Chevy Racing–CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Taylor, Fittipaldi Lead Corvette Qualifying Charge

CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Taylor, Fittipaldi Lead Corvette Qualifying Charge
Second and fourth for Corvette DP in Prototype; Magnussen best of Corvette C7.R drivers

· Four Corvette DPs in top nine qualifying positions

· Corvette Racing to challenge for COTA GT repeat

· Manufacturer championships remain in play for Chevrolet in both Prototype, GTLM

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 19, 2014) – Corvette Daytona Prototypes posted three of the five fastest laps in Prototype qualifying for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Lone Star Le Mans race at Circuit of the Americas on Friday. Ricky Taylor from Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing’s Christian Fittipaldi led the Corvette contingent in the TUDOR Championship’s premier class.

Taylor set a best lap of 1:58.643 (103.167 mph) in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP that will start on the outside front row of Saturday’s 11:35 a.m. CT race. Directly behind the Wayne Taylor entry will be Fittipaldi’s No. 5 Action Express Corvette DP after his lap of 1:59.072 (102.795 mph) in the car he shares with Joao Barbosa.

Barbosa and Fittipaldi lead the class Driver’s championship on the strength of three victories this season including the last two Prototype events – Indianapolis and Road America. The Rolex 24 At Daytona winners lead Ricky and Jordan Taylor by 16 points with two rounds left.

All four Corvette DPs qualified in the top nine. Richard Westbrook was sixth in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP at 1:59.498 (102.428 mph), and Eric Curran was ninth in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette DP with a time of 2:00.972 (101.180 mph).

Corvette Racing: A Big Challenge Ahead
Jan Magnussen was the quickest qualifier for Corvette Racing in the GTLM class in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The Dane – a winner a year ago with teammate Antonio Garcia at COTA in the American Le Mans Series – set a best lap of 2:04.847 (98.040 mph) to place seventh in the session. Magnussen will make his return to racing in the Corvette after he missed the most recent TUDOR Championship round at VIR as a precaution following a hard crash in a practice session.

There is plenty on the line for the race. Garcia leads the class Driver’s championship standings as does the No. 3 Corvette in Team points. Chevrolet ranks second in Manufacturer points.

Oliver Gavin’s best lap of 2:05.093 (97.847 mph) in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R placed him ninth in class. Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner entered COTA looking for a little redemption following last year’s race – one that saw Milner lead early before their Corvette C6.R suffered a gearbox failure.

The Lone Star Le Mans will air live starting at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2. The FOX network will present a two-hour broadcast of Lone Star Le Mans on Sunday; check local listings for times.
“It was a tough qualifying session. This is the furthest we’ve been from the front all year. Something seems messed up with the speeds of the different cars. That’s what we have to deal with this on the weekend. It’s tough qualifying at the back.”

“Both Jan and I were trying to find the maximum from our cars. We’re obviously not quite as good as some of our competition. It’s a real battle and a real struggle. We felt like we had good cars coming in here. It’s difficult starting eighth and 10th on the grid. It’s not where we want to be. We’ll go back to look at the data and work at it to see what we can find and see if there are some bits and pieces we can improve on.”

“Qualifying today was a definite challenge. The results certainly weren’t up to our usual standards while our class competitors seemed to keep finding speed. There is a lot of work to be done between now and the race tomorrow. We showed fairly good pace in practice so we’re optimistic that our Corvette C7.Rs will be better in the race environment tomorrow.”

“It was a good effort form the whole team and from Team Chevy. Of course it would be little better to start a little bit further up but there is a long race ahead of us. What made me happy is that the car has only improved over the practices and into qualifying. In qualifying the car was the best that it’s been. We’ll see what we can do with the race. We’re satisfied with how we ran today and now we turn our focus to the race.”

“It was starting to drizzle on me, and there was no way we were going to be on pole. The P2s just have a lot in qualifying and the new Ligier is very quick obviously. I think we are the best of the DPs and that is all we can ask for and the car is really good. I am happy to have a good qualifying result for this race because this year we haven’t had many good ones. I got behind the P2 and they are as quick as us in the straight and they maintained their advantage in the corners. So the racing is going to be different because we are not going to be able to pass them like we used to.”

“Outside of the pole-winning car’s time, Prototype qualifying was fairly well matched. Having two cars on the front two rows is a good start for a race that will be heavily influenced by traffic. Circuit of The Americas requires good momentum so having our Corvette DPs lined up together should help Chevrolet’s chances of retaining our Engine Manufacturer championship lead.”