IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP
ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
CORVETTE RACING DRIVER QUOTES – HALFWAY
JANUARY 26, 2018
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2018) – The first half of the Rolex 24 At Daytona is in the books with Corvette Racing squarely in podium contention following the first 12 hours of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs were keeping pressure on the lead pair in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category as late Saturday moved into early Sunday.
Mike Rockenfeller was just off the lead GTLM lap in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shares with class pole-winner Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. Each of the three drivers cycled through twice in the opening 12 hours with both Magnussen and Garcia triple-stinting in the darkness.
Marcel Fässler in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R ran fourth following a double-stint by Oliver Gavin and a triple from Tommy Milner. Those were Fässler’s first laps after a tense initial run in rainy conditions with slick tires.
Both Corvettes had a lap in-hand over the fifth-place entry.
The next Corvette Racing update from the Rolex 24 will come shortly after the 18-hour mark.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: (Were drivers behaving more than before? “No, not really. I guess it depends on what driver rotation they are doing. It is quite random driving out there. You have to be careful and do your best to stay on the lead lap. With only two yellows and all that traffic, there was no point in risking any damage to keep it on the lead lap. I struggled on the first stint and tried to stay with the leaders. There aren’t any cautions to get our lap back. The Ford guys stayed out when we did to keep us from doing that. There are still 13 hours to go. For sure at some point we will get it back. I am confident in that. We need to keep the car safe and see what we all have in the end.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “That was a tough triple for me. It was wet, then it was dry and we went on slick tires on kind of drying conditions. It wasn’t too bad but not great either. I’m not finding the speed like I think I should, so I don’t know what exactly is going on. But we are there. We haven’t hit anything or destroyed anything. We are still in there with a good shot. We need to see how the track develops. The way it is going right now is a little bit weird and I’m not sure it suits our car so much.”
ARE OTHER DRIVERS BEHAVING MORE THAN AT THE START? “No, not really. We are still getting dive-bombed late in places where it shouldn’t happen. Not a lot of incidents out there yet but not a lot of respect, either.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was a pretty lonely couple of stints, really. I think I saw one Porsche and one BMW from our class. Apart from that, I was battling with prototype and GTD traffic. I don’t know what it is… the drivers who are less experienced need to go and get a good night’s sleep. They had to be out there around about my time. There was some real choice driving out there. But everything is still on the car and everything is still straight. We just keep looking after it and doing all we can do have everything right for when the sun comes up and we can get to those last couple hours. We are closer on pace but I’m not sure we are going to have enough outright speed. We will see how the track develops and how we get on come morning.
“I am absolutely astounded that we haven’t had more cautions or retirements or any big incidents. With some of the driving, you just think it’s going to happen. But it hasn’t yet.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE: “Traffic ebbs and flows a little bit as the race goes on. You can tell guys at some times are really on it and sometimes they aren’t. I feel like we are just feeling the car out and figure out what we have, where we are strong compared to the other guys and where we’re not. I was talking to Rich Brekus at Cadillac this morning, and he said, ‘You drivers always say it’s a 24-hour race and we have to be there in the end.’ He wasn’t sure how much we listen to our own advice! So I’m going to keep repeating myself just to drum it into my head and hopefully it’ll stick that way.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “My HANS was hurting but my arm is not so much hurting now (after the first stint). It was very slippery out there, I have to say. For sure it was a brave move to stay out but I think we needed to try. It didn’t rain long, so it was the right call to try this. The big thing was not to take so many risks, so I’m pretty happy. The car is still in one piece. We are still in the game, and that is what is important.”