CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Milner Leads Qualifying Effort Ahead of 12 Hours
Third for defending GTLM co-winner, fifth for Garcia in pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs
Encouraging results in chase for 11th Sebring class win
Gavin, Milner, Fässler enter as defending GTLM winners
Corvette Racing going for third straight 12 Hours victory
SEBRING, Fla. (March 17, 2017) – Corvette Racing will ride a pair of encouraging qualifying runs into Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. Tommy Milner qualified the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R third in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class as Corvette Racing goes for its 11th class victory at North America’s longest-running endurance race.
Milner, last year’s class winner with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler, posted a lap of 1:56.252 Friday. The defending GTLM race and series co-champion was only 0.313 seconds from pole position for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s second round of the season.
Antonio Garcia, in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, qualified fifth at 1:56.368 to fall within 0.116 seconds of his Corvette Racing teammate. He, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller started the season with a fourth-place effort in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Friday’s results bode well for Corvette Racing’s chances in Saturday’s race. Milner was the fastest driver in Thursday’s afternoon practice, which saw weather similar to Friday’s qualifying sessions. An expected rise in temperatures for Saturday may continue to favor the pair of Chevrolet-powered Corvettes.
Another win this weekend at 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway would give Corvette Racing its third consecutive victory in the 12 Hours. No team has achieved that feat since Corvette Racing won three in a row from 2007-09.
The six Corvette Racing drivers entered this year rank among the most accomplished in the race’s history. Garcia, Magnussen and Rockenfeller have a combined six wins in the 12 Hours; Gavin, Milner and Fässler have won 10 times at Sebring during their careers.
In addition, Chevrolet ranks third in Sebring manufacturer wins with 24 combined class and overall victories.
The 65th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida is scheduled for 10:40 a.m., on Saturday, March 18. FOX Sports GO will have live coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET with FOX Sports 1 airing the race from 12:30-11 p.m. Live audio coverage from IMSA Radio is available on IMSA.com.
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED THIRD IN GTLM: “That was definitely better than expected. The Corvette in practice was good yesterday, and I was feeling pretty confident. Then this morning when we looked at the lap times, I wasn’t quite as confident after that. We tried a little bit of a Hail Mary with a setup change and it definitely worked. It was something the No. 3 car had tried earlier and they were pretty happy with. So it worked for us. The track was definitely a little bit sketchy in qualifying, but it is the same for everyone. I’m just really happy to get that good lap in there. With the way this class is, you have to have a perfect session to be toward the top; if you are off just a little bit, you’ll be at the bottom. It’s a long race tomorrow and I’m sure that even the guys in ninth and 10th right now will be in contention tomorrow.
(If warmer temperatures favor the Corvettes) “All the testing we did occurred in pretty weather as warm as it is going to be tomorrow. But it is hard to tell. It seems that as the temperatures go up, we seem to kind of rise to the top. Hopefully that is an indicator of our car in these conditions. That would be good for the race tomorrow. It seems like it will be warmer again. We will go look at some data and see where we can improve in some places. We will do the best we can and hopefully have a good Corvette race car for tomorrow.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTLM: “This is not an hour-long race so we cannot be too disappointed. I think ahead of the race we are probably in a pretty decent spot. As we saw, the pole-winning car really hit it right. We definitely couldn’t do that lap for sure. According to what we have been in practice and everything, I think we have a very good starting car. Let’s see if that is enough to keep the pace with those guys and see what we have toward the end of the race. We’ve been working hard. This qualifying session was pretty decent… actually better than I thought. So I think it is a good starting point for us.”