Following another appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing is back on American soil as it returns to competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The classic 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course in the Finger Lakes region of New York is a fitting stop for Corvette Racing, which is celebrating its 20th season of competition.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is the start of a critical three-race stretch in four weeks for Corvette Racing, which is seeking to defend its GT Le Mans (GTLM) championships in America’s premier sports car series.
Both the team’s Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs returned to home base in Michigan late last week following Le Mans. Team personnel had only four days to revert the two race cars into their IMSA configuration and restock its inventory of parts and components for the next three events.
The first of those, of course, is Sunday at The Glen. Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen were victorious in 2014, and they were third a year ago in GTLM. The pairing, which will share the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, comes off a fourth-place finish in class at Le Mans and third in the most recent GTLM race at Mid-Ohio.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner have one victory to their credit in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R, and they are tied with their No. 3 teammates for fourth place in championship point. Milner and Gavin hope to rebound from a disappointing Le Mans, where they were forced to retire early due to engine overheating.
The No. 4 Corvette has finished fourth and fifth in class the last two years at The Glen, and hopes are high that the Gavin/Milner duo can climb the podium at The Glen for the first time.
Both Corvette C7.Rs will run in a special patriotic livery this weekend ahead of Independence Day. For the past 20 years, Corvette Racing has been proud to field an American team from an American manufacturer with an American sports car.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “After a disappointing result at Le Mans, the best thing we can do is focus on what will make us successful at Watkins Glen. We did a good job at Le Mans and didn’t make any mistakes. So that can give us confidence going back to IMSA competition, and we need to replicate that at The Glen. A lot can change in the next four weeks, to be sure. Watkins Glen is a track that I really enjoy. Hopefully we have the pace to fight for the win.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Watkins Glen is a really tough race – a six-hour sprint race. In a lot of ways, we are going back to what we know with the IMSA process and competition. Things were a little different at Le Mans in that respect. But at the Glen, we’ll be back among the usual teams and competition that we know a little better. This is the start of a run of races where a lot can happen in the points. Let’s see how it shakes out for us.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Watkins Glen starts an important period of our championship. It’s always a fantastic track to go to – high-speed, really physical and demanding. It’s great fun to drive there. We always get fantastic support there with the biggest Corvette Corral of the season. That’s always wonderful to see all the Corvettes parked at Turn One. We’re starting a really important part of our year. The guys on the team will have their work cut out for them getting things ready for the next month. But everyone on this program works exceptionally hard, and I’ve no doubt we all will be ready for The Glen.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “In some ways, you can get a little caught off-guard by Watkins Glen because we spend so much time focusing on Le Mans. But it’s not long after you get home that you’re off again to Watkins Glen. There is some adjustment when you arrive at The Glen. We’ll be back in high-downforce configuration, which is a bit of a change for us. It’s a shorter weekend than Le Mans, and things happen quick. In a lot of ways it’s a big adjustment but a lot of it at the same is similar – same team, same car, same co-drivers.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “In our 20 years of competition, Corvette Racing has been fortunate to race great tracks throughout North America. Four years ago, we were able to add one of the best when we raced for the first time at Watkins Glen. It’s a classic American circuit that is perfect for our type of racing. We’re hopeful to rebound from a difficult Le Mans with another strong showing for our fans at The Glen. It’s an important weekend ahead of Independence Day. We’re proud of our heritage as an American team with an American car from an American manufacturer. That’s about as patriotic as it gets!”
Source. Corvette Racing