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.
Garcia 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. Garcia 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 Garcia re-entered the race with 80 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Gavin drove the same opening stint as Garcia 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.
Garcia 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 Garcia 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.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “That is the name of the game here is to keep us scoring good points in this championship, and this championship is going to go right down to the wire. A double podium is very good for the team. The team really did a fantastic job and kept digging and digging to keep working on the car. The boys had great pit stops as always. That first stint for me was action-packed with the Porsches and the BMWs. There was a lot of stuff going on in turns One, Five and Six. I managed to give it back to Tommy in a reasonable state. He did a really solid job. Finishing second and third is a great team effort for Corvette Racing. I’m very proud of the effort. We’ll move on to Virginia and hope to get one better!”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “Another Corvette double podium. I am very proud of this team. We work really hard to get the best car every time, and we had really good cars there at the end. We were just missing that little bit. The cars were super reliable; I could hit every curb I wanted to. We have great cars at Corvette Racing as always. Olly did a great job during that first stint. There was lot of action out there during the first couple of laps, and I was pretty nervous. He did an awesome job. He brought it in third, and we ended up second. Thanks to the whole team. It was a good team effort at the end trying to catch the Ford. Antonio was just a bit quicker than I was, and it was worth a shot letting him go by late in the race. It felt weird getting by him on the last lap, but it was a good team effort today.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, 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.”
Source. Corvette Racing