CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Championship Chase Heads to Lone Star State
Critical days ahead for Chevrolet, Corvette in race to GT Le Mans titles
Garcia, Magnussen coming off overall victory at VIR
No. 3 Corvette team a class winner at COTA in 2013
Gavin, Milner hoping to solidify Driver’s Championship lead
Chevrolet in strong position in GTLM Manufacturer points
DETROIT (Sept. 14, 2016) – The first of Corvette Racing’s 102 class victories came on a hot, steamy Texas evening in 2000. Fast forward to 16 years and Win No. 103 could come in the Texas heat – again in the Lone Star State. Both of the team’s Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs will tackle Circuit of The Americas in the Lone Star Le Mans: the 10th round of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
It is a critical time in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) season with two events to go. Corvette Racing and Chevrolet lead the class’s Manufacturer, Driver and Team points standings through nine races. There are a total of 72 points left in the Driver and Team races, and 70 in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
Corvette Racing is a past winner at COTA with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen claiming victory in the 2013 American Le Mans Series event. The pairing is fresh off an overall victory in the most recent IMSA round at Virginia International Raceway where the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R led 84 of 90 laps. That performance helped Garcia and VIR pole-winner Magnussen solidify their hold on third place in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship.
Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, teammates in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, are the current GTLM Championship leaders… as they have been since opening the season with back-to-back victories at Daytona and Sebring. Four victories on the season – including No. 100 all-time for Corvette Racing at Road America – have them seven points ahead of former Corvette Racing teammates Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.
Gavin, who set the fastest race lap at VIR, and Milner lead all GTLM drivers with podium finishes in six of nine IMSA races. The duo is trying for their second Driver’s Championship together after they won the ALMS GT title in 2012.
Chevrolet owns a 17-point lead in the Manufacturer standings and can win its 11th title in IMSA competition. No other manufacturer has won more GTLM races this season (five) nor in IMSA since the post-merger era began for sports car racing in 2014 (11).
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event is part of a doubleheader that also includes the FIA World Endurance Championship.
This is the first trip to Circuit of The Americas for the 2016-spec Corvette C7.R, which is an updated racecar from 2015 due to changes in Automobile Club de l’Ouest regulations for top-level GT cars that compete in the IMSA GTLM class. There are a number of aerodynamic changes including a larger splitter at the front and diffuser at the rear of the Corvette. Side skirts and a repositioned wing also are among the most notable changes, along with updated safety features that are now mandated on all GTLM cars.
Corvette Racing Display on Location at Circuit of The Americas
This weekend’s IMSA and FIA WEC doubleheader features a number of Chevrolet and Corvette race cars and production cars. Fans can see and learn about a number of top-line Chevrolet vehicles and performance accessories at the Corvette Racing Display from Thursday through Sunday including:
• Exciting 2017 lineup models such as the Corvette Grand Sport, Corvette Z06, Camaro and Equinox Premier
• Chevrolet 2016 models including the Silverado, Colorado, Malibu.
• A Corvette C7.R show car
• Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer
• A variety of Chevrolet and racing related activities for adults and kids
• Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.
The Corvette Racing display opens at 10 a.m., Thursday; 9 a.m., Friday; and 7:30 a.m., Saturday.
The two-hour, 40-minute Lone Star Le Mans race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from Circuit of The Americas is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 17 It will air live on FOX Sports 2 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I have been fortunate enough to win many races in my career but the victory with Jan and Corvette Racing at COTA in 2013 is one of my most memorable. It was a very difficult last hour with traffic and trying to hold off other GT cars. You can do that at a circuit like COTA, where there isn’t a lot of risk and danger with a large amount of asphalt runoff. Jan and I are looking to keep the momentum from VIR and score another win at Austin.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s a very different experience going to Circuit of The Americas compared to our last few events. It’s a modern track and quite a nice venue. A lack of gravel and grass off-track can allow you to be more aggressive than you normally would. Antonio and I have won here before and another good result would help us keep our championship position in the No. 3 Corvette.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Tommy and I are eager to right the ship on the No. 4 Corvette C7.R after the disappointment from VIR. Certainly we would rather be leading the championship - as we are - than be the pursuers. The effort from the entire Corvette Racing team this year has been outstanding, and I do feel confident we can keep that level of execution for the next two races. A solid result at COTA would go a long way toward that.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS-XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I enjoy racing at Circuit of The Americas, but I would enjoy it a lot more if we had some better results there. It’s a challenging circuit to be certain with a lot of different types of corners. There also is a very long straight on the back part of the circuit, but you have to run max downforce to get through the twisty bits. The strategy for us on the No. 4 car is simple: stay on track and gain as many points as we can over the last two races.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “Texas is all about BIG… and the combination of COTA, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship makes it one of the biggest and best sports car weekends for any fan around the world. It’s an important one for us, as well. All three GTLM championships remain in play and the margin for error remains small. By and large, we have kept our Corvettes on-track and out of trouble. If we can keep doing that the last two races, we have a great chance to celebrate another title.”