No. 4 C7.R Corvette Racing Team Earns First Win of Season
Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R driven by Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner earned their second consecutive class win and the team’s first win of the 2018 racing season in Saturday’s Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. The victory, which Gavin was quoted as saying was “pretty special,” marks a significant milestone in his career – his 50th career win with Corvette Racing since joining the team in 2002.
Gavin has been part of nearly half of the team’s 107 wins since Corvette Racing’s inception in 1999, including five of the team’s eight victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as Corvette Racing’s 100th victory at Lime Rock in 2016.
“Starting back in 2002, it was a bit of a dream to drive for Corvette Racing,” stated Gavin, “and to be here now, and have 50 victories, is pretty special.”
Tommy Milner actually piloted the No. 4 Corvette in the final laps of Saturday’s 100-minute race. He took over the GTLM class lead when previous leader, Earl Bamber, driving the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR for the Porsche GT Team, suffered fight-front suspension failure following a Lap 51 restart.
The pair of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT’s gave chase to Milner, but he was able to gap the pair of race cars, driven by Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Mueller, to increase his lead to just over two seconds. Despite his advantage, a slight driving miscue in the hairpin, the same place that Milner lost lead position in 2016, nearly cost him the victory again.
“To see everybody struggling, there was the last lap, last corner heart-in-the-mouth moment Tommy had.” Gavin reflected. “It seems that the last lap, last corner for us is a bit of a thing!”
Despite this, Milner managed to pull the car thru the hairpin turn, despite the deteriorating track conditions, to earn his 16th career IMSA win. Briscoe and Mueller maintained position as well, coming in second and third in class and rounding out the GTLM podium.
The No. 3 Corvette C7.R driven by Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia didn’t fare quite as well, but still had a strong showing throughout the race. During the same lap 51 re-start mentioned above, Garcia overpowered the throttle on the No. 3 Corvette, spinning the wheels and causing the car to fall back eighth position.
Despite this setback late in the race, the team managed to re-gain position over the remaining nineteen laps, claiming a fourth-place class finish behind the Ford GT’s.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SIRIUS XM CORVETTE C7.R, RACE WINNER: “There is something about Long Beach. Something about having magic here. I don’t know what it is. We had it today. We had it last year. Whatever it is, I want to keep it. Really tough race today. The track was really, really tough with the marbles off line. Super difficult. I almost threw it away on the last corner, last lap. Really, really tough conditions. But, Corvette was great. Michelins were great. They were super strong right to the end. Just had that little bit of magic, litle bit of luck and that’s all we needed today!”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBILE 1/SIRIUS XM CORVETTE C7.R, RACE WINNER: NOTE-TODAY’S VICTORY IS THE 50TH FOR GAVIN DRIVING FOR CORVETTE RACING: “Amazing the way that all came around. Yes we had a little bit of luck, but Tommy had to drive brilliantly at the end there and stay out of trouble. There were a number of incidents there. Man, we could have gotten taken out. We could have gotten in the wall. Tommy just navigated. We had a great pit stop. The guys did an amazing job at the stop. We jumped a number of people and put us in position there we we could challenge for that victory. And we got it! That is our first win in season No. 20 for Corvette Racing. And it is my 50th victory with the team. That is pretty amazing. I am just thrilled.”
JIM CAMPBELL, US VICE PRESIDENT PERFORMANCE VEHICLES AND MOTORSPORTS: “This team just does not give up. While we didn’t have the ideal starting position, Olly and Tommy took advantage of every opportunity on track and the crew executed in the pits. Congratulations to the #4 Corvette team for back-to-back wins at Long Beach.