Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia 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.
Garcia 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.
Garcia 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 GARCIA, 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.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH: “This race is always a battle – mentally, physically – for the team, the car, the drivers. There never seems to be space for operate in, so there are bits of contact. There are always close calls. It seems like tensions are always pretty high here. You are always around someone. Just no space to operate.
“I had what seemed like a rather lonely race. It seemed like I was chasing people that were a ways away and slowly catching them. People were slowing pulling away from me. I was dealing with the car and the tires and just trying to manage everything the best I possibly could. We were okay. But by the end of the stints, we were really losing quite a lot of performance. Both Tommy and I seemed to fall off a cliff in terms of performance right at the end of our stints which is probably where some of the gaps appeared to the other cars.
“I really think we had a fourth place car today. The No. 3 was just that little bit quicker than us. It was good for them to score another podium. It was good points for us. We are still chipping away at scoring those points. We are still in the hunt, but we need to tidy some things up. We need to just work away at getting a little bit better of a race for both Tommy and me. We need to work away on things and just be able to put it all together.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED FOURTH: “I don’t know if you can make a plan for a race like this. I had an OK first stint; there was no damage, which was good. We missed a little on tire pressures, which made the car difficult to drive about halfway through that stint. We sort of sacrificed a little bit at the start to have better tires at the end of the race for Olly. We lost a little ground staying out a little longer and were hopefully we could make that up at the end.”
Source. Corvette Racing/Photo. Richard Prince