Garcia, Magnussen finish second from seventh at race’s start
- Second consecutive podium for defending GTLM champions
- Second place in unofficial points for Garcia, Magnussen
- Mechanical issue prevents victory challenge by Milner, Gavin
- Team’s final race before 24 Hours of Le Mans
LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 5, 2019) – Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen climbed the GT Le Mans (GTLM) podium for the second consecutive year at Mid-Ohio on Sunday in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Acura Sports Car Challenge.
The pairing went from seventh at the race’s start to a second straight runner-up finish in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Solid driving, a clever early-race strategic call and the team’s usual excellence in the pitlane all contributed to the result.
With Sunday’s showing, Garcia and Magnussen unofficially moved to second place in the GTLM Driver’s Championship as they seek a third consecutive title in the category. Chevrolet also moved to third in the Manufacturer’s Championship and one point out of second place.
From the early going, it appeared the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin would control the GTLM race. Milner went from fourth to second at the start and assumed the point as officials ruled the then-lead Porsche jumped the green flag. The No. 4 Corvette led the rest of Milner’s 50-minute stint and remained in the best position following the opening pit stop cycle.
Then disaster struck. Running second to Garcia, Milner reported a mechanical problem near the one-hour mark of the race. Once back in the garage, the Corvette Racing crew replaced the left-rear axle and sent Oliver Gavin out for the rest of the way.
Back in the No. 3 Corvette camp, the team opted for a three-stop strategy. Magnussen drove the first 36 minutes and handed over to Garcia on a strategic call by No. 3 Corvette race engineer Kyle Millay. Using input from Magnussen and with a rapidly improving track, Garcia moved into the class lead at the end of the GTLM pit cycle.
Garcia stopped again for fuel and fresh Michelin tires with a little more than an hour to go and this time cycled through to second place for the final race to the finish.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15-16. It will be the team’s 20th consecutive appearance at the French endurance race. The next IMSA event for the program is the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen on June 30.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “Most of the race was compromised from qualifying. It was a difficult weekend. The good thing about being at the rear means you can gamble on strategy. We knew right away what we had to do. That was the maximum we could achieve today. It was difficult on the restart; I think I did 50 laps during the first stint, so I think we had more knowledge on how to drive the tire. I’m very happy for the whole team and where we ended up but 11 podiums without a win is a little too much!”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “From where we started to where we finished, today was a good result and good for the championship. At the beginning for me, the balance wasn’t great and I had very little grip. We made some adjustments for Antonio, and as the track built some rubber into it, things got somewhat better. So we’re happy with P2. But we really need a win. I don’t know what we need to do, but we need a win. Kyle (Millay, No. 3 Corvette race engineer) did a fantastic job calling the strategy. I think we need to do more of that and be brave on the strategy to try and get some wins. Podiums get championships but so do wins!”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED EIGHTH IN GTLM: “It’s a frustrating day. These things happen in racing. Sometimes you have these runs and things seem to not go your way. Tommy and I had a good run at Long Beach, but other than that it’s not exactly gone well for us. Today showed a huge amount of promise again. Tommy had a great start and led. We were sitting in a nice spot and were very much in contention after the pit stop. But the axle issue undid all that. The crew did a great job getting the car back together to get me out there. From then on it was a matter of collecting data for the sister car and the rest of our events this year. It wasn’t a wasted afternoon, but it’s still not the way we wanted to go.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED EIGHTH IN GTLM: “These things happen in racing, obviously. You use the curbs a lot here, and oftentimes that’s a little more aggressive on these type things. Usually our Corvette is bullet-proof. It happened in a weird way. Maybe it could have been from the contact at the start when the BMW squeezed me to the inside. It could be a lot of things. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen. We had a really good Corvette race car. I definitely was in the right place at the right time at the start for sure. The car was really good in clean air. It seemed like we were really in the mix. Maybe in my case the time in the Chevy simulator last week or two weeks ago was well spent; I basically drove a whole day around Mid-Ohio, so I probably had a little bit of an advantage over some of the guys who didn’t have that luxury. Those little details matter. We were just unlucky today.”
Here are some more links of articles you might enjoy:
You can find more Corvette Racing at this link.
You might also enjoy reading Mark Horner’s article as he gives a history of Special ZR-1 Corvettes: 1991 Callaway Super Speedster LM, 1995 Callaway LM ZR-1, Black Widow ZR-1s, Callaway CR-1, and DRM-500 and DRM-600 ZR-1s. ZR-1 Corvettes
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