Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia Claim GTLM Title at Road Atlanta!
Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler finish second in GTLM at Petit Le Mans!
This past weekend (October 13, 2018), Corvsport.com returned to Braselton, Georgia for the 21st running of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. As in years past, we went down hoping to see the Corvette Racing program dominate the racetrack and win championships. As in years past, the team did not disappoint!
For starters, Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia won their second straight IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) Driver title Saturday as well as the GTLM Team Title Championship. This marks the 12th Driver Championship and 13th Team title in the program’s 20-year history!
Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler placed second in the GTLM class at Road Atlanta’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to close Corvette Racing’s 20th season of competition in IMSA. Although Garcia and Magnussen co-drove the No. 3 Corvette to a disappointing eighth-place finish – the result was still good enough to secure them both the GTLM Driver and Team championships.
“Congratulations to Antonio, Jan and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team on clinching the GTLM Driver Championship. This team never gave up all season to deliver our 12th Driver title for Corvette Racing over 20 seasons of competition,” said Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President and President Global Product Group and Cadillac. “And congratulations to Corvette Racing and Pratt & Miller on their 13th Team Championship. They prepared a race car that delivered consistent performance and that great combination of power, durability and efficiency.”
Both Corvettes maintained a race-winning pace and each led multiple times during the 10 hour endurance race. Unfortunately, complications late in the race presented challenges to both cars.
The No. 3 Corvette was involved in a crash during the seventh hour of the race. Fortunately, the crew needed just five-and-a-half minutes to repair the car, and Garcia returned the car to the track with less than three hours to go. Among other items, the crew replaced the Corvette’s nose, front fender and engine floor to keep the No. 3 C7.R in the race and in the championship hunt.
Recognizing that the No. 3 (which had been the more dominant Corvette early in the race) was out of contention to win the race, the team shifted its focus to the No. 4 Corvette. Gavin, Milner (and Fässler – who actually served as the third driver for both Corvette entries in the race) – fought to move the Corvette thru the ranks to a position where Milner could pressure the sister car’s championship challenger late. The team’s effort allowed the No. 4 Corvette to advance from fifth to third in the final GTLM Driver and Team standings.
Although Corvette Racing’s IMSA season is complete, there is still one more race left in 2018. Corvette Racing will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Shanghai on Nov. 16-18, 2018.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “It was definitely a tough race. From Lap 1, I went in the lead and every time I was in the car I was going for it instead of holding position. It probably went from one of my best races of my career to the most embarrassing moment of my career. But that means Team Chevy and Corvette Racing did all the prep work before this race and allowed us to come back from that. Thank you to the 4 car for keeping the pressure up on the 67 car, which had to go for the win for the (championship) result. That’s part of this championship – the 4 car keeping the pressure up at the end. I’m very happy. It will take me a little bit to forget that mistake, but I’m very happy for the whole team.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM DRIVER CHAMPION: “The way it turned out, the way the 4 car went in there and really put pressure on changed things around. Fantastic. Such a massive team effort to make this happen. I’m so proud to be a part of this. We had a good car and were going to be right there in the mix and the pit exit stuff happened and put everything on its head. It looked like we were out of it, trying to figure out how to still make it happen. I think what really did it was the 4 car got sent super aggressively and changed the balance of things. Obviously the 4 car went for the win but they knew why they were doing it. It turned things in our favor.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND PLACE IN GTLM RACE, THIRD IN GTLM DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP: “It’s been another amazing performance by Corvette Racing. You look at all the stints by Tommy (Milner), Marcel (Fässler) or myself and the same on the 3 car, it was just exceptional. The strategy, the way the guys worked together was just amazing. Then Antonio (Garcia) had his problem and I’ve never seen the guys work so well together to get the 3 car back out there in a short amount of time. It was just exceptional. Everybody had such great team spirit, team harmony and everybody was pulling for that championship. Us getting third in the championship was quite a result for Tommy and myself, so I’m very happy with today.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND PLACE IN GTLM RACE, THIRD IN GTLM DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP: “We can be super proud of our effort today. The car was really good all race long. Pit stops, strategy, Olly and Marcel did great jobs in the car. What it came down to today was I think we had the car to win, we had the pace to win, but right toward the end I got stuck behind the Ford and I lost 8-10 seconds on the Porsche. A little unfortunate, but I wanted to be careful and not have any contact or interference with the Porsche on my part. In any case, everyone in the class did an awesome job. In the race we were fifth, then eighth, then sixth, and all over the place. Really impressive driving by everyone. I really wanted to win today but we can be happy with second place, and third in the championship was a bit of a stretch for us coming in. Good race today from all the guys on the 4 car to give us super pit stops and strategy.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – SECOND PLACE IN GTLM RACE: “My last podium finish was here in 2016, so I’m really happy and proud of the team. My first stint in the 3 car was a little tough and then in the 4 car I had a pretty good stint in the beginning. I congratulate the 3 car for the championship. It was an awesome job today, and thanks to Corvette Racing for its trust in me to drive both cars. The crew made this podium happen because they had an awesome pit stop in the end that got the 4 car out ahead of the others. For me, it was a nice end-of-season race and making the podium made for a really good day. I will do this again for Corvette Racing any time again.”