CORVETTE RACING AT COTA: Progress Made in GTLM for Corvette C7.Rs
Prototype pole position for Ricky Taylor in Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP
Gavin starts on third row in championship-leading No. 4 Corvette
Three Corvette DPs in top-five after Prototype qualifying
Chevrolet looking to strengthen Manufacturer Championship leads
AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 16, 2016) – Corvette Racing’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) championship-leading Corvette C7.R will start from the third row of the class in Saturday’s Lone Star Le Mans sports car race at Circuit of The Americas. Oliver Gavin qualified the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R sixth Friday for the next-to-last race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Gavin and teammate Tommy Milner along with Chevrolet and the No. 4 Corvette lead the Driver’s, Manufacturer’s and Team standings entering a sweltering Texas weekend. Corvette Racing arrived at COTA on a three-race win streak including No. 102 for the iconic American team in the most recent GTLM race at Virginia International Raceway.
Gavin’s best lap in qualifying was a 2:05.190 (97.7 mph) which was less than a half-second to the front row of the class.
In the Prototype category, Wayne Taylor Racing’s Ricky Taylor captured his first pole position of the season and third for the Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2016. Taylor, in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype, set a lap of 1:58.712 in the car he shares with his brother, Jordan. It is the third pole of the year for the Corvette DP this season.
Corvette Racing is looking for its second victory at Circuit of The Americas, having won in 2013. A good result Saturday would help the points situation for Gavin and Milner, who lead the GTLM Driver’s Championship by seven points. The No. 4 crew made a significant jump in lap time from the morning session to close the gap to the lead cars in class.
Gavin and Milner have won a class-best four times in GTLM this year, and Corvette Racing has won five times. Magnussen, who qualified eighth Saturday with a 2:05.461 (97.5 mph) lap in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R he shares with Antonio Garcia. The duo is coming off the win at VIR, and they were the winning drivers at COTA in 2013.
Back in Prototype, Eric Curran gave the Corvette DP program two cars on the front two rows with a fourth-place effort in Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP. His lap of 1:59.199 (102.6 mph) was 0.222 seconds quicker than Christian Fittipaldi in Action Express’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP.
Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa lead the Prototype Driver’s Championship by one point over Curran and teammate Dane Cameron, while Chevrolet holds a 12-point advantage in the Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship. The Bowtie Brand is going for a fifth straight title – each year since the program began in 2012.
The Taylors are third in Driver points and trail by 11 entering the COTA round. Marc Goossens, in Visit Florida Racing’s No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP, is fourth in the championship and qualified seventh in class Friday.
The two-hour, 40-minute Lone Star Le Mans race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from Circuit of The Americas is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 17 It will air live on FOX Sports 2 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET with IMSA Radio coverage and Chevrolet on-board cameras available on IMSA.com.
CORVETTE RACING GTLM QUOTES
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED SIXTH IN GTLM: “We went away and thought about it overnight, and the Corvette Racing guys worked on it last night and some more this morning. We were definitely closer to our competition in qualifying, which is good. It seems that as the heat builds we can get closer. It’s not exactly where we want to be, but it’ll be a long race tomorrow in the heat and anything can happen.
“There was a little bit still in the Corvette that I left on the table. Chuck my engineer told me I needed one- or two-tenths to get up another row and I crazily tried to do it all at Turn 12, but I ran wide there. You live and learn. It’s probably the best the car has felt all weekend in terms of balance and on our Michelin tire. I hope we can race the guys at the front, but it will be tough. It will be hot and brutal, so we’ll see.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED EIGHTH IN GTLM: “It is different than this morning, but it is also a lot warmer now. The track temps are a lot higher, so that will change things. The balance of the Corvette was actually pretty good but there just was not enough overall grip. Unfortunately, I kind of messed up the fast lap with a big lock-up and I couldn’t get the tire going again after. I had a big vibration. Maybe we should have been a little bit better, but it would have been one spot, maybe two spots at best. We are off this weekend. We are going to have to do something in the race to try and turn this around.”
CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUOTES
RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP – PROTOTYPE POLE-WINNER: “Yeah, I wish we could have had some more (pole positions) this year. The guys definitely gave me a great car all season. I’m sick of those Mazdas on pole, so it’s nice to get one for the Corvette. It wasn’t a perfect lap. The track was very different from the other sessions. You gained a little bit in one place, lose a little in another. I’m not sure if it was the same for everybody, but just really excited we got a bunch of Konica Minolta and DLL Financial people here this weekend, so I’m glad to do it for them. Hopefully, we can do the same thing tomorrow.”
(Track conditions) “The track is very slippery in the heat. It changes a lot. It hasn’t been like this at all this week, so it was all about adapting to the track. You can overdrive some places and under drive others trying to put together a lap. Hopefully we have a good read on tomorrow and we’ll be on full attack. The heat is always a big factor here. These race cars are very hot inside. Physically as well as performance-wise with the race car, it’s hard on everything – tires, fuel, engine, everything. Hopefully it’s a good representation of what we will see tomorrow with the pace. It will be all about conserving tires and making sure you’re in the hunt at the end.
“The Continental tires were really good. This is as close as we’re going to get to tomorrow, in terms of the conditions. Hopefully this is a good read on how we will stack up. It will be a tough race on tire wear and getting through the race cleanly.”
ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP – QUALIFIED FOURTH: “That was a good qualifying effort for us. We’ll take P4. We almost got that second Mazda for P3 but I’m really happy. Our guys are doing a top-notch job this Whelen Engineering Corvette. The car is just really moving along. It’s working well. It’s tough on 100-degree days like this to manage your tires, speed and put together a proper lap. You only get a couple of them. But I feel like I did a pretty good job. I’m excited to keep this championship charge with this Whelen Engineering Corvette. It’s been a phenomenal year with two wins for Dane (Cameron) and I. All our guys have been doing an incredible job. I’m excited for this race. It could cool down 20 degrees but it is what it is for everyone.”