With just fifty minutes left on the clock, Tandy navigated the car from third to first during a tenacious, contact-filled, half-lap to put the Corvette in winning position. The team’s victory on Saturday follows earlier, back-to-back wins at Laguna Seca and Long Beach for the No. 4 Corvette C8.R.
Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, drivers of the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette and the current leaders in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Drivers Championship, finished in second place on Saturday. They need only to start the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta this November to secure their second straight title and another Manufacturers Championship for Chevrolet.
Saturday’s race was full of momentum changes and strategies. Taylor led the race from the start, overtaking pole-sitter Milner in the first corner. The two Corvettes stretched their lead to approximately 35 seconds over third-place Cooper MacNeil in the No. 79 Weathertech Racing Porsche 911 RSR. Milner made the first Corvette pit stop 28 minutes into the race for fuel, tires and a driver change to Tandy. The full-service stop for the No. 79 ten minutes prior to Tandy’s stop in the pits, combined with the No. 4 Corvette’s quick pitstop and overall pace the Tandy in a solid second place and ahead of the No. 79 Porsche by over 40 seconds.
The No. 4 Corvette took over the race lead from the No. 3 C8.R team at 53 minutes into the race. Taylor had been leading the race by more than a minute, but a pit stop misstep relegated Garcia to second, though they were still well ahead of Kevin Estre and the No. 79 Porsche 911.
The race’s lone full-course caution happened near the halfway point of the race. Tandy stopped for fuel and tires.
The restart came with just 66 minutes left on the race clock. It saw the three GTLM contenders lined up for the restart. Estre passed Tandy for second place with about 50 minutes left in the race. He did same to Garcia – still on older tires – shortly thereafter. The battle between the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 79 Porsche allowed Tandy to catch back up to the lead. He passed Garcia and steered the No. 4 Corvette to the inside line at Turn 12 to take the lead. There they remained to the checkered flag, with the No. 3 winning the battle against the No. 79 Porsche for second place.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER:
“What a great win. I got a pretty poor start and was in the wrong engine mode. That was my fault and that let Jordan get pretty far up alongside me. With the conditions as they were, I just went a little bit wide in Turn One and that was the spot gone. From there it was just about trying to get back up to him and saving as much fuel as I could. When the Porsche came in so early there, the plan for us was to try to cover them on strategy in case a yellow came out. Today we definitely needed a bit of luck and got that. We also had this guy next to me (Nick Tandy) in the car at the end. He did an absolutely incredible job. He got raced really hard and raced back pretty hard for a pretty good show! I’m super happy for our whole team – another win for the 4 Corvette. It’s another 1-2 for Corvette Racing. It definitely didn’t look like was going to go that way for us, but a lot of hard work, good racing and here we are 1-2 again. It feels great, feels good for the team and I’m happy to get one of these Michelin Man trophies.”
EMOTION BEHIND THE WIN AND WINNING THREE IN A ROW:
“Nick and I were talking after Lime Rock. We felt like we had a car that was fast and a crew that was having good pit stops. We were just missing the last little piece. Sometimes it’s luck and sometimes it’s the little mistakes that we all make. I will say that for the whole year the team has been really good on our side. We had a super-fast car at Daytona. Sebring and other things didn’t go our way. It was frustrating for us and frustrating for our crew guys. It was a time for everyone on our side to buckle down and get every last little detail just right so we get these wins. I’m a firm believer of making your own luck. From our side, we made another conscious effort to make sure we were doing everything we could possibly could to get the result. We had the speed and all the ingredients to get these wins; it just wasn’t getting put together. When you make that extra effort and get the results, it’s one of those things that encourages that same intensity, same drive and same passion that got us three wins. Today was about making sure we continued down that path. To be honest, we got a little bit lucky today. My start was pretty poor and by trying to cover the Porsche on their pit strategy, that put us in a bad spot if the race had gone green the whole way. Obviously it didn’t but were still behind the eight-ball a little bit by having to cover them. Today we had the luck plus the right guy in the car at the right time. It’s worked for us. We’re making our own luck but also working super hard for it.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – GTLM RACE WINNER:
“I’ve got to give full credit to Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the guys and girls on this team. It started with Tommy putting it on pole and Jordan again on the front row for Corvette Racing. From the start, we split strategies and nailed all the stops on the strategy from there. The car was bullet-proof. Hats off to everyone on the team.”
FIGHT FOR THE WIN:
“It was an interesting one. There was about an hour-and-15 minutes to go with the three GTLM cars in a line. I especially know how fast that RSR should be around this circuit because I sat in it last year. If there’s a circuit you want to take that car to, it’s this place. With the change in the BoP from last year, we knew they could have walked away with this race. Kevin (Estre) is a good friend of mine. I respect him a lot and he’s a great driver. When you start smashing into cars in front of you when you have no real room or right to put your car where he did… I think what happened was karma or what-not. It was a good race but it’s always great to win the races when you really shouldn’t. It was fun out there. I always enjoy a good fight. When you race people like Kevin, Antonio (Garcia), Tommy and Jordan (Taylor), there’s always going to be a good fight. We enjoyed it, and we got the better of it. I’m really glad the Corvette was up to the job and kept the wheels on it.”
CONCERNED ABOUT A PUNCTURE FROM TURN FOUR CONTACT?
“Yes. The first real contact was a big hit on the wheel. I checked the steering but it was straight. You never know if you’re going to get a puncture or knock off the splitter. I saw where we lost some aero parts at the front. You never really know so you just hope. But what I do know is how strong are these Corvette Racing C8.Rs – from experience in the past! It was nerve-wracking but that is IMSA GTLM racing.”
“Personally, it was probably one of the best because we had such a performance deficit. The Porsche couldn’t stretch its legs because it was stuck behind the Corvettes. We just managed to keep him there. We’ve said before that it only takes two cars to make a good race. So when you have three out there at the front fighting for the overall win… for us it makes no difference whether we’re fighting for second or third in a class with eight cars in the class or whether it’s the Corvette and Corvette in the third-fastest class. I hope the interest in this race and the interest in GT racing around this weekend made it a good show.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – SECOND IN GTLM:
“It was an up-and-down race that ended in another Corvette 1-2. It looked good for us on the 3 car side for much of the race until the yellow came out. That really gave the tire advantage back to Nick as well the 79 since they both were on a three-stop strategy. It made it difficult to defend from the Porsche, and to be honest it wasn’t a clean overtake. In the end, we ended with a 1-2 team finish. Sure we would have liked to be back on the top step but it didn’t work out. We’ll try to get back there at Atlanta.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – SECOND IN GTLM:
“It’s not the way we wanted to end the day after being in control of it from the green flag through the first half of the race on the two-stop strategy. Once the yellow came out, it kind of mixed things up. It was a tough fight all the way to the end. It was a good job by the 4 Corvette and a tough fight with the 79 there in the middle. Good job today for Corvette Racing with another 1-2. We can go to Petit Le Mans now and race as hard as we want to for a win there.”