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|2017 Sebring 12hr: Results|
|March 29 2017 06:42:32 AM EST||Michelin Alley|
|Going into Sebring Ford was the strong favorite after winning the 24hrs of Le Mans and then winning the 24hrs of Daytona. Some said the Fords still have a performance advantage. And sure enough, they took pole in qualifying at Sebring. Was Ford going to run away with it like Le Mans?|
Corvette Racing does not race just to make a showing. They race to win. They were not the quickest cars on track, as they usually aren't, but they gave the class a run. Great teamwork, strategy, flawless pit-stops, and the drive of a lifetime by Antonio Garcia in the final stint took the #3 Corvette C7.R to victory lane for the 11th time at Sebring.
VIDEO: Doug Fehan’s Pre-Race Q&A Session
VIDEO: Final Pit Stop - #3 Corvette C7.R
VIDEO: Celebration in the #3 Corvette Pits
VIDEO: Michelin GTLM Sebring Recap
PODCAST: SC365 Double Stint Podcast - Antonio Garcia Interview
PHOTO GALLERY: The BLOCK - Capturing Sebring with Matt Best
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
SEBRING, Fla. (March 18, 2017) – Corvette Racing stormed to a stunning class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday – its third straight in North America’s oldest endurance sports car race. Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller drove the winning No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to a 4.453-second victory for the team’s 11th Sebring class victory.
It ended an amazing comeback for the No. 3 Corvette, which ran sixth as late as the eight-and-a-half-hour mark of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s second round. After maintaining through difficult conditions and bad luck in the afternoon, a series of strategic calls, strong pit stops and exceptional driving resulted in another Sebring triumph for America’s sports car.
Garcia drove a stunning final two hours and 53 minutes to claim victory. He led the final 35 laps and withstood intense pressure from other contenders in the class. While Sebring’s brutal conditions and bad luck began to claim other entries, the No. 3 Corvette and its team ran a nearly flawless race.
Saturday’s victory was Magnussen’s fifth at Sebring, the third for Garcia and first for Rockenfeller. The trio also won the second of four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup rounds of the season.
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R was forced to retire with water temperature issues that arose in the opening hour. The root cause remained unclear, and it brought an early end to the day for defending class winners Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler.
Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller each rotated through with two stints each in the first six hours. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R led at the three-hour mark but a combination of greasy track conditions and bad luck with traffic and caution periods hindered its standing at six hours.
An emergency stop for fuel near the halfway point was particularly cruel. Rockenfeller was set to pit for new Michelin tires, fuel and the exchange to Garcia but the yellow flag ruined that plan and strategy. Instead, Rockenfeller had to stop for five seconds of fuel and then again one lap after the GTLM leaders completed their stops.
Fortunes reversed for the No. 3 Corvette with a timely full-course caution with four hours left. A perfect pit stop moved Magnussen from sixth to third on a restart. That the stage for the late-race heroics.
“I knew it was going to be really, really tough. Since yesterday in qualifying it was super close, the first two hours I managed to make my way up to P2. I did two hours first following the No. 66. Then I did that third hour and I was kind of sick of following Fords. So at some point I just needed to go. We made that really good call to come in with the Ferrari. So the Fords stayed out on a poorer set of tires than us. I knew that had to be my stint. That first stint with two or three stints to go, I needed to make the moves and pass the Ferrari. I passed the No. 68; I passed (Scott) Dixon. I passed everybody because I knew it had to be done then because that was probably the only time they would be a little bit weaker than we were. It worked. At the end the Porsche looked very, very strong. That second-to-the-last time they pitted quite a bit later than us, and they were flying. They passed all the way up to us until that last safety car. Again, there was a magnificent stop by the Corvette Racing crew. I think the Porsche made a mistake there. Without knowing, I thought it was Joey (Hand) behind us, but it was again the Porsche. I knew it was going to be tough. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold him , but probably. The car kept going faster and faster. When you lead the way, the aero works pretty decent compared to when you follow someone. At the end things went a little bit in our favor. It was a sprint to the end. I can’t believe what Corvette Racing did today. Just awesome. Amazing.”
“I don’t even know where to start. What a fantastic race. It was a tough race… a hard race. I mean I am so happy about this. The boys did a great job with the pit stops. Antonio’s last stint there was just fantastic. What can you say? It is just fantastic. It was all about running our own race and then at the end when we had to do something, to then be able to do it. The crew – those last couple of pit stops – awesome. As I said Antonio’s last stint… just fantastic!”
"It is still hard to believe right now because I didn’t expect it. We had a tough race, and Antonio (Garcia) did just a fantastic job – like always. But it is very special what he got out of the car today. That is why I am speechless. I am very happy for the team. Thanks to Corvette Racing and everyone on the teams – all the mechanics and engineers. They always believe. We had a tough start in Daytona and even here. We weren’t the quickest all the time, but at the end when it counted, we were there. This team is just amazing!”
“I think what we saw tonight may have been the most intense mix of tremendous engineering and strategy from our engineering crew and flawless pit stops all day long by our Corvette Racing crew. Then there was the driving exhibition that I’m sure will be a highlight of Antonio’s career – certainly at Corvette Racing. When you put those three elements together, we are hard to beat. It was an amazing demonstration by everyone at Corvette Racing.”
|2017 Sebring 12hr: Race Info|
|March 12 2017 03:21:52 AM EST||Oliver Gavin|
|2017 Rolex 24hr: Race Info|
|January 22 2017 03:56:42 PM EST||Paul Ryan|
|January 04 2017 04:18:27 AM EST||Team Chevy|
|2016 Petit Le Mans: Championship Results|
|October 02 2016 10:00:12 PM EST||Team Chevy|
|2016 has been one of the most challenging seasons Corvette Racing has ever faced. Certainly since the GT1 glory days against Aston Martin. Ford came out of the gate and set a new benchmark for GTLM/GTE performance. Ferrari has been a top performer in every race. and BMW and Porsche are always competitive.|
As usual in the GTLM class, it goes down to the final round at Petit Le Mans. The #4 Corvette lead the drivers championship by 7 points. All they had to do was finish 7th or higher, regardless of what the #67 Ford did. For the Manufactures championship, all they had to do is start the race. The #4 also lead the North American Endurance Championship by 1 point over the #67 Ford.
Qualifying for the 2016 Petit Le Mans was one of the closest in history. In GTLM, 1st through 10th were separated by 0.735 seconds. #67 Ford on pole, #3 Corvette 2nd, #4 Corvette 7th.
Photo by Michelin Alley
After about 1.5hr, there was a FCY. All GTLM cars made a pit stop. The #3 had to make a 2nd pit stop under the yellow for a last minute change in tire compounds, pushing them to the back of the field. After another 30 minutes, the #3 had a throttle motor issue and went behind the wall for emergency service. Luckily it was a quick fix and they only lost 2 laps.
At with 7.5hrs still on the clock, the #67 spun the #100 and had to serve a drive through penalty. Moments later the #67 started smoking and quickly went behind the wall. This effectively handed the championship to the #4 Corvette as the #67 had to win the race in order to have any shot.
At the 3.5hr mark the #912 Porsche caused a FCY due to heavy contact with a GTD Audi in Turn 2. Heavy track cleanup was needed. The #912 also received a stop plus 60 second penalty for working in a closed pit lane. There was also some track surface damage that track officials needed to inspect in Turn 3. While under this FCY the GTLM field made pit stops and the #4 crew did their magic to get out ahead of the #66 Ford and into P2 and quickly fought into the lead after the restart.
At the 4hr mark, the #4 was still leading and earned max points for current track position in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.
Shortly after the 4hr mark, a FCY was called for a track inspection. The track surface damage from earlier in the race was getting worse. Some surface patchwork was in order while pit stops went on. The #62 Ferrari managed to beat the #4 Corvette out this time. The #100 BMW also experienced an electrical issue and went behind the wall for repair. This FCY last 1 hour 5 minutes.
With 4 hours remaining, a PC car made contact with the #911 Porsche and both cars made a heavy impact with the tire wall in T4. The Porsche was able to get back but with extensive damage. This also caused a FCY for tire wall repair.
With 3.5 hours left, Marcel Fassler in the #4 Corvette went off in T1, collected a few advertisement signs and a radiator full of grass. He managed the brake hard and eject most of the grass out of the radiator in T10, but went down to P5. Meanwhile the #3 Corvette had gained a few laps back after the FCY's and was in P6 only 1 lap down.
With just over 2 hours to go the #68 Ferrari had a massive fire in the pits. Cleanup put them 2 laps down. The #67 had more issues with the drivers door not staying shut, and the #100 BMW went behind the wall with issues.
With 14 minutes to go there was a quick yellow for the #70 prototype catching fire. The race went green and Oliver Gavin gave it his best effort, even doing to fender banging with the 66 Ford, but it wasn't to be.
The #62 Ferrari won Petit Le Mans, with the #66 Ford P2, #4 Corvette P3, and #3 Corvette P4 1 lap down having fought back and regained 3 laps throughout the race.
Photo by Michelin Alley
Chevrolet and it's Corvette teams cleaned house with the championships this year.
Prototype Manufacture's Championship
Prototype Team Championship (#31 Corvette DP)
Prototype Driver's Championship (Dane Cameron & Eric Curran)
Prototype Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (#5 Corvette DP)
GTLM Manufacture's Championship
GTLM Team Championship (#4 Corvette C7.R)
GTLM Driver's Championship (Tommy Milner & Oliver Gavin)
GTLM Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (#4 Corvette C7.R)
Photo by Tommy Milner
|September 20 2016 07:56:16 PM EST||Jan Magnussen PR 2016|
|After 3 wins in a row for Corvette Racing, they avoided BoP adjustments going into COTA, although others were given some performance back. Ferrari was given some extra boost and fuel capacity. BMW was given a 10kg weight break and 0.5mm refueling restrictor increase. Ford was give a 1mm refueling restrictor reduction.|
Going into the final 2 rounds of the 2016 championship, it is going down to two teams. The #4 Corvette and the #67 Ford GT.
The #67 Ford GT took the pole position, with the Corvettes back in 6th and 8th. Come race day, the #62 Ferrari owned the track, only rivaled by the Porsches on occasion.
The #62 Ferrari, with 10 minutes left in the race and a 10 second lead, suffered an electrical glitch and had to make an unscheduled pit stop, effectively throwing away the easy victory at their home track.
The #67 and #4 had a mid pack battle when the Ford make contact with the Vette. The Ford suffered a front right suspension failure. This allowed the #4 Corvette to grow the points gap despite a lackluster performance, finishing P5.
With the Ferrari dropping off the podium, this promoted the #3 Corvette to 3rd place. This is the 2nd podium in a row for the #3.
VIDEO: 2016 COTA Qualifying
VIDEO: 2016 COTA Race Broadcast
The 2016 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship all goes down to the final round at Petit Le Mans. The #4 holds a 7 point lead over the #67 Ford in the Weathertech championship. The #4 Corvette also holds a 1 point lead over the #67 Ford in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship.
"The further we went into the weekend, the better the Corvette was. From the first practice through the warmup and race, we never stopped working on it. At points, we made some big swings on the setup side because we had nothing to lose. At some point we found our way a little bit. The first surprise was that in qualifying, we weren’t as far off the pace as we thought. The warmup was the same. It was very hard, especially with traffic. At the end, I think we had a Corvette that could have challenged the race winners. We’re looking forward to Road Atlanta now and wrapping up the Manufacturer’s Championship for Chevrolet. We have a really good chance, and I really want to win that race. I’ve come close a couple of times so that will be my focus."
"It was a pleasant little surprise. I think that it’s a good couple of spots better than I thought we were going to be. The car was quite good in my stint. We were able to kind of keep up with the guys in front, whereas I thought we would be out of it real fast looking at the practice times and qualifying. But the race car was pretty good I have to say… better than I thought it was going to be. I’m happy for the result. I’m happy for Corvette Racing and Chevrolet getting closer to that manufacturer championship."
"This could be a real turning point for us in the championship. I think we will have to go to Petit Le Mans and get a seventh or an eighth place if the No. 67 was to win. It’s not a super comfortable cushion, but we just need to execute at Petit. I think we just need to be smart. We weren’t the greatest today, we weren’t the fastest. We were battling with the car a little bit and we made a couple of changes during the race. One was the wrong way and the other one was, I think, back in the right direction. But we need to go back and look at the data to see where we were missing it. Ultimately, we came away with scoring good points. We have extended our lead in the championship and at this time of the year that is all you need to be doing. You just need to be executing, getting the points on the board and extending our points lead. Looking at all the practice sessions, all the qualifying and everything that we did, I really didn’t think we were going to be coming away with extending our points lead over the No. 67. But we have, and it’s positive. We move forward and we go to Petit very positive."
"Coming away with the points lead we have was best-case scenario. It’s not really how I would have liked to have gotten that points lead. We struggled all day today and really all weekend… just looking for pace and just sort of comfort driving the car. That part wasn’t so much fun, but yeah, we lucked out today for sure. We definitely had, as Olly (Gavin) said, we’ve had either all of the luck in the world or none of it. Today it looked like we had none and then we had all of it pretty quickly there. Part of me feels bad for the No. 67 guys, but that is kind of a bummer way to lose some points. But I can’t say I’m too unhappy about it. We’ve all fought really hard all year long and some races we’ve had some good races and so have they. Now it comes down to Petit Le Mans where the gap is fairly large, but we still need to execute for the whole race. We certainly can’t just jog across the finish line there; we still have to push hard. It will be a big challenge for sure, but we are in a good spot."
FIA WEC at COTA
After scoring the overall Prototype victory in the IMSA race with brother Jordan, Ricky Taylor joined Larbre Competition for the 6 hr round of FIA WEC at Circuit of the Americas. The team scored a 3rd place podium finish in the very competitive GTE-AM class.
PODCAST: Sportscar 365 - Double Stint: Weekend Recap - Ricky Taylor Interview