CORVETTE RACING IN CANADA: Aiming for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Repeat
Team seeking fourth straight GT Le Mans victory in TUDOR Championship
· Gavin, Milner enter as defending race winners
· Garcia, Magnussen lead GTLM driver championship
· Watkins Glen victory moved Chevrolet into manufacturer points lead
DETROIT (July 9, 2014) – After winning a round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at an unfamiliar venue, Corvette Racing heads this weekend to more recognizable surroundings. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) plays host to the TUDOR Championship as Corvette Racing goes for an 11th victory at the storied road course just outside Toronto.
Following a victory in the last round at Watkins Glen International, Corvette Racing will arrive at the circuit formerly known as Mosport International Raceway with championship leads in the TUDOR Championship’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) driver, team and manufacturer standings. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen rank first in points after their third straight series victory but teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner are the defending race winners.
Last season, Milner held on in a pressure-packed final stint to win by 0.267 seconds in the final year of the Corvette C6.R. This year’s race sees the Canadian debut of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, which has proven itself as a front-runner at each TUDOR Championship round to date.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is one of the most daunting on the schedule. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn layout is known for high speeds and high risks. The first three turns, drivers say, are among the biggest challenges on any track in North America.
The circuit has been like a second home to Corvette Racing since its first race there in 2000. Its 10 victories there are the most at any circuit – a tie with Road Atlanta – and the team has won two of the last three races there. Three of those wins were by Corvette Racing star and Canadian legend Ron Fellows, now a co-owner of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The character of the track hasn’t changed much since its first race in 1961. Through the years, CTMP has played host to Can-Am, Formula 5000, USAC stock cars, IndyCar, Trans-Am, Formula Atlantic, and of course the American Le Mans Series and IMSA. Most notably, the circuit was the site of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix eight times between 1967-77.
Live television coverage of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance starts at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday on FOX Sports 1.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is similar to Watkins Glen in that it is a track where you need good momentum over the lap. They are both classic circuits with a very old-school feel and very fast. For a driver, it is a big thrill to race there because of the speed and history. Corvette Racing has a strong history there with a number of wins and I hope Jan and I can continue that. It would be great to get my first victory there. Winning three races in the TUDOR Championship in the first year of the Corvette C7.R is remarkable. We knew we had a great team behind us and a good car that is being developed all the time. Even while we are racing, we continue to test new things.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“I do enjoy going to Mosport every year and I am glad it is part of the TUDOR Championship. It’s very fast and incredibly challenging especially on the first part of the lap – Turn 1 and Turn 2. You have to be fully committed each lap. It’s where I won my first sports car race in a prototype in the ALMS. So the track has been a good place for me and of course for Corvette Racing. We go there with a lot of momentum – more than I think we could have expected when the year started, I have to say. Three straight wins is a great feeling with the new Corvette C7.R. First in the driver, team and manufacturer championship is a good place to be.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“In a funny way, Watkins Glen should be a pretty good barometer for how things will go at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. You need downforce there to be quick, but you also have that very long backstraight where you need decent straight-line speed. It’s always a little bit of a toss-up between how you much downforce you run and how much drag you run. You have to decide before the start of the race which strategy you’re going to go with, particularly with where you are on the grid and whether you’re going to have pass cars or whether you feel you have the pace to drive away and fight from the front. There is plenty to think about going into the event and while we are there in order to maximize the performance of the Corvette C7.R. So it should be a fun weekend, as it always is.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It was a great race last year – one of the races I feel was one of my best. To have that much pressure from a car that was quicker than us in the Viper… pushing me hard and running qualifying laps for an hour. The last couple of laps were definitely exciting. I had a disabled car that slowed me up into Turn 1 and that allowed the gap I had built up to go back to basically zero. So over the last two laps I had to defend in a lot of places. I used every bit of road and every car I could on the last lap to try and stay ahead and was just barely able to. I don’t think I was able to breathe until after the checkered flag. It was definitely a great feeling. It came at a time where we had a couple of bad races, but Oliver and I had been pushing hard to get some points and it reinvigorated our championship challenge. We’re hoping for the same this coming weekend.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER
“When it comes to testing a driver’s mettle, there is no more demanding track in North America than Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It is super quick and may very well be the fastest track we visit all season…and, from my perspective, Turn Two is one of the most challenging corners in all of road racing. We have had some serious success there and this week’s race should be a real shootout. I would encourage everyone to come out and see some great racing and all the improvements to Canada’s best professional racing circuit.”