July 8, 2018 –
Corvette Racing’s pair of Chevrolet Corvettes both finished on the class podium Sunday at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It marked the team’s first double podium of the season and allowed both Corvette C7.Rs to gain positions in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) points standings of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen placed second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, just ahead of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette. The results vaulted Garcia and Magnussen to second place in the GTLM Driver’s Championship while Gavin and Milner are now tied for fourth.
“Being by myself for a little bit there in that first stint, it was hard to know kind of what is going on with the pace and things like that,” said Milner. “I had good information from our engineer Reed (Sullivan) to let me know that I was on a good pace basically. We had a really good strategy there for the end. We had a really fast car at the end, and ultimately second and third for the team is good.”
The race featured six caution periods that allowed for a variety of pit stop strategies. In the end, the No. 3 Corvette finished a spot higher than where it started, and the No. 4 C7.R improved two positions.
Magnussen qualified third but took second on the start from Ryan Briscoe and Gavin held position in fifth. Both Corvettes stopped 21 minutes in during the first yellow flag period for fuel and tires. Garcia and Milner took over an hour later, with the Corvettes running first and third just before the GTLM contenders began to make their last stops.
Garcia came in with 55 minutes left to follow the No. 911 Porsche, which had been running second. Meanwhile, the No. 4 Corvette Racing team elected to keep Milner on track for another 20 minutes. After a string of impressive laps where he was on pace of the cars that had fresher Michelin tires, Milner came in from the lead with 35 minutes with only one other GTLM car electing to stay out.
“When you know you are running up front and are in the a good spot… you need to do the normal strategy,” said Garcia. “When the Porsche dove in, we had to follow them. It’s easy to say now that if we had stayed out and run deep in the stint, we would have been able to get a win. But the 67 was the one that pitted right before that yellow. I was focused on saving my tires toward the end to get around the Porsche just in case there was a yellow. We got one, but the down side of it was that the 67 was ahead of us. But the strategy worked as I had better tires than the Porsche and could get by them on the last run.”
Unfortunately for the Corvettes, their lead challenger made its last stop just as the fifth caution period came out which kept the C7.Rs third and fourth when the race resumed with 20 minutes left. The top five cars were nose-to-tail as Garcia and Milner moved up to second and third, respectively, but the final caution period with 13 minutes remaining stymied any chances for either car to challenge for the win.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the Northeast Grand Prix on July 20-21 from Lime Rock Park.