Ninth class win at Sebring for Corvette Racing since 2002
No. 3 Corvette C7.R increases early-season GT Le Mans championship lead
No. 4 Corvette strong early before mechanical issues sideline challenge
SEBRING, Fla. – Corvette Racing won in class for the ninth time at the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida as Ryan Briscoe, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen added Saturday’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory to their Rolex 24 At Daytona win from January. The trio started the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season with consecutive victories and lead in GTLM points after two rounds.
Garcia won by nearly one minute as the Corvette Racing team played out its fuel strategy perfectly. Garcia pitted with 54 minutes remaining and stayed consistent as two cars ahead of him fell into trouble. Briscoe recovered from a small spin in his opening stints to post his fastest laps of the race, and quick pit work by the Corvette Racing crew and a key out lap by Magnussen early in the race gained two positions during a full-course caution period.
The winning Corvette completed 330 laps for 1,221 miles.
“The win by the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring was a total team effort by everyone at Corvette Racing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The win was the result of great driving, quick pit stop by the crew and strong race strategy. Congratulations to Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe and the team on winning today.
“We were very proud to have so many Corvette owners on hand to watch the No. 3 C7.R become the first team and driver combination to win their class in both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Sebring 12 Hours in 15 years,” Campbell added.
Saturday’s win was Magnussen’s fourth at Sebring – all with Corvette Racing. Garcia won for the second time at the event to go along with his 2009 victory, also with Corvette Racing. Briscoe likewise is now a two-time Sebring winner.
On the other end of the spectrum, the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Simon Pagenaud left the race with less than two hours remaining with a mechanical issue. The trio had challenged for the class podium in the race’s opening half.
After two races in the TUDOR Championship, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing lead all three point tables. Chevrolet increased its lead in the GTLM Manufacturer championship, as does the No. 3 Corvette C7.R in the team standings.
The No. 3 Corvette C7.R also won its second straight race in the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup and leads in driver and team championship points. Chevrolet extended its lead in the manufacturer standings.
The next round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase from the Long Beach (Calif.) street circuit on Saturday, April 18. FOX Sports 1 will air the race starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 19. Live radio coverage will be available via IMSA Radio.
ANTONIO GARCIA, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – RACE WINNER
WHAT WAS THE KEY TO GETTING THIS WIN?
“I think strategy was a key thing here. I mean we definitely didn’t have the fastest car out there, but consistency was the key thing. We were putting pressure on them. Even though we were not able to be in the lead and pull away like at Daytona, we were hammering (the leaders). We didn’t want them to bail or just to take it easy. Maybe that is why they caught some problems, but at the end strategy was the key thing. Maybe they would run into problems, but they had to stop anyway. So, for Corvette Racing again the strategy was brilliant. I’m pretty happy for these two guys (Magnussen and Briscoe) and two in a row. I can’t say more.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – RACE WINNER
THIS IS YOUR FOURTH WIN HERE AT SEBRING WHERE DOES THIS ONE RANK?
“Sebring ranks high. It’s one of the biggest victories you can get. To win this way like was said before we didn’t have the fastest car, but we had a fantastic team and good strategy. Antonio, the closer, was fantastic.
“I have to say that two hours before the end of it, I didn’t think we would have a shot at winning. Once it became a fuel race, everything changed. We knew that a safety car would mess things up again. But this another fantastic day. A big thanks to the entire Corvette Racing team and to all the Corvette owners who came to support us and cheer for us the whole way. It was fantastic.”
RYAN BRISCOE, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – RACE WINNER
YOU ARE THE THIRD DRIVER NOW YOU HAVE TO STEP AWAY. HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT WHEN YOU ARE GOING OUT AFTER TWO RACE WINS?
“I know, it’s hard, I wish I could stay and be the third guy at all the races. What a great start to the year. This team has just been working tirelessly. We had some bad luck in these first two races last year. I think it’s really turned around for us. I mean just not making mistakes. The car has just been absolutely rock solid. I’m just so thrilled to be a part of this team and winning races. It’s awesome.
“This was just absolutely perfect running with great pit stops – purely just fuel and tires and drivers. There were no problems at all. It’s great to be rewarded with the wins for that preparation. The team is just doing a great job. I feel lucky to be a part of it all.”
OLIVER GAVIN, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED 9TH: “It’s an unfortunate end our race with the equipment malfunction. We showed throughout that our Corvette C7.R had good pace. I was able to challenge and post solid laptimes in both stints, and I felt like we had a car that could certainly challenge for the podium. Sebring is tough on drivers and the cars, as we saw again today.”
TOMMY MILNER, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED 9TH: “What another crazy Sebring race. We felt really good about our Corvette C7.R after last week’s test and practice this week. We struggled with pace in the heat but could challenge and were making gains as the temperatures dropped. A belt issue set us back first, then we had more mechanical trouble with Oliver in the car. It’s a tough result for us. But congratulations to the 3 car on another great win for Corvette Racing.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED 9TH: “It has been a good time for Corvette Racing. I enjoy driving the Corvette C7.R. It is a beautiful car. It is sad that this is last time I am with the team, but hopefully we will be able to be together in the future. I am quite excited to get back to my daily duties with Team Penske (No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series). This was really fun, and as you know I love sports cars. I still feel like I belong here. I hope I can come back and race again with Corvette Racing.”