Corvette Racing Discusses Next Week’s Monterey Sports Car Championship with the Media

CORVETTE RACING AT LONG BEACH: Antonio Garcia Zoom Transcript

April 21, 2022

Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia, who drives the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R with Jordan Taylor, met with members of the media during a Zoom conference call Thursday to discuss next week’s Monterey Sports Car Championship, the team’s performance heading into WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and other topics. FULL GARCIA TRANSCRIPT:

YOU HAVE THREE WINS AT LAGUNA SECA? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST GOING BACK THERE NEXT WEEK? “It has been good for me and always good for Corvette Racing. I’ve had a few wins there but also when we had two cars there, we won together there many times. I’m looking forward to it. This year as always, it’s a new challenge because we don’t know how this version of the car will behave. So far it’s been going really, really good. I don’t see anything going against us or that we won’t be able to fight for the win or a good result.”

WHAT WAS YOUR SIDE AND REACTION TO THE WHEEL-NUT ISSUE AT LONG BEACH (WHICH EVENTUALLY LANDED IN THE FRONT OF THE PFAFF MOTORSPORTS AND PUCNTURED THE RADIATOR)? “After that, I felt like were on the lucky side of that because we weren’t the car that went out of the race. That’s something I said to the Pfaff mechanics after the race. I went over and apologized for this weird thing. I didn’t understand after the restart. We thought they had some issues with the refueling. I didn’t know. I was getting in normal rhythm of a stint and trying to keep control over the Aston Martin, which was really fast at the beginning. The team tried to explain why we had to serve a penalty but I couldn’t really figure out what happened. Until I saw the video, I couldn’t believe what actually happened. For sure, that’s the unluckiest thing… you can try that a million times more and never do that again. It was very unfortunate for what happened to the 9 car.”

“I’ve had a few at Long Beach. I lost a race there at the Hairpin when the track was completely blocked. I was the only one not being able to move around the accident. Losing the race there… I don’t know. That one two weeks ago was probably the weirdest one. For sure we’ve had failures on some things but I can’t think of anything stranger than that.”

THIS IS THE LAST GTD PRO RACE FOR TWO MONTHS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A GOOD PERFORMANCE IN THIS ONE COMING UP BEFORE COMING BACK AT WATKINS GLEN? “For us, it will be a little different because we will head to Le Mans. All the mechanics need to change their minds back to WEC rules; however we have one car over there now so it won’t be much of a difference. Half of the team or most of the team is set to the WEC rhythm. It will be for more Jordan and I to get used again to the GTE/GTLM full spec car, back to confidential tires and no ABS. There will be a little bit of changing our driving style but having driven this car for so many years in GTLM spec, I hope it doesn’t take much to get back to that style. For us, maybe it will be more difficult for us to get back to The Glen and change again for GTD PRO.”

Corvette Captures 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Series GTLM Class with Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor

SPEAKING ABOUT LAGUNA SECA, YOU AND JORDAN HAVE SAID THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN THE CURRENT IMSA CAR IS THE ABS AND TIRES THAT EVERYONE IS USING. HOW WILL THAT PLAY A ROLE IN THIS RACE? “For us, we’re always learning. We should have a little bit more time in free practice so we know how to make the tire to work over there. That’s the biggest thing for us. We’ve never run this tire at these racetracks. We need to know how to make it work. We struggled a little bit on that at Long Beach but figured it out. Laguna Seca will be a different temperature so we’ll have to figure that out and adapt to that. It’s not only the stint performance but we also need to find some peak performance for qualifying. We saw at Long Beach that there are some cars potentially a little bit faster than us. That’s something we need to learn during the weekend. Prior to that, we need to anticipate what’s going to happen but we don’t know how this car will react to the track and temperatures.”

WITH THE NUMBER OF MANUFACTURERS IN GTD PRO, HOW TOUGH HAS THE SEASON BEEN SO FAR? “It’s definitely difficult. I’ve raced against many of these guys already, but it’s different in dealing with the GTD PRO field and then you have the regular GTD field in the mix. At Long Beach after serving the penalty, I was behind some GTDs. In a way you are mixed in but they are on the same level as you car-wise and performance-wise. That’s the most difficult thing to deal with. Finishing the race behind the leading GTD car and knowing you couldn’t really make up anything to move forward because you might do something wrong that will impact the other car. I found that way a little more difficult. Bryan (Sellers) was racing with us and we were fighting for third or fourth in overall GTD positions. But being mixed is a bit different. We will get a little deeper into the season and how to better interact between the classes. That’s what I’ve found most challenging so far.”

ON THE AGING TRACK SURFACE AT LAGUNA SECA, IT BEING SLIPPERY AND HOW YOU ATTACK THE TRACK. IS PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE AN ADVANTAGE? “It’s an advantage if you know how to deal with it. The downside for us is that we’re going to be learning about the degradation is on this new tire for us. Over the years with the C8.R in GTLM, we saw that degradation wasn’t that bad. It’s more about different strategies maybe. Last year in fighting the 4 car, we were on a slightly different strategy on tire compound so that changes a lot. In a way, having just one compound makes it a little easier so you don’t have that fear of choosing the wrong compound. Laguna Seca is great for that. There are track limits everywhere; if you go wide, you’re off or in the dirt. There is reward if you keep your car on track and do things well. I hope there is an advantage for us in that matter. You never know. Strategy is a good point there and traffic is usually pretty bad. You face a lot of things around the race but we are looking forward to it.”

IS BEING ABLE TO MANAGE THE SURFACE THE BIGGEST KEY TO SUCCESS? “This track has always had long stints. It’s almost always a very long last stint so you need to deal with very old tires at the end. If there is some kind of late yellow, the tension goes up after those restarts. It’s a track where strategy plays a part of it. I’m sure we will see a lot of people going off-sequence. Let’s see… we hope to be on the right one and we’ll see where we are at the end of the race.”

Source: Corvette Racing

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