VOLUME XII,  ISSUE 1 - JAN-MAR,  2018

EVENT COVERAGE

Corvettes at ‘Rolex 24’

 

 

A new calendar year also brings a new season for Corvette Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It all began at the annual Roar Before the 24, which serves as a prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona and opening round of the IMSA season.

 

For Corvette Racing, the three-day test was a chance to gear up for its chance at a fourth class victory at the twice-around-the-clock endurance race at Daytona International Speedway. Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs were on-track along with its full complement of three drivers in each car.

 

Defending GT Le Mans (GTLM) Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen teamed up again with Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. In the No. 4 Corvette, full-season teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner drove with Marcel Fässler in hopes of replicating their 2016 class victory.

 

Corvette Racing celebrates its 20th season of competition in 2018 – longevity not matched by any other team in the IMSA paddock. The Chevrolet/Corvette Racing partnership is the most successful in professional North American endurance racing with 98 victories in the United States and Canada. Add eight Le Mans victories, and Corvette Racing’s global tally is 106 during the last 19 seasons.

 

The roll of honor for Corvette Racing also includes 12 Manufacturer and Team championships, as well as 11 Driver titles. In 2017, Garcia and Magnussen won three times and won their second IMSA title together. Gavin and Milner also posted a victory of their own last year.

 

Since the start of the 2014 season – the first under the ALMS/GRAND-AM merger – no manufacturer or team has won more often in the WeatherTech Championship than Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. Team Chevy has 35 victories with 15 coming in GTLM with Corvette Racing.

 

The two most recent came in 2016 and 2017 when Corvette Racing swept the IMSA GT Le Mans (GTLM) championships. The drive for a three-peat began with the same collection of driver pairings for the Rolex 24 as the past two years.

Defending GTLM champs Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen team up again with Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. In the No. 4 Corvette, full-season teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner drive with Marcel Fässler in hopes of replicating their 2016 Daytona class victory and Driver championships for Gavin and Milner.

 

DAYTONA RESULTS

 

Corvette Racing turned in a mistake-free run with both its Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs to post third- and fourth-place class finishes in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The result was a positive effort as Corvette Racing begins its 20th season of competition.

Antonio Garcia, class pole-winner Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller placed third in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category with their No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. It is the second Rolex 24 podium for the trio after they finished second two years ago, and it gives Garcia and Magnussen positive momentum as they seek to defend their GTLM Driver Championship from last year.

 

“I think we can be happy. We again didn’t make any mistakes by the drivers, the pit stops were fine… we may have had an unscheduled stop for brakes. Other than that, everything worked perfect. We just didn’t have the pace,” explained Garcia.

 

“It was a little bit like what happened a lot last year. If this was Lime Rock, I’d be super happy with third. But here at Daytona or Le Mans, you only want to win. That’s part of our driver mentality… we want to win these races. But we can be proud. Our guys did a fantastic job. We showed all we had and gave it all. If the Fords were faster than us, we can’t do anything else but congratulate them. We just didn’t have enough to fight them, especially with the limited number of yellow flags.”

 

Chevrolet and the Corvette Racing team swept the GTLM Manufacturer, Driver and Team titles for the second straight year in 2017. Sunday’s results laid the groundwork for another strong challenge for the IMSA season.

In the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, the trio of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler placed fourth and had a similarly clean run throughout Saturday and Sunday. Either Corvette Racing entry likely would have claimed victory in any other season, given that neither Corvette went off-track or made a mistake. It’s a hallmark of the program, which has won 106 races around the world, 12 Manufacturer and Team championships, and 11 Driver titles during its years in IMSA.

 

 “What an incredible race. I guess this race set every record for distance traveled and laps completed with really no big issues for us whatsoever. We can be really proud as a team. The cars were faultless. Just missing that little bit of pace and when you don’t have that many cautions, you can see the gap to the winners,” Milner said. “Congratulations to those guys, You could see they had a great race. For us at Corvette Racing starting our 20th year in competition… no better way to start the season by getting both cars to the finish with no problems and no issues. That’s really impressive.”

 

The next event for Corvette Racing is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 15-17 at Sebring International Raceway. 

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