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|April 12 2017 09:23:14 AM EST|
|Long Beach is always a high risk high reward race. Passing is nearly impossible, and making the wrong move could prove disastrous. Qualifying position is very important. Jan Magnussen managed to whip out a quick lap to take the GTLM pole in the #3 Corvette, and the #4 grabbed 6th in an ultra tight qualifying session. |
Lap 1 Magnussen was passed in turn 1 and at turn 5 got caught up in a spun prototype pushing him down the order. It seemed the pole was all for nothing until a series of cautions and pit stratagy played to their favor. Somehow with just a few laps to go the #3 saw itself in the lead with the #4 sister car right behind. It was going to be a great day for Corvette Racing until the field made it's way to the hairpin for the final time and came to a roadblock with several cars stopped on track. Antonio Garcia was stuck so Tommy Milner had no choice but to go around for the race win.
VIDEO: 2017 Long Beach TV Broadcast
VIDEO: Sights & Sounds of the 2017 Long Beach Grand Prix
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 8, 2017) – Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class at Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. It is the sixth class win for the team and Chevrolet at the historic Long Beach street circuit.
Gavin won for the fourth time at Long Beach, and the victory was Milner’s second at the event. They won together in 2012, and on Saturday came from sixth at the start to record a surprising but rewarding victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
"After a hard-fought battle, it was rewarding to see Tommy Milner roll the No. 4 Corvette C7.R into Victory Lane today at Long Beach,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Tommy and Oliver Gavin overcame adversity early in the race to be there at the end to capture the win.”
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, coming off a GTLM victory at Sebring three weeks ago, placed fifth in class Saturday with their No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Garcia seemed headed for certain victory until a multi-car incident at the final turn blocked the track and brought a handful of cars to a stop – including both Corvettes. Garcia became trapped on the left-hand side of the track while Milner, on the right-hand side, was able to slip through the traffic jam and won by 1.830 seconds.
The two Corvettes found themselves running 1-2 in class with 10 minutes left despite different race strategies. Magnussen was caught up in an opening-lap incident and suffered damage to the front of the No. 3 Corvette C7.R. Garcia drove the final 78 minutes on the same set of Michelin tires and tank of fuel, aided by five full-course caution periods.
Gavin drove the first 42 minutes in the No. 4 Corvette before handing off to Milner. Not long after Milner left the pitlane, an incident – similar to the once that impacted the race’s finish – blocked the final turn with Milner stuck in the outside lane. Nearly an hour later, he found himself approaching the same situation but chose to take the inside line. As it turned out, it again was the lane that was able to clear the pileup.
"While the outcome of the late local caution was frustrating, it is the never-give-up attitude of everyone at Corvette Racing that continues to result in these exciting races and finishes," Campbell said. "We had two strong race cars today and look forward to the next race at COTA."
The next race for Corvette Racing is the Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown on May 4-6 from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. FOX Sports 1 will air the race at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 6. Live coverage will be available on FOX Sports Go with live audio coverage from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
"This was a very bizarre day and finish. We will take this victory, and we’re glad that Corvette Racing and Chevrolet have won again at Long Beach. It was just a very unfortunate way that it worked out for Antonio and Jan. We’ve all raced together for so many years now. It’s definitely not the way Tommy and I would have liked to have won. But at the end of the day, a victory is a victory. The good thing for Tommy and I is that it has gotten us back in a good direction heading to COTA for the next round."
"The start was pretty interesting. Coming down into Turn One, it looked like Jan had been jumped by a couple of cars. On first laps here, you’re always looking to see who has their tires up to temperatures, who is using a little bit of extra road and who is taking chances. When I came to Turn Five, the Patron car was already backward going over the apex curb. Knowing that the camber falls away, I knew everyone would be going outside and into the wall. Three of us managed to avoid any contact and got through. From there, it was a lot of insane racing. "Yes it’s a 100-minute race but some people were trying to win it with 75 or 80 minutes left. My goal was to keep the Corvette clean and hand it off to Tommy at the appropriate point whenever the team called us in. We managed to do that and our crew managed to get us out and in front of the cars we felt we were racing. Even past that point, the race kept getting turned on its head. You never knew which way it was going to go."
"It was a weird race today for sure. There was a lot of giving and taking throughout the day. As for the finish, I’ve never seen things work out that way for me or anyone else for that matter. You feel bad for the No. 3 guys, for Antonio and Jan. They had a great race and did everything right. It was just unlucky to lose it that way in a big pack. You need luck in racing sometimes, and today we had that on our side. It feels good for us to get a win and to get points for our No. 4 Corvette and Chevrolet.
"We were a bit behind at one point and it didn’t look like our strategy would play out for us. All those cautions allowed the cars who pitted early could make it on one stop for fuel. Our hope was to get past them if they had to make a late splash for fuel. That didn’t happen. I was hoping for another yellow to get us bunched back up again, which is what happened. I had 13- or 14-lap newer tires and I was able to get around the 24 and I went door-to-door with the 67. That allowed Antonio to get out in the clear, and then so was I. He was quick but then his tires started to go away. In that situation, getting by him was going to be really tough."
"In the last corner at the end, my first reaction was that the race was over. Antonio had a gap over me and also over the 67. I figured it would end up like that but I heard on the radio that there was another crash at the hairpin. At first the track was clear and then it wasn’t. I was in that exact situation earlier in the race and went to the outside; it didn’t work and I lost a spot there. I went to the inside this time, and it opened up. When I got out of the hairpin, I saw green but thought the race was over until they told me on the radio that we had won. It was definitely an unusual way to take a victory. Now we have to regroup as a team and get ready for the next race at COTA."
"I’ve never been part of a finish like that. It’s for sure very difficult to go through; I’m very confused with how the officials judged both incidents in the last corner. Our No. 3 Corvette team did everything we needed to do in order to have the best chance at another victory. I don’t understand the ending and unfortunately for us the results are what they are. All we can do is put ourselves in position to go for a win the next race in Austin."
"The start was unfortunate. I didn’t get a good getaway. I kind of got swamped going into Turn One. Then I was just in the wrong place going in to Turn Five when the Ferrari got it wrong with one of the prototype. I got caught in all of that and set put us back. We were on a different strategy from there. Our team did a fantastic job. It just an unsatisfying result."
|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