Corvette Racing will close the 2019 season – and the era of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – this weekend at a familiar location. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta plays host to Corvette Racing and the rest of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the annual 10-hour Petit Le Mans on Saturday.
This will be the 23rd event at Road Atlanta for Corvette Racing – the most of any track in the team’s 21-year history. The program claims 10 victories at the circuit including eight at Petit Le Mans. If recent years are any indication, there is a strong chance that Corvette Racing will contend once again; it has recorded podium finishes in each of the last four years including runner-up finishes the last two.
Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler will look to finish one spot better than 2018 driving the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. That came a year after Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller did the same in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. Both trios are back for this year’s Petit Le Mans as Corvette Racing seeks its first victory at Road Atlanta since 2010.
Garcia and Magnussen, two-time and defending GT Le Mans (GTLM) champions, stand third in this year’s points chase with an outside chance a third straight title. It would be Corvette Racing’s fourth consecutive GTLM championship dating back to Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner’s 2016 crown.
Even without title hopes, Corvette Racing still has plenty at stake, including its 100th triumph in IMSA competition.
Final Race for Corvette C7.R
A victory Saturday also would send out the Corvette C7.R on a high note. As revealed last week, the team will field the mid-engine Corvette C8.R in 2020 starting with the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Since its debut in 2014, the C7.R has won 17 races in 73 events across IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Its 16 wins in IMSA is the second-most of any car in the WeatherTech Championship to date. The C7.R also helped Chevrolet and Corvette Racing claim consecutive GTLM Manufacturer Championships (2016-17), and Driver and Team Championships (2016-18). With the C7.R, Corvette Racing scored victories at Le Mans, Daytona (twice) and Sebring (three times).
The C7.R is based on the road-going Corvette C7 Z06. It made several advances in technology from the sixth-generation Corvette. For the first time, the aluminum frame for both road car and racecar were both produced in-house at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The addition of direct fuel injection to the Corvette Z06 enabled the technology to return to a Corvette race car for the first time since the end of the GT1 era in 2009. The Z06 and C7.R also shared aggressive aero strategies with greater levels of component cooling and downforce.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I really want to win Petit Le Mans. Corvette Racing has always been strong at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in past years but we have just missed out on wins there. It’s been very, very close. The championship is very unlikely so we can go all-out for a win. This event is one I like very much because of the track and the distance. It’s a very fast track and creates a good race. So let’s see how we can do. If we can’t get the championship, the next best thing is to win the race.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I’ve made every start at Petit Le Mans since 1999, so this race has a special meaning to me. The event is great, the fans are great and the track is great. In many ways it’s the most demanding race we do. The layout of the track and the mix of cars makes it really tough to pass and overtake. You have to be decisive and have a clear understanding of how the car and the tires are working together during all 10 hours. That’s what makes this race such a challenge. There’s a lot of risk but also a lot of reward.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was tough not being at Petit Le Mans last year because I really like the event. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is an awesome track that presents a very big challenge in any type of car – prototype or GT. It has a big-event feel to it with a lot of cars and drivers. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the Corvette again for this race. We were so close at Le Mans and I feel like a win here would take away some of that sting.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s been a trying season in a lot of ways for Tommy and I, but a strong finish at Petit Le Mans would leave us with a little bit of satisfaction. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta presents a unique challenge when you consider the length of the race, nature of the track and the amount of cars. It’s definitely one of the biggest races on the IMSA calendar – nearly on the same level as Daytona and Sebring. This will be my 20th start at Petit Le Mans, and the fan turnout and support we get from the Corvette community is always fantastic. Closing out with a solid result would set us on the right course into 2020.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Petit Le Mans is an incredible event. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta provides such great racing and passing opportunities… some places where the prototype guys try to sneak in at places make it exciting for us and them. In our GT cars, it’s so fast. There’s so much grip and such a huge challenge. The track is fun by yourself, but when you add in the full field and 10 hours, it makes for a great race. It’s one where everyone holds their breath to the checkered flag. I’m excited. Our Corvettes have always been fast there. Hopefully we can end the season on a high note.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I’m happy to be back with Corvette Racing for Petit Le Mans. This is an incredible race and another of my favorites in the U.S. The fans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta make it feel like a big event that keeps growing every year. For us on the No. 4 Corvette, we want to end the season on a high note. The team has been through a lot this year with some bad misfortune at Le Mans and in IMSA. But the team is strong and the Corvette is always very good. I’m looking forward to a great weekend.”
Source. Corvette Racing