CORVETTE RACING AT LIME ROCK: TAYLOR, GARCIA TAKE OVERALL VICTORY
No. 3 Corvette wins over No. 4 C8.R in weather-shortened, GT-only race
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 17, 2021) – Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia won a weather-shortened Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, their third straight victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Taylor and Garcia had the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R ahead when the race was stopped with 70 minutes left due to lightning in the immediate area of the track. Race officials called the race with 25 minutes left in the two-hour, 40-minute GT-only contest.
The mid-engine Corvette C8.R won its Lime Rock debut, and Corvette Racing won at the circuit for the sixth time. It also marked the first overall Lime Rock victory for Corvette Racing.
Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy placed second in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R, their second straight runner-up finish. Saturday’s results increased the lead for Garcia and Taylor in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship and Chevrolet’s advantage in the Manufacturers’s standings.
Taylor began from pole position and Milner third following a precautionary engine change overnight. Milner moved the No. 4 up to second behind Taylor at the start, and the two Corvettes ran 1-2 throughout the race. Both cars made their first stops a lap apart just past the 30-minute mark for fuel and tires. By that point, both Taylor and Milner were mired in slower GTD traffic and on a three-stop strategy.
Milner, who suffered damage in his second stint after contact from a slower car, was the first Corvette driver to make his second stop and handed off to Tandy with 80 minutes remaining. Taylor did the same a lap later with a swap to Garcia as both Corvettes took fuel and fresh Michelin tires.
Five minutes later, race officials called for a full-course caution to monitor the approaching weather and stopped the race a lap later.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the IMSA SportsCar Weekend on Aug. 6-8 from Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Same-day coverage on NBCSN starts at 8 p.m. ET with live streaming coverage on TrackPass and NBC Sports Gold at 2:35 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio will be available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE-WINNER: “For sure, Jordan did an amazing job. He drove the first two stints and it was the plan for me to be in for the other two. We knew this could happen. In a way, I’m happy that he drove so well and managed to keep the 4 car at a distance the whole time and control it so I could have a really quick driver change. That helped us extend our lead. But you never know. It would have tight; I don’t know if it would have been raining or not at the end so it would have been hard to keep the lead. I’m really pleased for another Corvette 1-2. Looking at how Jordan and Tommy (Milner) drove, it seemed like very hard work with tire degradation, especially. I will definitely take it. It’s my first win at Lime Rock so I’m happy with this.”
HAVE YOU HAD A RACE TO END LIKE THIS? “No, I don’t think so. But it is what it is. We had a ton of fans out here today and safety comes first. This time we were lucky in that we were leading when the red flag came. For sure, you need to be up there in that position to benefit from the conditions.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE-WINNER: “It was odd. We kind of knew what was going to happen going into it. We knew it was going to be a race of tire degradation and strategy, whether it be a two-stop or three-stop race just looking at the history of the race. Twenty laps in, we knew it was going to be a three-stop race doing 45-lap stints. It was about fuel mileage, saving tires and getting through traffic cleanly. Thankfully we executed well and the driver change went well. We knew the weather was imminent at some point and that it could be red-flagged, so we knew track position was going to be important. Thankfully we were out front when that came.”
HAVE YOU HAD A RACE TO END LIKE THIS? “The 2019 Rolex 24, we won when it was red-flagged for too much rain. It was a similar feeling sitting in the pitlane with an hour to go and maybe no more pit stops. You’re waiting to see if it’s going to go green again, so it’s kind of very stressful with the unknown. Today looking at the radar, a couple of miles north of the track there were a crazy amount of lightning strikes so I think it was going to come this way no matter what. It wasn’t as rainy as Daytona that year, but today was a similar feeling.”
TOMMY SAID HE HAD A LACK OF REAR GRIP EARLY. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO CARS IN THE OPENING? “I don’t know if it was a big advantage. If it was anything, I think it was getting fortunate in traffic. You could gain or lose a second-and-a-half depending on where you got traffic. Some laps I could see myself gaining in traffic and on another lap I’d lose two seconds and he’d be right there again. I think the ebb and flow of that would show the gaps. I don’t know if the lap-time delta was going to be that big on a clear track. We were saving tires right from the get-go. The tire degradation was a lot bigger than I expected. To do a two-stop race was going to be almost impossible. Even doing a three-stopper with 45-lap stints… once you got to 35 laps there was a steep drop-off. Maybe they suffered a little bit more than we did with that. We started with a setup knowing the car was going in that direction and using tools like the traction control and everything we had in the car to save tires early on and hopefully benefit later in the stint.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND
YOUR TEAM TOLD YOU AT ONE POINT THAT YOU WERE MAYBE GOING TO LEAPFROG THE NO. 3 UNDER THE PIT STOP WHEN YOU CHANGED DRIVERS.
“It was looking pretty good there because they short-filled on their first stop to make it out in front of some of the traffic, so they are always watching that kind of stuff. I was probably about 2.5 seconds back of the No. 3 car until I got to the No. 96 car and he ran me off the road and damaged the car. The car was a handful after that. Had I been able to stay with the No. 3 car then we would have had a fuel advantage and we would have probably been able to beat them out. It’s just unfortunate, the contact there. The team is not lying to me and that’s good. It is probably better in most cases to not tell a driver everything, but something like that is definitely encouraging. It’s just a bummer. We were looking pretty good there with their strategy call. It was going to help us in the end, but in the end it didn’t play out that way.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/Sirius XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND
IT WAS A CHALLENGING WEEKEND WITH HOW THIS RACE FINISHED.
“Yeah, it was a challenging weekend. We obviously had a few technical issues and we set ourselves a way to go about the race and try and make the best two hours and 40 minutes, and unfortunately, we didn’t get to stretch it out. But yeah, another Corvette 1-2 so it’s good points for the Manufacturer’s Championship and this is obviously the main goal.”
This weekend (July 16 and 17, 2021) Corvette Racing’s pair of mid-engine Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs will compete at the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock in a GT-only event. Race laps for GT Le Mans (GTLM) cars will be around 50 seconds during the two-hour, 40-minute race on the tough 1.5-mile layout. Lime Rock Park is a natural-terrain motorsport road racing venue located in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut. The Park is located between Boston and New York City at Lakeville, CT.
- First race for mid-engine Corvette at scenic but the tough 1.5-mile layout
- Garcia, Taylor enters on a two-race win streak
- Milner revisits the site of 100th Corvette Racing win
Official Release July 13, 2021
With the wide-open spaces of Road America and Le Mans on the horizon, Corvette Racing will get a taste of short-track racing – sports car style – when it returns to Lime Rock Park this weekend.
Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock is a GT-only event for Corvette Racing’s pair of mid-engine Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT competitors. The seven-turn, 1.474-mile circuit in the northwestern corner of Connecticut gives Corvette Racing, a five-time winner at Lime Rock, a shot at an overall race victory during one of the busiest races on the calendar.
Race laps for GT Le Mans (GTLM) cars will be around 50 seconds during the two-hour, 40-minute race. If all goes according to plan, that means the pair of racing Corvettes will start to overtake slower GT Daytona (GTD) cars within 20 minutes of the green flag.
Like Watkins Glen within the last month, Lime Rock Park was a venue at which the Corvette C8.R didn’t compete during its debut season. That didn’t impact the team during the back-to-back weekends at Watkins Glen, however, when Corvette Racing took the race win, pole position, and fastest race lap in both the six-hour enduro and two-hour, 40-minute sprint race.
Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, co-drivers in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R, swept the Watkins Glen weekends to extend their lead in the GTLM Drivers Championship as well as Chevrolet’s in the Manufacturers standings. They are ahead of No. 4 Corvette drivers Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy, who narrowly missed out on victories at The Glen.
Taylor (2013 GRAND-AM DP) and Milner (2016 GTLM) each have previous victories at Lime Rock. Garcia (2018 GTLM) and Taylor (2010 GRAND-AM GT) have won pole positions at the track in the past. Garcia also set the fastest race lap in 2017, followed by Tandy doing the same in 2018 and 2019.
Corvette Racing will contest the Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park on July 16-17. The race will air at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 17 with live streaming coverage on TrackPass and NBC Sports Gold at 3:05 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio will be available on IMSA.com, Sirius 216, XM 202, and SiriusXM Online 992.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Lime Rock should be good for us. I don’t see any track where the C8.R shouldn’t be good. I’m looking forward to going back there. In a lot of ways, it feels like the longest race of the year. You’re running three hours with 50-second laps so it’s very challenging. The 10 laps before you get into traffic are pretty calm. After that, it’s very tough. There is no rest there. In a good qualifying run if you run all session, could be a 20-lap attempt. That’s half-a-stint at most tracks we go to. Mentally it’s demanding because of that.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It’s been a while since I’ve been to Lime Rock. The last time I raced there was 2013 in GRAND-AM when we won the race and the championship that weekend, so there are good memories. It’s a tough place and usually an intense race. I think every year I’ve watched the GT race, there have always been crazy battles with the different classes and how tough it is to pass. It’s one that’s been on the list that looks difficult so it will be a good experience. Pit stop execution will be huge. It’s a short lap and Lime Rock will be a track position race. Driver changes, tire changes, and fueling will have to be the best of the year.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I have really great memories from Lime Rock in 2016 and getting the 100th win for Corvette Racing with Oliver Gavin. It obviously was a special day for me and the team. Lime Rock will be a good challenge to go there with the C8.R for the first time. It’s a pretty unique racetrack all things considered. In a lot of ways, it’s an oval so you set the car up to pretty much only turn right. We’ll have our work cut out to figure that out with a new car. Based on all the work we’ve done so far and all the results we’ve had, I don’t see there any real major hurdles to getting to a good spot.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I really like Lime Rock. The track is quick but it’s so intense. It reminds me a little bit of my short-oval background in that you’re always in the corners, you’re always in traffic. The car, the tire, and the driver never get a break. You’re in traffic pretty much all the time. A stint at Le Mans is around 14 laps, and you get time to relax. A stint at Lime Rock is like 60 laps and there is constantly something going on. You feel it physically as a driver because it’s usually super-hot. It’s intense on the physical and mental sides. The GTLM cars being as fast as they are, it’s a good workout and good fun.”
Friday, July 16th
7:00 am – Gates open
8:55 am – LRP Car Corral Laps
10:05 am – Practice 1 – Michelin Pilot Challenge
11:25 am – Practice 1 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
12:30 pm – LRP Car Corral Laps
1:25 pm – Practice 2 – Michelin Pilot Challenge
2:45 pm – Practice 2 – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
4:20 pm – Qualifying – Michelin Pilot Challenge
5:15 pm – Qualifying – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Saturday, July 17th
7:00 am – Gates open
9:05 am – Warm Up – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
9:30 am – LRP Car Corral Laps
10:05 am – Pre-Race & Fan Walk – Michelin Pilot Challenge
10:10 am – Porsche Parade Lap
10:55 am – Formation Laps – Michelin Pilot Challenge
11:05 am – Race – Lime Rock Park 120 (Michelin Pilot Challenge)
1:30 pm – LRP Car Corral Laps
2:05 pm – Pre-Race & Fan Walk – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
3:00 pm – Formation Laps – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
3:10 pm – Race – Northeast Grand Prix – WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
About This Event
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is one of the premier sports car racing series in the United States and Canada. It is organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The series competes at some of North America’s most recognized sports car venues, including Lime Rock Park for the Northeast Grand Prix held on July 16-17, 2021.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship features multiple classes of sports cars racing on the track at the same time, making for seemingly endless passing throughout the race. The majority of the races are timed races of 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- In the premier WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class, race-bred cars from factory and privateer teams battle for the overall win. This exciting class includes factory teams from Chevrolet and Porsche.
- In the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class, GT3-spec race cars join the party this year, including Lamborghini, McLaren, Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, Lexus and Acura NSX. Another exotic, hard-racing field
- The Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport class welcomes GT4-spec cars, which means in addition to the Porsche Caymans GT4, Ford Mustangs and Chevy Camaros, you also now have fantastic factory-prepped machines from makers such as McLaren and Aston Martin
- The Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR class is made up of front-wheel drive cars with four or five doors produced by mainstream automotive manufacturers
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