Published on 01/24/2019

Corvette Racing Seeks More 24-Hour Success at Daytona

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

TEAM CHEVY

The offseason is over. Pre-season testing is complete. Now, it’s finally time for the thunderous V-8 rumble emanating from under the hoods of the Corvette Racing C7.R machines to do work for real. The IMSA-sanctioned Rolex 24 at Daytona is this weekend, and the two-car Corvette Racing team has its eyes set on the grandest prize.

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Published on 01/24/2019
racing, events
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

TEAM CHEVY

Corvette Racing Seeks More 24-Hour Success at Daytona

The offseason is over. Pre-season testing is complete. Now, it’s finally time for the thunderous V-8 rumble emanating from under the hoods of the Corvette Racing C7.R machines to do work for real. The IMSA-sanctioned Rolex 24 at Daytona is this weekend, and the two-car Corvette Racing team has its eyes set on the grandest prize.

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Entering its 21st season of competition, Corvette Racing has won the all-important season-opening endurance contest in Daytona Beach three times. A win on the 3.56-mile road course would also make Corvette Racing the first team in IMSA history to win 100 races. Overall it has taken 107 victories around the globe. In addition, Chevrolet has won more than 40 motorsports events at the famed Daytona International Speedway, good enough to be the most successful manufacturer at the famed track.

IMSA is entering its 50th season of competition in 2019, with Corvette Racing coming off three consecutive Driver and Team championships in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For the past two years, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia have claimed the titles in their bright yellow No. 3 C7.R. In 2016, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner took the championship honors in their identical No. 4 car. Now both cars are trying to give Corvette Racing its 13th Driver and 14th Team championships in 21 years of IMSA competition.

The team make-up will remain the same in 2019, with both Magnussen and Garcia again paired in the No. 3 and Gavin and Milner in the No. 4 for the full season. Mike Rockenfeller will once again join the No. 3 program at Daytona, with Marcel Fässler providing his services as the third driver in the No. 4.

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In 2018, Magnussen, Garcia and Rockenfeller finished in third place and on the podium after 24 hours, serving as a springboard to the year-end championship.

The Rolex 24 is a daunting task just to finish, much less win, but drivers like Milner embrace the journey to the checkered flag.

“The Rolex 24 is always a big challenge for us,” he said. “It’s the first race of the year, so that means new people, new parts and pieces on the car and some unknowns on our part in terms of our competitiveness. You come in with a new sense of energy from starting fresh again. It can be a challenge to temper that excitement within you to remember this is a 24-hour race, and you have to be there at the end to win it. There are so many people watching and there’s a lot going on throughout the week. But during that time you’re always thinking about getting to the checkered flag and hopefully getting that Rolex watch at the end of Sunday.”

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In addition to the action on track, fans at the Rolex 24 will also be treated to three separate Chevrolet activations around the facility.

The Chevrolet Motorsports Display will feature the 2019 Corvette ZR1 supercar and a Corvette C7.R show car, along with production vehicles including the Silverado, Blazer, Corvette Grand Sport, Colorado ZR2, Camaro ZL1, Traverse Redline, Trax, Impala, Tahoe, Equinox and Malibu

Chevrolet Performance engines, performance parts and accessories will also be prominently featured along with a number of racing-related activities.

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Experience Center next to Victory Lane will also feature a wide variety of Chevrolet production vehicles and product specialists during the weekend. Fans can walk through the interactive display and take an up-close look at models such as four special-edition Corvette Grand Sport Coupes, a Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1 and Silverado.

The Chevrolet Injector will also feature 30 different Chevrolet vehicles such as the new Blazer, Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1 1LE and a variety of Silverado, Traverse and Colorado editions. The Injector features four levels of fan access and will also provide knowledgeable product experts to answer questions and provide information. Each display opens at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.

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The race itself gets underway at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and concludes on the same network the following day.

Corvette Racing looks to end the event on the top step of the podium and take the first step towards another historic season.

Be sure to follow along on The BLOCK and @theblockdotcom on Instagram for much more from the Rolex 24 and Corvette Racing coverage throughout 2019.

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