Michelin. We tried to learn in which temperature window to use which tire. I was in that program, so that was quite nice!

“The GTE Pro class is really the place where there will be fights among the manufacturers just like years before. We’re all looking forward to that. It’s super hard, and you have to fight for every tenth of a second. There is no margin for error.”

ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Things were good today. This is one of the few years where weather respected the test, and the conditions were very consistent. Our running time was good; we were close to 100 laps. That means we have a lot of data to analyze. We definitely ran through all our program we had planned and then some. That’s always a good feeling. So I’m happy. We need to gather everything, see what we have, where we can improve and then put everything together for the race. Yes we were fastest today but I don’t think that means anything. I don’t know what the other teams are doing, so we need to wait until raceweek to see where everything is exactly. This is a good starting point. We all hope the package we bring to the race will be enough.”

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It isn’t at all important to be quick on the Test Day. We are here testing and going through our program, including knowing the WEC Michelin tires a little better. For us on the 63 Corvette, getting to know the tires at the WEC race at Sebring was a little bit of an advantage. But this is only our second time so we still have a lot to learn. So far so good. I think everyone is pretty happy. We didn’t have any issues on our Corvette throughout the day, which is good. We shouldn’t because this is such a well-proven car.”