CORVETTE RACING AT SEBRING: Halfway Update
No. 3 Corvette C7.R in thick of GTLM fight after six hours; No. 4 Corvette out of race
SEBRING, Fla. (March 18, 2017) – Corvette Racing’s No. 3 Mobil 1/Sirius XM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R is in the midst of the battle for GT Le Mans (GTLM) honors as the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida enters its second half. Antonio Garcia took his second turn in the sixth-place Corvette as the team goes for its third consecutive class victory and 11th at North America’s oldest endurance race.
Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller each rotated through with two stints each in the first six hours. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R led at the three-hour mark but a combination of greasy track conditions and bad luck with traffic and caution periods hindered its standing at six hours.
An emergency stop for fuel near the halfway point was particularly cruel. Rockenfeller was set to pit for new Michelin tires, fuel and the exchange to Garcia but the yellow flag ruined that plan and strategy. Instead, Rockenfeller had to stop for five seconds of fuel and then again one lap after the GTLM leaders completed their stops.
The No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R was forced to retire with water temperature issues that arose in the opening hour. The root cause remained unclear, and it brought an early end to the day for defending class winners Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “That was a good double-stint, or just over a stint and a half with the yellows. The Corvette is pretty good. We are closer on pace than I thought we were going to be. But it’s still early days. You don’t know who is pushing and how hard. Right now, it’s important that we dial the car in and see if we can fix some of the handling issues we have with the tools available so we are ready when we get toward the end of the race.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I couldn’t seem to keep the pace. It was very hot out there and a lot of traffic. But it is the same for everybody. I felt like I was pretty unlucky a few times with some of the slower drivers. The car wasn’t handling that great for me and it was a struggle to maintain the pace. It was a matter of keeping the car on-track, and then we were very unlucky with the last yellow. No one can control that. There is still a long way to go yet and we are still there.”