CORVETTE RACING AT ROAD AMERICA: Two Podiums, on to Le Mans
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 8, 2021) – Corvette Racing finished second and third in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday at Road America as the program now heads across the Atlantic Ocean for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
GTLM championship leaders Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor finished second in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, just ahead of Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy in the No. 4 mid-engine Corvette. Shortly after the race, all focus turned to Le Mans with the team traveling over in the coming days with the Test Day set for Aug. 15.
Sunday’s race marked Corvette Racing’s 20th event at Road America, and early on the two C8.Rs were in control. Taylor and Tandy ran 1-2 during the opening minutes. An early-race call to take fuel and tires just 22 minutes in gave the No. 4 Corvette the advantage during the opening hour. Running second, Tandy took fuel and fresh Michelin tires just ahead of a full-course caution period.
Once the GT pits opened for stops, the No. 3 Corvette side switched to Garcia along with a full fuel fill and fresh tires. Meanwhile, Tandy remained in the No. 4 C8.R and took just enough fuel to top off the tank to move from third to first ahead of the restart at the 40-minute mark.
Tandy continued his good work in traffic on the restart to move five seconds ahead of Garcia before a second full-course caution 20 minutes later. Tandy and Garcia both stayed in with the No. 4 C8.R retaining an advantage.
Garcia stopped the No. 3 Corvette for more fuel and tires with 75 minutes left with the No. 4 coming in less than 15 minutes later for a driver change to Milner. Disaster struck, though, as the car’s wheels spun while on the airjacks. Race officials assessed the No. 4 C8.R a drive-through penalty for the infraction.
Corvette Racing next makes its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which runs Aug. 21-22.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “Not bad. It was all about gambling. Before the first yellow, we had decided to split strategies to put pressure on the Porsche and they decided to follow us. I think we probably took a gamble on some tires and it didn’t pay off on that first stint I did. We lost some track position and had to change strategies from that point on to make up one stop. The information I got on my stint probably helped us close the gap. We had to get pushing but they (the No. 79) made it to the end. So we did all we could do – keep the pressure up and pray for a little less fuel in their tanks. They did right and won the race. I’m happy with it considering how the race went. It’s a shame the 4 car had that drive-through (penalty). I think they would have put the Porsche under a lot more pressure and would have to push. Maybe that would have put us more in contention. You never know in these races.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED SECOND IN GTLM: “It’s not a win, but looking overall with how the day went I think we can be happy. We went a little bit off strategy tire-wise and it didn’t pay off. But we were a little off-strategy with the 79 there at the end. Had there been a yellow at the right time, things could have gone our way. We can’t be too upset with a second-place after winning three in a row.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “Nick did an awesome job at the start. The pace was really good, he held on to the tires and the strategy was good. It was just one small, little mistake on the pit stop. My engineer Chuck wants to take the blame, but it’s also on me as well. In the moment and heat of it, we knew the stop was going to be finished around the time that the driver change was done. The information I got was that they were waiting on me, but obviously there was still some work being done and the car was in the air. There were a lot of things happening all at once there. At the end of the day, I don’t think it would have made a massive difference in the end result. Maybe we would have finished ahead of the 3 car. The 79 today was significantly faster than us at every stage of the race. Now the focus is on Le Mans. We definitely learned a lesson today. In the heat of the moment there, we need to make sure our processes are perfect. It wasn’t right there but we will take that lesson, move on and not make it again.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FINISHED THIRD IN GTLM: “It’s not the result we wanted in the end. It was an interesting race for us in the 4 Corvette. We had a good start and led a couple of laps. The C8.R was good and we made a great call to pit before the first yellow. The pace of the Porsche at the end of their stints forced us into a box and we were trying to second-guess them because we saw the pace the car had. We had the mistake on the pit stop that set us back, and from then we were hoping for a yellow which never came. But now we go to Le Mans having run at the front again. All we need to do is finish off one of these races.”
Source: Corvette Racing