CORVETTE RACING AT LAGUNA SECA: Points Lead for Garcia, Magnussen Going to
Seventh straight podium for No. 3 Corvette
Gavin, Milner fifth in chaotic Monterey race
MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2018) – For the second year in a row, Corvette
Racing will head to the finale of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship with the Driver and Team points lead in the GT Le Mans (GTLM)
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed third in class Sunday in the America’s
Tire 250 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It is the seventh consecutive
podium finish for the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R and
increased the points advantage for Garcia and Magnussen to nine points with
only the 10-hour Petit Le Mans left in the season.
A fourth-place class finish at Road Atlanta would give the duo their second
consecutive GTLM title.
Meanwhile, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner placed fifth Sunday in the No. 4
Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette following a chaotic race that saw four full-course
caution periods in the first 80 minutes including one at the race start.
Once the race finally went green for more than a lap, the two Corvettes ran
first and second in class – with Gavin ahead of Magnussen – as a number of
different strategies began to emerge.
The pair of yellow C7.Rs swapped positions on the teams’ first pit stops for
fuel 40 minutes into the race and during the race’s third full-course
caution. Only two GTLM cars elected to stay out, and the Corvettes rejoined
third and fourth in class. The five lead GTLM cars, including the Corvettes,
all pitted again near the halfway point under the final yellow. Magnussen
handed off to Garcia during that stop, and Milner also took over for Gavin.
The race went green for the last 70 minutes. Garcia, now in the lead, made
his last fuel stop with 46 minutes left. Milner had stopped from third only
minutes later and rejoined fifth. As the race clock wound down, all the
Corvette squad could do is watch as the two lead cars made it to the finish
without stopping again.
Corvette Racing closes the IMSA season on Saturday, October 13 at Road
Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN
GTLM: “We thought nobody could make it to the end if it was green and (our
competitors) were gambling on a yellow. They made it. It’s easy to think
about ‘what if.’ That’s what it means to be doing a little bit of something
different on strategy. I think we were on the back foot, also. We were
fighting for the championship and those two guys are not… they were gambling
on the win. It’s difficult to gamble when they can take no risks and you
take a lot of risk. That was the main thing. It is good to open up a few
more points toward Petit Le Mans. Definitely our competitors will be forced
to win. I also have the feel we could have won here and locked the
championship again, like we did last year.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – THIRD IN
GTLM: "For the championship, another podium is great. It's not at all what
we thought we were going to be able to do here. To be completely honest, I'm
a little bit disappointed, but it is what it is. The other cars went really,
really long on the last tank - over half of the race distance which is
pretty incredible. That's what it is. Another podium for the championship.
We are in a better position in the points than when we came here, so that’s
positive. Off to the last one at Road Atlanta and go for a win there."
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FIFTH IN
GTLM: "It's tough to describe because so much happened during the race.
Right at the green flag there was complete carnage. I managed to get us
through all of that without any problems and damage. In the first green flag
session, everything went well; I was pulling away and the car was nice.
There was another caution so we came in for a stop, and there was a little
bit of confusion in our pit box about when I could go or couldn't go so the
No. 3 car jumped us. So, I thought, ‘OK that's fine. There is still plenty
of race to go.’ But then it just got a little bit ridiculous with the No.
67 car. He got very aggressive and touched me a number of times, and he
tried to muscle his way past me coming out of turns two and into three. He
damaged his car and went off but we were able to continue. I think that did
something to our car. Then it became a fuel race. We didn't have the
ultimate pace to stay with the No. 3 car, but we were looking like we could
at least finish second or third at worse but some of our competitors managed
to really stretch that fuel and ended up getting a victory. And we ended up
finishing fifth, which I feel is pretty disappointing considering where we
were yesterday and how good the car felt at the start of the race. For our
car, maybe the track deteriorated a bit for us and the balance went away.
You want it to be the other way around. The guys did a really great job all
weekend and were really solid. We thought we were doing the right thing with
the strategy and the pit stops. Sometimes that's racing and we have to go
back and assess."
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FIFTH IN
GTLM: “That was super frustrating. We had a fast car all weekend. In the
race it all fell apart. We were looking OK with about an hour and 20 minutes
to go… first and second, I think. Then things didn’t quite go our way to the
end. It’s unfortunate when you have a fast car like we did and not get
anything out of it. Good job for the 3 Corvette guys on a good points day
for them today. But it could have been a lot better for all of us.”