CORVETTE RACING AT WATKINS GLEN: Coming Back to America
Team rejoins fight for fourth consecutive GT Le Mans title at The Glen
• Six Hours of The Glen follows heartbreaking 24 Hours of Le Mans
• Garcia, Magnussen 2014 GTLM winners at The Glen
• Gavin, Milner look to mount points push after hard luck first half of 2019
DETROIT (June 25, 2019) – Corvette Racing returns to home soil this weekend with aims of continuing its championship push in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and putting behind the agonizing heartbreak from the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen marks Corvette Racing’s resumption of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) title chase, the last event in the U.S. coming in early May at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Glen – at 3.4 miles with 11 turns – is the first of five events in a nine-week span for the Corvette program and its pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs.
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, winners together at Watkins Glen in 2014, return to IMSA competition second in GTLM points on the strength of consecutive podium finishes at Sebring, Long Beach and Mid-Ohio. It is the same formula they used to win the 2018 GTLM title – their second in a row – and part of their podium streak included a runner-up finish at The Glen.
Garcia and Magnussen – who will make his 150th start with Corvette Racing at The Glen – will drive the same Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R that they shared at Le Mans with Mike Rockenfeller. The trio came within three hours of winning the GTE Pro category, having it all go wrong with bad luck during a safety car period and a subsequent crash that eventually relegated the Corvette to a ninth-place finish.
On the flip side, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will race at Watkins Glen in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R but it will be a different chassis than what they used at Le Mans and in the first part of the IMSA season. A heavy crash in the sixth hour at Le Mans heavily damaged their car, which they shared with Marcel Fässler.
As a result, the Corvette Racing crew has been forced to prepare its third C7.R chassis – the same one that raced earlier this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 1,000-mile race at Sebring – for Gavin and Milner. It’s yet another challenge for the team with a short turn-around time to get from Le Mans back to the United States and both cars prepped and ready… all within the span of a few days.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen begins at 9:45 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 30. It will air live on the NBC Sports app beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET with same-day coverage on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage of practices, qualifying and the race from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “The challenge (of going from Le Mans to Watkins Glen) is for the team, I have to say. To turn around those two Corvettes and be ready to 100 percent in 10 days is the biggest challenge. For us drivers to compete at Le Mans and Watkins Glen is not such a big difference. All the pressure is on the team and the crew. As we’ve proven in years past, we’ve been able to win Le Mans and The Glen. I think the transition back to IMSA rules is easier. Going back home to go racing is like riding a bicycle. Everyone knows what to do. If everything is ready, changing the mindset is easy. I’m really looking forward to this race because it’s one of the best tracks on the calendar. We’re going through a period of Le Mans, Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park… it’s a very nice run of three tracks in a row.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “We’re in good shape in the GTLM Championship – P2 at the moment. We’re looking for a win but another championship would be nice. That is the main focus, but it has been awhile since our last win. We were hoping it would come at Le Mans but it wasn’t in the cards. We’ll have to wait and go for another one at Watkins Glen.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “We’re going from a track where you are effectively running the lightest on downforce at Le Mans to most probably one of the tracks that we run – if you can – the heaviest downforce. At Watkins Glen it’s all about building your speed and momentum to carry it through the lap. There’s a ton of grip out there and a lot of high-speed cornering at Watkins Glen. It’s quite different than Le Mans. It clicks you back into the IMSA season. It’s usually our biggest crowd at the Corvette Corral and always get a fantastic amount of support there. We get such a buzz from seeing everyone there and seeing all their cars – from C1 all the way up to C7. As a racetrack, it is a huge challenge – six hours for two drivers and one of the physically toughest we do all year.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED EIGHTH IN GTLM: “For us as drivers, coming back from Le Mans going straight in to one of our biggest races of the year in IMSA is a challenge. We always say the Monday after Le Mans is when we start thinking about next year’s race, but we also understand that we still have half of the WeatherTech Championship to go. We’re all mindful of that and the challenges it presents. When you consider that you have a rough Le Mans – and we did this year – you go back to the U.S. with a renewed amount of eagerness to right the wrongs of what may have happened at Le Mans. It’s the spirit of this team to make each event count.”