BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 13, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio García and Jan Magnussen won their second straight IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver title Saturday, and in true Corvette Racing fashion it was a team effort.
Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler placed second in class at Road Atlanta’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to close Corvette Racing’s 20th season of competition in IMSA. García, Magnussen and Fässler co-drove the No. 3 Corvette to an eighth-place finish – a result good enough to secure the GTLM Driver and Team championships.
It is the 12th Driver Championship for Corvette Racing and 13th Team title in the program’s 20-year history.
“Congratulations to Antonio, Jan and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team on clinching the GTLM Driver Championship. This team never gave up all season to deliver our 12th Driver title for Corvette Racing over 20 seasons of competition,” said Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President and President Global Product Group and Cadillac. “And congratulations to Corvette Racing and Pratt & Miller on their 13th Team Championship. They prepared a race car that delivered consistent performance and that great combination of power, durability and efficiency.”
Both Corvettes showed race-winning pace throughout the day and into the night as both cars led multiple times in the 10 hours. But pitwork ultimately proved to play a huge role.
The No. 4 pit crew got Milner out ahead of the No. 3 Corvette’s lone remaining championship contender on his final pit stop with 48 minutes to go. That was only half the story, however.
The No. 3 Corvette crew needed just five-and-a-half minutes to repair its C7.R after a crash with García at the wheel following a pit stop with less than three hours to go. Among other items, the crew replaced the Corvette’s nose, front fender and engine floor in lightning quick speed to keep the No. 3 C7.R in the race and in the championship hunt.
At that point, the focus turned to the No. 4 Corvette. Gavin, Milner and Fässler – who drove both Corvette entries in the race – fought and clawed their way to a position where Milner could pressure the sister car’s championship challenger late. The team’s effort proved even more important as the No. 4 Corvette went from fifth to third in the final GTLM Driver and Team standings.
Although Corvette Racing’s IMSA season is complete, there is one more race left in 2018. Corvette Racing will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Shanghai on Nov. 16-18.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “It was definitely a tough race. From Lap 1, I went in the lead and every time I was in the car I was going for it instead of holding position. It probably went from one of my best races of my career to the most embarrassing moment of my career. But that means Team Chevy and Corvette Racing did all the prep work before this race and allowed us to come back from that. Thank you to the 4 car for keeping the pressure up on the 67 car, which had to go for the win for the (championship) result. That’s part of this championship – the 4 car keeping the pressure up at the end. I’m very happy. It will take me a little bit to forget that mistake, but I’m very happy for the whole team.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “The way it turned out, the way the 4 car went in there and really put pressure on changed things around. Fantastic. Such a massive team effort to make this happen. I’m so proud to be a part of this. We had a good car and were going to be right there in the mix and the pit exit stuff happened and put everything on its head. It looked like we were out of it, trying to figure out how to still make it happen. I think what really did it was the 4 car got sent super aggressively and changed the balance of things. Obviously the 4 car went for the win but they knew why they were doing it. It turned things in our favor.”
MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2018) – For the second year in a row, Corvette Racing will head to the finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the Driver and Team points lead in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category.
Antonio García and Jan Magnussen placed third in class Sunday in the America’s Tire 250 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It is the seventh consecutive podium finish for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and increased the points advantage for Garcia and Magnussen to nine points with only the 10-hour Petit Le Mans left in the season.
A fourth-place class finish at Road Atlanta would give the duo their second consecutive GTLM title.
Meanwhile, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fifth Sunday in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette following a chaotic race that saw four full-course caution periods in the first 80 minutes including one at the race start. Once the race finally went green for more than a lap, the two Corvettes ran first and second in class – with Gavin ahead of Magnussen – as a number of different strategies began to emerge.
The pair of yellow C7.Rs swapped positions on the teams’ first pit stops for fuel 40 minutes into the race and during the race’s third full-course caution. Only two GTLM cars elected to stay out, and the Corvettes rejoined third and fourth in class. The five lead GTLM cars, including the Corvettes, all pitted again near the halfway point under the final yellow. Magnussen handed off to Garcia during that stop, and Milner also took over for Gavin.
The race went green for the last 70 minutes. Garcia, now in the lead, made his last fuel stop with 46 minutes left. Milner had stopped from third only minutes later and rejoined fifth. As the race clock wound down, all the Corvette squad could do is watch as the two lead cars made it to the finish without stopping again.
Corvette Racing closes the IMSA season on Saturday, October 13 at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “We thought nobody could make it to the end if it was green and (our competitors) were gambling on a yellow. They made it. It’s easy to think about ‘what if.’ That’s what it means to be doing a little bit of something different on strategy. I think we were on the back foot, also. We were fighting for the championship and those two guys are not… they were gambling on the win. It’s difficult to gamble when they can take no risks and you take a lot of risk. That was the main thing. It is good to open up a few more points toward Petit Le Mans. Definitely our competitors will be forced to win. I also have the feel we could have won here and locked the championship again, like we did last year.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN GTLM: “For the championship, another podium is great. It’s not at all what we thought we were going to be able to do here. To be completely honest, I’m a little bit disappointed, but it is what it is. The other cars went really, really long on the last tank – over half of the race distance which is pretty incredible. That’s what it is. Another podium for the championship. We are in a better position in the points than when we came here, so that’s positive. Off to the last one at Road Atlanta and go for a win there.”
Second-place finish moves No. 3 Corvette into GTLM points lead for first time in 2018
DANVILLE, Virginia (Aug. 19, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio García moved into the lead of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship for the first time this season following Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Magnussen and García placed second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – their fourth runner-up finish in five races and seventh podium result of the season. The defending GTLM champions provisionally lead the championship by four points with two races remaining.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed sixth in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R as their race came undone just as it started. Milner started the race seventh but was sent off track from contact with another GTLM car on the first lap. He was able to continue but the Corvette suffered damage at the front-right, which impacted the car’s performance.
Milner drove the first 57 minutes before handing off to Gavin, who reported similar struggles in his nearly 50-minute run. He swapped out to Milner for the final stint with the native Virginian able to set some of his best lap times toward the end as he began catching the fourth- and fifth-place cars before time ran out.
García began his race fourth and drove the opening 55 minutes nursing a knee injury. Magnussen took over and drove the final two stints in a marathon effort. He made two stops – one for fuel only during the race’s lone full-course caution period with 90 minutes left and another for fuel and Michelin tires with 52 minutes to go.
The final stop was critical in that the Corvette Racing crew got him out ahead of one of his championship contenders who had pitted two laps earlier to hold on to second place and valuable points. It was a fight to the end with Magnussen driving as hard as he could for the closing stint.
Corvette Racing’s next event is Sept. 7-9 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND: “Another second, which isn’t exactly what we were looking for. But in the end we’re keeping on with more and more points toward the championship. I’m happy with the race and happy with how Jan drove. The injury was unfortunate but I was able to do an hour and then gave it over to Jan for the biggest part of the race. It was really tough and very warm for him, and he drove great. We have the lead in the championship now, so let’s see if we can maintain that.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND: “That was a tough race because of the heat. We had planned on doing two drivers changes, but with a mishap before the race we didn’t want to risk putting Antonio back in so he can be ready for the rest of the season. So I stayed in. It was just a tough race. Our car was good. The hardest thing was just after the safety car when we didn’t stop. I had so much pickup on the tires and I couldn’t get the car going no matter what I did. Traffic destroyed our chance to get the BMW, so it was a matter then of keeping second place. And that was hard work. That was as fast as I could go every single lap trying to find every little bit of road. It feels really risky when we do it because it’s a lot of points if you finish third. It’s nice that it worked out the way it did. But we want to win. It’s been almost a year since we won a race, and that’s wrong! We have six podiums in a row and the championship lead with two races left – a normal race and a long race. A lot can happen. Four points is nothing, but it’s better than being four points behind!
Milner, Gavin place second in GTLM; García, Magnussen finish third in tight championship
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 5, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs raced their way to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) podium Sunday at Road America in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With second- and third-place finishes in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, both teams solidified their championship standings heading into the final three events of the season.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner finished second in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on Sunday, their highest finish since winning at Long Beach earlier this season. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed third in the No. 3 Sirius/XM Corvette for their fifth straight podium finish in IMSA competition.
García and Magnussen remain second in GTLM Driver’s points after Sunday and just four points out of first place. The result for the No. 4 Corvette elevated Gavin and Milner one position to fourth and 10 points behind their teammates.
Chevrolet also remained second in GTLM Manufacturer’s points.
Sunday’s race featured a number of different strategies until the final restart with 40 minutes to go following the race’s fifth and final caution. Both Corvettes gained a spot in their opening stints to second and fourth, respectively, before fuel and tire strategies came into play.
Teams elected to make anywhere from two to four pit stops in the two-hour, 40-minute race with the Corvette Racing team electing to split their strategies. García drove the first 38 minutes in the No. 3 Corvette before handing off to Magnussen. The Dane entered the race sixth but gained a couple of positions before García re-entered the race with 80 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Gavin drove the same opening stint as García and handed off to Milner, who made just one more stop with 63 minutes to go as the No. 4 team chose to gamble on having enough fuel to make it to the end.
García came in for fuel and fresh Michelin tires a minute later, just as the race’s fourth full-course yellow came out. He came in again to top off on fuel with 55 minutes to go. When the race began again, Milner ran fourth and Garcia seventh.
Milner moved up another position to third with 44 minutes left, and García began marching his way forward to fourth inside the final 30 minutes. The Corvette Racing engineers huddled in the pitlane and decided to let Garcia take a run at the then-second place No. 67 entry in the final 15 minutes to see if he could gain another position, but the clock and opportunities ran out. Milner went back around Garcia on the last lap to solidify the final order.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, August. 19.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “I’ve never won here, and I thought for sure we had a chance today. So it’s a little frustrating in that way. GTLM is so close. When it comes down a pit stop under caution, you cannot afford to lose one second. Unfortunately today for the first time in a long time, we went the other way on the first stop. That compromised our race a bit and we had to go crazy on the strategy. Before the last restart, I was last among the lead-lap cars. Winning this race from seventh with 40 minutes to go would have been amazing. I wanted to go for the win so bad. It was a gamble to ask the team to let me go after the 67 instead of fighting the 4 car. Unfortunately we were a lap short, which we didn’t get when the overall leader got by us. Thanks to Corvette Racing and Tommy to let me by and have a shot at the win. We’re still up there in the championship, but it’s frustrating that we could have won the last four races. But we are looking forward to the next three events and getting a win.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “Considering the race we had and how we went up and down the order, third place for us and second for the No. 4 was about the best we could hope for. The team did a great job as usual. The car was great to drive… good as a race car. Even being close to other cars, we didn’t have a massive loss of grip. We changed strategies toward the end of my stint, but I was so happy with the car and where we were in the race. Fantastic job by Antonio as usual… he was super-fast in the end. But we were just a lap or two short to get the win. But it’s another podium. This is starting to look a lot like last year in terms of the consistency we have. But man, we want that win.”
No. 3 Corvette team closes in on GTLM points leaders; Gavin, Milner gain with fourth place
LAKEVILLE, Connecticut (July 21, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio García and Jan Magnussen scored their third straight runner-up finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday with a second-place overall finish at the Northeast Grand Prix.
García and Magnussen combined to lead 138 of the race’s 178 laps in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R around Lime Rock Park, where Garcia qualified on pole position. Saturday’s result moved the No. 3 duo to within one point of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship leaders.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fourth Saturday in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – the same position in which Milner began the race.
García led the entirety of his hour-long stint before he came into the pits for a driver change to Magnussen. The Dane drove a double-stint to the end and only lost the lead on the final pit stop cycle and an unfortunate off-track excursion with 10 minutes to go.
Magnussen passed a slower GT car coming into Lime Rock’s final, diving turn and slid wide on the exit of the corner. It took tremendous control for him to gather up the Corvette and rejoin without any damage.
Milner made an early jump into third place at the race start in the No. 4 Corvette and held that position until his first stop with 63 minutes running. Gavin took over and rejoined in fifth place with the goal of moving back up into podium position during the final two hours. His perseverance paid off as he went from seventh after his final pit stop with 62 minutes left to fourth by the end of the race.
The next event for Corvette Racing is Aug. 3-5 at Road America. The Aug. 5 race will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET with live audio coverage on IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – RUNNER-UP: “It’s not what we want for sure, but a third runner-up in a row is good for our average and points. It was so close to our first victory of the season. We know how close the competition is here. The strategy was what we needed to do, and I think we knew the tire strategy and management would be the difference. The winners had a little bit more than us in the end, so there was nothing we could really do. Learning from second place isn’t that bad. We need to focus and carry on the work we are doing. Sooner or later, that victory will finally come.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – RUNNER-UP: “It is hard to swallow. It is tough because we had such a great car. Everyone did a fantastic job all weekend-the crew, the engineers, everybody. It was just a little bit of a longer stint for the tire compared to what the Ford had there at the end. It got difficult. He (Joey Hand) was catching me. I think I could have held him off a little bit longer than I ended up doing because I got into the marbles passing a GTD car on the inside of the last corner, and it just threw me wide off the track. He drove by and that was it.
“I know going that long on the tires was going to be a challenge. But second place isn’t bad. We caught up in the championship which is good. The car is almost in one piece. On to Road America and see if we can do better.
“Podiums are nice. They are really good for a championship, but when you lead 80 percent of the race, you want to win. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but for everybody it is a good result. I wanted a little bit more for all the hard work the team put in.”
García, Magnussen finish second with Gavin, Milner third in class
DETROIT (July 8, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s pair of Chevrolet Corvettes both finished on the class podium Sunday at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It marked the team’s first double podium of the season and allowed both Corvette C7.Rs to gain positions in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) points standings of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Antonio García and Jan Magnussen placed second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, just ahead of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. The results vaulted Garcia and Magnussen to second place in the GTLM Driver’s Championship while Gavin and Milner are now tied for fourth.
Chevrolet also moved up a spot in the Manufacturer standings to second after six rounds.
The race featured six caution periods that allowed for a variety of pit stop strategies. In the end, the No. 3 Corvette finished a spot higher than where it started, and the No. 4 C7.R improved two positions.
Magnussen qualified third but took second on the start from Ryan Briscoe and Gavin held position in fifth. Both Corvettes stopped 21 minutes in during the first yellow flag period for fuel and tires. Garcia and Milner took over an hour later, with the Corvettes running first and third just before the GTLM contenders began to make their last stops.
García came in with 55 minutes left to follow the No. 911 Porsche, which had been running second. Meanwhile, the No. 4 Corvette Racing team elected to keep Milner on track for another 20 minutes. After a string of impressive laps where he was on pace of the cars that had fresher Michelin tires, Milner came in from the lead with 35 minutes with only one other GTLM car electing to stay out.
Unfortunately for the Corvettes, their lead challenger made its last stop just as the fifth caution period came out which kept the C7.Rs third and fourth when the race resumed with 20 minutes left. The top five cars were nose-to-tail as Garcia and Milner moved up to second and third, respectively, but the final caution period with 13 minutes remaining stymied any chances for either car to challenge for the win.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the Northeast Grand Prix on July 20-21 from Lime Rock Park. The race begins at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21 with FOX Sports 1’s same-day broadcast beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND IN GTLM: “When you know you are running up front and are in the a good spot… you need to do the normal strategy. When the Porsche dove in, we had to follow them. It’s easy to say now that if we had stayed out and run deep in the stint, we would have been able to get a win. But the 67 was the one that pitted right before that yellow. I was focused on saving my tires toward the end to get around the Porsche just in case there was a yellow. We got one, but the down side of it was that the 67 was ahead of us. But the strategy worked as I had better tires than the Porsche and could get by them on the last run.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND IN GTLM: “It was a tough race. I think our car was pretty good. We had some amazing pit stops again from the guys. Just with the way that the last safety car and how the Ford made it in and out without really taking a loss made it really difficult for us and not realistically a chance for us to come back. So, second and third is probably the best we could have hoped for in this situation. On to the next one and see if we can get one better.”
No. 3 Corvette on GTLM podium for second straight season; Gavin, Milner finish top-five
WATKINS GLEN, New York (July 1, 2018) – Corvette Racing endured one of its most trying races in recent memory Sunday, and the team was rewarded with a runner-up finish by Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R led 30 laps at Watkins Glen International as the squad soldiered through record-setting heat in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
The result moves Garcia and Gavin to third place in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) points standings in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Chevrolet stands third in Manufacturer points heading into next weekend’s race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just outside Toronto.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner also spent considerable time out front Sunday in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette and ultimately finished fifth in class.
“The Corvette drivers, crew and engineers executed their race plan in extreme conditions with the same never-give-up effort that has defined this program for the last 20 years,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We picked up some critical points in the Driver and Manufacturer standings with the top-two finish.
“It’s always great to race with the support of so many Corvette owners here at Watkins Glen in the Corvette Corral and watching around the world,” he added. “We can’t wait to race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Motorsports Park next weekend.”
Sunday’s race featured multiple strategies over the six hours as the two Corvettes started from third and fourth. The pair of cars couldn’t match the pace of its four strongest competitors, but the race’s second half saw Corvette Racing makes its move to the front.
Magnussen began the push with a strong second stint that saw him manage his fuel enough to be the last GTLM car to pit just before the three-hour mark. By going a lap longer on fuel, it meant the No. 3 Corvette needed less fuel than its competitors 30 minutes later and moved from sixth to third.
The same caution period saw Gavin move into the lead in the No. 4 Corvette as he was able to make a pit stop just before the yellow flag came out and the pits closed. He and Milner traded single stints throughout, and both Corvettes were in position to challenge for the race lead when the final caution period ended with nearly 40 minutes left.
Corvette Racing is back in action this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix. The race will air at 4 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and live on the FOX Sports Go app. Streaming in-car footage along with live audio coverage of practice, qualifying and the race from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND IN GTLM: “I think we had very close to a perfect race. You’ll always look back and think about things we could have done differently. I had fuel reserve for the last six laps or so. I don’t know how much fuel we were able to use at the end so maybe that didn’t allow us to go as hard at the end. We had to play it more conservative just in case. Perhaps we would have been able to be more aggressive and race the Fords harder. Thinking about where we have had lately and where we have been in practice and qualifying… to be fair we weren’t dreaming about a win. We wanted a good result, and today was almost a win where we led a lot of laps. We can’t be upset or depressed by second place. That’s a top job and result for everyone at Corvette Racing.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND IN GTLM: “It was a tough race in many areas. The heat was a problem. The double stint early for me was not easy, but I have to say I liked the car all the race. But there at the end, we just didn’t have the pace when it mattered so we’ll work a little harder on it. Antonio did great in the heat and trying to get the Michelin tires to last – a fantastic job. The team did, as usual, everything they could in the pits to try and improve our position which they did. But second was all we could get out of it today. I’m very happy with that for the points… fantastic. But after six hours of sweating, you want to win.
LE MANS, France (June 17, 2018) – In 19 years of competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing has experienced both disappointment and achievement. The constant in each case, though, is the drive of those on the program to give maximum effort each and every appearance.
That was on display again this year at the 86th running of the French endurance classic. Corvette Racing showed its mettle in the face of adversity as it fought for a ninth class victory at Le Mans. It wasn’t meant to be as Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller finished fifth in the GTE Pro category with their No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
“All race long, the Corvette Racing C7.R teams never gave up,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We know all the lows and highs of Le Mans, including our eight class victories here. We race at Le Mans to win, and we also race to learn. That is no different this year. The learnings from Le Mans will help us as we strive to continually improve. We look forward to getting back on track at Watkins Glen.”
Campbell added: “Our race team appreciates the support from Corvette owners and fans from all over world.”
The No. 63 team scraped and clawed for positions the entire 24 hours. Garcia began the race ninth, and the Corvette never fell below that the entire way. Despite lacking overall pace all three drivers, the crew and race engineers worked tirelessly to hover around the top-five before the Corvette settled into fifth place inside the final quarter of the race.
The tale of the No. 64 Corvette began to unfold early. Gavin fell back to 15th at the start but rebounded nicely to 12th before experiencing trouble with the right-front suspension. He handed over to Milner after a double-stint; however the team brought the Corvette back to the pits and into the garage after Milner reported severe handling issues.
The stop resulted in four laps lost, but it didn’t take the fight out of the No. 64 team. From 17th place, the Gavin/Milner/Fässler trio put in solid stints to go along with excellent stops and brake changes from the Corvette crew. Well into the third quarter of the race, however, the No. 64 Corvette began to show signs of an engine overheating condition that ultimately resulted in the car’s retirement from the race.
There’s little time for rest and recovery. Corvette Racing returns to competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen from Watkins Glen International on June 29-July 1.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “This is classic Le Mans. You only want to win! This is the kind of race you either win or lose. We fought all the way to the end. The level of competition is so high that you see five, six or seven cars within the final two hours that have a chance to win. The safety car periods didn’t help us, and that makes the race even more full-attack. It makes things very intense and hard. We were unlucky with losing some track position earlier. Once you fall behind and get into slow zones, it’s difficult to compensate to make up time. Plus with new pit stop and stint-length rules, there is very limited strategies. But we can be proud of what we did. Other cars were faster over the race, and all you can do is congratulate them.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was a tough race against tough competition. The team did a fantastic job before as well as during the race. The car felt really good from Sunday morning onwards, but during the night it was tough. It would have been a different race for us, of course, had the safety car situations panned out differently, but that’s how it is and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “At the end of the day, starting ninth and finishing in fifth in the toughest GTE Pro class this race has even seen is nothing to be ashamed of. Obviously our goal was different and at certain stages in the race we were really competitive. Unfortunately the safety cars split the GTE group in two and basically decided the race, which is a bummer except of course for the ones that got lucky. It’s part of the race of course, and it’s happened here before. Apart from that it’s been a great experience for me to do my first Le Mans with the Corvette team. I’ve learned a lot and still have a lot to learn about the Corvette. In the end we did our best, made no mistakes, not on the track nor in the pit, so we have nothing to be ashamed of.”
No. 63 Corvette to start on fifth row, No. 64 C7.R on seventh row Saturday
LE MANS, France (June 14, 2018) – Corvette Racing will roll off from the fifth and seventh rows of an extremely deep and challenging GTE Pro field when the green flag flies for the start of the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday. Already with eight victories and 19 consecutive event starts to its credit, the team hopes it can add to its record come Sundayafternoon.
Two final qualifying sessions Thursday helped set the 60-car field, which features 17 production-based entries in the GTE Pro category. Antonio García improved his time from Wednesday’s lone session by a half-second Thursday in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
A three-time Le Mans winner, García set his best time of the week – 3:50.242 (xx mph) – in the opening half of the final qualifying session Thursday. It moved the No. 63 Corvette, which Garcia will drive with Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller, from 11th to ninth on the GTE Pro grid.
The No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler will start 14tth in class, thanks to Milner’s time Wednesday of 3:50.952 (131.979 mph).
Thursday’s first qualifying session featured two red-flag periods – including one that brought an early end to the period – and multiple yellow-flagged zones. The two Corvettes only recorded two laps at full speed during the 90 minutes, and even those saw traffic impeded both entries.
The second session was cleaner with a number of cars able to better their times. Rain fell inside the final hour, however, which put further improvements out of reach. Even after the prime window closed for fast laps, Corvette Racing engineers and crew worked toward fine-tuning the race setup package for Saturday and Sunday in hopes of contending for a ninth victory.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will air live on the Velocity Channel and MotorTrend On-Demand with coverage of the Test Day, practice/qualifying and the race on RadioLeMans.com.
ANTONIO GARCÍA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “We continued to work according to the plan we’ve worked with since yesterday. It’s a shame though that we had so many yellows and slow zones, as well as two red flags in the second qualifying session; each time it stopped our rhythm. We got extra time for the third qualifying session, but that was then cut short by the rain. We made some progress with the car and gathered loads of data. With all we collected, we are confident we can make the right decision for Saturday. So I’m kind of happy with where we are. The only downside was that Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) didn’t get as much seat time as we would have liked… again because of all the yellows and then the rain. We’ll see what happens Saturday and Sunday. It will be a long and tough race.”