Corvette Racing will start from the second and fourth rows of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Virginia International Raceway following a somewhat damp qualifying session for Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.
Antonio Garcia qualified fourth and Tommy Milner seventh in GT Le Mans (GTLM), which has headliner honors this weekend. Corvette Racing will go for its fourth victory at VIR in seven tries and third in a row.
A steady rain enveloped two-thirds of the 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit just ahead of GTLM qualifying. As a result, the difference in conditions on opposite sides of the track made the driving and strategy tricky. Had it remained dry, Corvette Racing likely would have been in strong condition for pole position; Garcia was quickest in Friday’s second practice and Milner was fastest in Saturday morning’s final session.
Garcia set a best lap in qualifying of 1:56.760 (100.821 mph) in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shares with Jan Magnussen. The duo has made VIR its playground the last two years with consecutive victories and a pole position for Magnussen in 2016.
Garcia and Magnussen are second in the GTLM Driver’s Championship with three races remaining – four points behind the leaders – and have finished on the class podium in the last five IMSA races.
Milner’s best time was a 1:57.492 (100.193 mph) in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, which he will drive with Oliver Gavin. They were class winners at VIR in the 2012 American Le Mans Series race, and Milner set the fastest race lap a year ago.
Gavin and Milner stand fourth in GTLM points with a victory earlier this year at Long Beach.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD: “It was difficult to judge the amount of grip we would have. The differences between one side of track and the other was extreme. I felt I had to save my tires on the dry side and probably didn’t push a bit. We waited a bit to go out and only had three laps, so it was tough. We’re still on the second row, which isn’t bad considering how good or bad we would have been in the dry. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SEVENTH: “Coulda, shoulda, woulda… Unfortunately the skies opened up right before we out and made the track really tricky. It’s easy to say that ‘if this’ and ‘if that’ it had stayed dry. But the guys ahead of me did a better job, but we have a great Corvette. Our car in the dry has been super fast all weekend. Olly and I feel good about it, and that’s the part that matters. We’ll look forward to a dry race and a good result.”
Source. Corvette Racing