Published on 10/15/2018

Corvette Racing Wins Third Straight IMSA Title

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

CHEVROLET

Corvette Racing capped off its 20th anniversary season in ideal fashion during the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, with the organization’s No. 3 team claiming its second consecutive drivers’ championship in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. It was the organization's third straight team title overall.

TAGS:
racing, imsa, vehicles
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TAGS:
Published on 10/15/2018
racing, imsa, vehicles
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

CHEVROLET

Corvette Racing Wins Third Straight IMSA Title

Corvette Racing capped off its 20th anniversary season in ideal fashion during the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, with the organization’s No. 3 team claiming its second consecutive drivers’ championship in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. It was the organization's third straight team title overall.

Yet, while the group entered with the points lead, the race was anything but routine on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn course known for its massive elevation changes.

Denmark’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia of Spain piloted the V-8-powered car throughout the season, and despite failing to reach Victory Lane, turned in a string of podium finishes from Mid-Ohio to Laguna Seca.

Marcel Fassler from Switzerland joined Corvette Racing for the four endurance races, and while he was was usually in the No. 4 car, at Road Atlanta he drove stints in both the No. 3 and No. 4 machines.

With less than three hours to go in this year’s Petit Le Mans, the No. 3 was involved in a crash with Garcia behind the wheel after a pit stop. However, the team’s crew was able to make repairs and returned to finish eighth. Meanwhile, the No.4 C7.R driven by Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Fassler turned in a second-place finish after pressuring their teammates’ main championship competition, who faded to fifth when the race concluded.

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The title was Corvette Racing’s 12th drivers’ championship and 13th team title. It was also the organization’s ninth Petit Le Mans class win and Magnussen’s fifth triumph in the race.

“Congratulations to Antonio, Jan and the No. 3 Corvette C7.R team on clinching the GTLM driver championship. This team never gave up all season to deliver our 12th driver title for Corvette Racing over 20 seasons of competition,” said Mark Reuss, GM Executive Vice President and President Global Product Group and Cadillac. “And congratulations to Corvette Racing and Pratt & Miller on their 13th team championship. They prepared a race car that delivered consistent performance and that great combination of power, durability and efficiency.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Garcia was reflective after the event.

"It was definitely a tough race. From Lap 1, I went in the lead and every time I was in the car I was going for it instead of holding position,” he said. “It probably went from one of my best races of my career to the most embarrassing moment of my career. But that means Team Chevy and Corvette Racing did all the prep work before this race and allowed us to come back from that.”

He also spoke highly of the teamwork between the two cars throughout the race, as did teammate Magnussen.

"The way it turned out, the way the 4 car went in there and really put pressure on changed things around. Fantastic,” Magnussen said. “Such a massive team effort to make this happen. I'm so proud to be a part of this.”

While the IMSA season has come to a close, Corvette Racing will travel to China for the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Shanghai on November 16-18.

Congratulations to Corvette Racing and Team Chevy on another historic season.