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Press Release:

Garcia, Gavin put up hard fight in final race for British Corvette legend


CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: Fourth in European Debut for C8.R
Garcia, Gavin put up hard fight in final race for British Corvette legend



STAVELOT, Belgium (May 1, 2021) – Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and
Oliver Gavin finished fourth in GTE Pro at the Six Hours of Spa on Saturday
with their No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R – the opening
round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.


The first appearance at Spa by Corvette Racing was significant for two
reasons: it marked the first race outside the United States for the
mid-engine racing Corvette, and it also marked Gavin’s final start with the
team after 20 years.


The main target for the Spa event was to gain knowledge and experience with
the C8.R in the FIA WEC ahead of August’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette
Racing will send two of the mid-engine racers back to Le Mans after missing
last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Garcia qualified fifth but the race pace of the Corvette was encouraging in
a fight among three manufacturers. He drove the first two stints on the same
set of Michelin tires – a different strategy than the other GTE Pro
entries – in an effort to be in better shape to fight at the end.


Gavin drove the middle two stints of the race, including the race’s first
full-course caution. It marked the 204th appearance in a Corvette Racing
entry for the veteran, who ended his career with 51 victories – including
five at Le Mans – and five IMSA championships. Gavin moved up to fourth in
class during his stint as one of the Porsches suffered a punctured tire.


Garcia re-entered with a little more than two hours to go. He set the
Corvette’s fastest race lap in his next-to-last stint – a 2:14.622 (116.383
mph) that ranked third among all GTE Pro drivers in the push for a podium
finish.


Corvette Racing’s next event is the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from Belle
Isle Park in Detroit as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
on Saturday, June 12.





ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED
FOURTH IN GTE PRO: “This definitely was valuable for me and for the team. We
learned a lot. As it happened a couple of years ago at Sebring when we ran a
WEC race, it’s good to run in this championship to make everyone aware of
the regulations and how to perform in this series. It’s way different than
IMSA. It’s always good to have a good shakedown and learn everything that
counts. So this was a very valuable experience.”
(Driving with Oliver Gavin) “I really wanted us to finish on the podium.
That was my main push the whole race was to be up there with him, even if we
knew getting on the top step was almost impossible. But being up there would
have been super-nice. I gave all I had to do it. It wasn’t enough for sure,
but it was good to share a Corvette with him for once. I would have liked to
have to get a better result. But as a team, we can take the good things from
this race and the information on the car ahead toward Le Mans.”


OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED
FOURTH IN GTE PRO: "My last race for Corvette Racing and in the C8.R, and
it's been quite a journey. I'm so proud to have won these overalls to
represent such an amazing team in Corvette Racing and Team Chevy. To be able
to compete here for the final time in the WEC has been very special;
Spa-Francorchamps is an exceptional track. The emotion of it has overwhelmed
me somewhat, but I'm so proud to have competed for this team for 20 years.
I'm proud of that success with so many special people, not only on the race
team side but on the road car side. I couldn't be prouder of what we have
all achieved together. Thank you also to all the Corvette fans out there.
You're unbelievable and so passionate... an amazing group that really spurs
us on. I can't thank you enough.
"It's been quite a day. I kind of went through all this when I was at
Sebring in November for my final race in IMSA. It has brought a lot of those
emotions back. Those last few laps, I was thinking about everything that is
happened, all the of the 20 years I've spent with this team and what we've
been able to achieve... I'm so proud of what we've been able to do with four
generations of Corvette and all the races we've won. To be able to finish
here at Spa in the WEC is very special. You can really feel the character
and charisma of the track and the race. Those are the things I fell in love
with when I went to Le Mans for the first time. I feel very, very
fortunate."

 
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