Corvette Racing’s quest for another championship sweep concludes this weekend with the 20th running of Petit Le Mans – the annual 10-hour endurance race at Road Atlanta. Heading into the final race of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Corvette Racing leads all three GT Le Mans (GTLM) points categories.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R are in the proverbial drivers’ seat in the GTLM Driver’s Championship. The pairing – driving this weekend with Mike Rockenfeller – need to score only a single point to win their second championship together; their first was in the American Le Mans Series in 2013. The same scenario would give the No. 3 Corvette squad the GT Le Mans Team’s Championship.
The Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller combo proved to be a winning one earlier in the year as they won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.
The closest battle in GTLM – and for that matter in the entire WeatherTech Championship – is the GTLM Manufacturer’s Championship. Chevrolet leads by four points over Ford in a classic battle between the American manufacturers. Chevrolet can clinch its 12th Manufacturer’s title in GT competition since 2001 by being the second-highest finishing marque in GTLM.
If any other manufacturer other than Ford wins, then either of the two Corvettes must only earn fourth-place Manufacturer points for Chevrolet to repeat as GTLM Manufacturer’s champion.
The other Corvette – the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – will see Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner reunited with Marcel Fässler. The trio won at both Daytona and Sebring in 2016 as Gavin and Milner won the GTLM Driver’s Championship. Gavin and Milner also won earlier this year together at Long Beach.
This weekend will mark Corvette Racing’s 21st race at Road Atlanta. The team has won 10 times at the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit with eight of those coming at Petit Le Mans. The last was in 2010.
In race history, Gavin is tied for most victories by a driver with five, and Magnussen has four.
Petit Le Mans also serves as the final race in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup – a competition consisting of IMSA’s four endurance races. Garcia and Magnussen remain in the running for the TPNAEC Driver’s Championship as does Chevrolet in the Manufacturer’s race.
Corvette Racing on Display at Road Atlanta
Corvette Racing’s final race of the year also is the final opportunity for IMSA fans to view a wide variety of Chevrolet vehicles and accessories on-site. The Corvette Racing display – located in the Road Atlanta Fan Midway – will be open to spectators from Thursday through Saturday. Attractions at the display include:
- The Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition, Camaro ZL1 1LE and Colorado ZR2
- The Chevrolet Traverse Redline, Equinox Premier, 2500 High Country Silverado, Cruze Hatchback and Malibu Premier
- A Corvette C7.R show car
- Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer
- A variety of Chevrolet and racing related activities for adults and kids
- Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.
The Corvette Racing Display opens at 8 a.m., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “With the finish in California, Jan and I are in great shape for the Driver’s Championship in GTLM. We only need to score minimum points to win it. Once we achieve that, our total focus will be winning the Manufacturer’s Championship again. This is our main goal as a program. I personally have yet to win Petit Le Mans, so doing that would be the best possible way to cap our championship season. It will be great to have Rocky back with us to end the season. Hopefully this will be a race- and championship-winning weekend for everyone at Corvette Racing and Chevy.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s still a little hard to believe that we are this close to securing the Driver’s Championship. It has been an incredible season but there is still a lot of work to do, especially for the Manufacturer’s title. No one at Corvette Racing is taking anything for granted. Petit Le Mans requires maximum attention and focus to have a chance at the win, so that is what we will do. We have a very strong lineup again with myself, Antonio and Rocky. All year long, we have performed at the highest possible level without making mistakes. Another race like that should be enough to deliver a sweep of the GTLM championships.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Of course I’m really looking forward to rejoining Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans, which is one of my favorite events. It’s been a very long time since I was last in the Corvette C7.R and I can’t wait to get back in. The No. 3 Corvette team has had a fantastic season and I’ve enjoyed following their progress. I’m very happy to have the chance to support them in the Driver’s Championship, and hopefully our efforts can land the Manufacturer’s Championship too for Chevrolet. It will be a huge weekend for all of us!”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “This will be my 18th straight Petit Le Mans. It’s a fantastic event… one that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. Racing around Road Atlanta is a big challenge made tougher by the amount of traffic we typically see at Petit Le Mans. You’re constantly dicing in and out of slower traffic while having to look behind you for faster cars. The elevation changes add that other level of difficulty that we don’t see very often. So we will bank on our lengthy experience over the years at Road Atlanta to achieve our goals: win the race, support the No. 3 Corvette in the Driver’s and Team standings and – most importantly – take the Manufacturer’s Championship for Chevrolet.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “This is a big weekend for everyone at Corvette Racing. Obviously, we are focused on the Manufacturer’s Championship and getting that for Chevrolet. The same goes for supporting the No. 3 Corvette in the Driver’s and Team’s Championship. It would cap a great season for our team and program. It’s true that things haven’t gone nearly as well for Oliver and me this year, but we’re confident we can finish this year on a high note, especially with Marcel rejoining us. We had a great run together last year at Petit Le Mans so we’ll look to continue that to close this season.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It will be good to be back with everyone at Corvette Racing for Petit Le Mans. l feel like we have a great opportunity to close the season in a strong way at Road Atlanta, where we finished third last year. The team has so much experience at Road Atlanta that we should be able to contend for a race win. Although the No. 4 Corvette can’t fight for the Driver’s Championship, we will do all we can to help support the No. 3 Corvette and Chevrolet in the points. The race is always a difficult one but that is what makes a great event. So let’s see what the weekend will bring!”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “Petit Le Mans is an event that has certainly grown in stature over the last 20 years, and Corvette Racing is honored to be have been part of this race since 1999. This is a venue befitting of a high-caliber championship finale. We are positioned well in the race for the GTLM Driver’s and Team championships so, all our focus will be on winning our 12th Manufacturer’s Championship in the last 17 seasons. All year long, we’ve had extraordinary strategy planned by our engineers, remarkable execution by the pit crews plus world-class work by our drivers. Operating in our classic ‘One Team’ mode, we are all looking forward to showing our Corvette owners and fans yet another championship-winning effort at Road Atlanta.”
Source. Corvette Racing