CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD ATLANTA: Seeking to Close the Season Strong
Eleven class wins at Road Atlanta – nine in Petit Le Mans – since 1999
Corvette Racing stands 1-2 in Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup for GT Le Mans
Garcia, Magnussen ready for final push toward GTLM Driver’s Championship
Corvette Racing looking to add fourth endurance race win to Triple Crown season
Detroit – Corvette Racing looks to close its season of sports car racing in the same fashion as it started – with a victory.
The team’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs and five drivers are set for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the final race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Petit Le Mans is a 10-hour enduro and has been one of sports car racing’s premier events since its first running in 1998.
Corvette Racing has fared well at Road Atlanta over the years with 11 class victories – nine of those coming in Petit Le Mans. Of the five drivers entered for Road Atlanta three have won at Road Atlanta in their sports car careers: Oliver Gavin (six), Jan Magnussen (four) and Ryan Briscoe (two).
Corvette Racing opened its season by winning the two biggest races in the TUDOR Championship – the Rolex 24 Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The team added its eighth class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans later in the year to claim endurance racing’s Triple Crown.
No team since 2000 had laid claim to that feat. Winning Petit Le Mans would give Corvette Racing endurance racing’s proverbial “Grand Slam” – something no team has accomplished.
Magnussen, Briscoe and Antonio Garcia reunite this week in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R. The trio were winners at Daytona and Sebring. Garcia and Magnussen stand third in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver’s Championship and stand 10 points out of first place; there are 36 points available at Petit Le Mans.
The pair also holds the lead in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It is a competition made up of the TUDOR Championship’s four endurance races: Daytona, Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen and Petit Le Mans. Points are awarded at the four-, eight- and 10-hour marks at Road Atlanta; five points go to the leading car, four to second place, three for third place, and two points for fourth place on back.
Garcia and Magnussen lead Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R in the Endurance Cup standings by four points. Coincidentally, Gavin and Milner are tied with Briscoe in Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup points.
It was Gavin and Milner who teamed with Jordan Taylor to win at Le Mans this year to cement Corvette Racing as one of endurance racing’s top squads.
Corvette Racing’s last victory at Petit Le Mans came in the 2010 American Le Mans Series season with Gavin, Magnussen and Emmanuel Collard winning the GT class on the final lap.
The 18th annual Petit Le Mans is set for 11:15 a.m. ET for Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. It is the 10th and final race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. It will air live on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports Go and IMSA.com throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “Road Atlanta is a track I enjoy very much. It is one of the classic circuit that we go to each year and it is a big challenge, especially in a 10-hour race. You have to be mindful how the track changes from the start of the race in the late morning to the end of the race at night. Traffic plays a big role too with some of the the elevation changes. Some of the rises and drops can affect your ability to pass. Personally, I’d very much like to win at Road Atlanta for the first time. It would be great to add that to our wins this year at Daytona and Sebring. Jan and I also are leading the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, and winning that would help salvage our season.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I’ve raced at Road Atlanta more times than any other on our schedule. It’s a track that is great fun – lots of fast corners and high speeds. The first corner and the last corner are two of the best on the schedule. You really have to a car that is well-balanced to go quick at Atlanta. The thing is that the conditions can swing back and forth depending on things like time of day and traffic. We are all eager for a good result to close the season. Winning the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup would be a fantastic end to 2015.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I’m looking forward to this weekend with Corvette Racing and getting back in the Corvette C7.R. Jan, Antonio and I started off the season with two massive victories and I’m hoping we can end the year in the same way. Petit Le Mans is a race I’ve won before. Road Atlanta is a unique track and very old-school. There is no room for error in a lot of areas, especially in some of the key areas. Turn 1, for example, is really quick. There is no run-off area. If you run wide, you’re in the grass and likely to go to the fence. It’s a track where you have to be concentrating 100 percent. Daytona and Sebring are very forgiving in a lot of places like that, whereas Road Atlanta isn’t. You have to be on your game and it’s what makes Road Atlanta special.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I won my fifth Le Mans 24 Hours this year, and I’d very much like to win Petit Le Mans for the sixth time to close the 2015 season. This race is never easy. A lot of that is down to the layout of the track, which is very fast and very daunting. There are a number of places where the elevation rises and falls, and the camber of the track falls away in certain spots. The considerable traffic and racing into night only adds to the challenge. Traditionally Corvette Racing has excelled at endurance events – our record this year at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans is an example. The Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup is still very much in play for Tommy and I. It’s an important championship and an achievement we would gladly take.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “The season championship is pretty much out of reach for us. Oliver and I still have a chance to win the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. That is definitely something I’d like to win, as it would help us win both the Team and Manufacturer championships in that competition. Corvette Racing historically has been strong in endurance races, as we’ve shown this year. We’ve won the three biggest races we could win. Petit Le Mans has been one that has been challenging the last couple of years for the team, but our strength lies in endurance races. The Corvette C7.R has been a durable car and well-suited for these longer races. While the last few races haven’t turned out how we would have wanted, we definitely head into this weekend with high hopes.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “Petit Le Mans has been a fixture on our schedule since the beginning of the Corvette Racing program. It’s an extreme test of endurance that puts a strain on personnel and equipment – partly because of the distance and partly because of Road Atlanta’s nature. Everything has to work together to have a chance at success. Fortunately, we have excelled in long-distance events and expect to do so again this week. We’ll have one of the largest Corvette Corrals we’ve seen cheering us on, and we don’t want to disappoint them!”