RACING
Published on 01/08/2019

The Road Ahead for Corvette Racing

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

Corvette Racing marked its 20th anniversary in 2018, capping off the year-long celebration with the team and drivers’ titles in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the third straight year.

So what will the two-car organization do for an encore?

Keep winning, of course, building upon the momentum created by recent success.

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Published on 01/08/2019
racing
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

The Road Ahead for Corvette Racing

Corvette Racing marked its 20th anniversary in 2018, capping off the year-long celebration with the team and drivers’ titles in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the third straight year.

So what will the two-car organization do for an encore?

Keep winning, of course, building upon the momentum created by recent success.

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The group last appeared in a race on American soil during Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October. While there, drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonia Garcia wrapped up their second consecutive GTLM team and drivers’ championships behind the wheel of the No. 3 C7.R. Their teammates in the No. 4 car, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, had won the championship in 2016, meaning the V8-powered Corvettes have taken the team and drivers’ titles in each of the last three seasons. Corvette Racing has won 12 drivers’ and 13 team championships overall in 20 years.

Last season, the No. 3 car scored eight podium finishes out of a possible 11 to secure the GTLM crown, while the No. 4 machine won at Long Beach and came home third in the final tally. In addition to IMSA competition, the team also competed with the World Endurance Championship in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 6 Hours of Shanghai.

Now the bright-yellow Corvettes are ready to do battle again. As always, this year’s campaign will begin with the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona during the last week of January.

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“I can’t think of a better program to be part of than Corvette Racing,” Magnussen said. “It’s like my second family, and it’s great that we’ve been able to achieve a high level of success. I can’t think of a better teammate than Antonio. We’re both highly competitive and push each other constantly. That’s the type of person you want sharing your car. With our collective group at Corvette Racing, we know that we can contend for another championship and more race wins, starting at Daytona.”

In 2019, Magnussen and Garcia will once again be paired for the full season in the No. 3, while Milner and Gavin will pilot the No. 4 machine. For the fourth straight year, Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fässler will also join Corvette Racing at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.

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The pairings of Magnussen and Garcia and Gavin and Milner have each won 13 races together and two drivers’ championships -- a stunning example of consistency and parity across the organization.

“Being back with Corvette Racing and with Tommy is the best way to start 2019,” Gavin said. “It’s an amazing feat that we remain at the forefront of the GTLM championship each season. The people, the tools and resources we have within our program make all this possible.”

During the recent Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona, Corvette Racing completed 341 laps and 1,200 miles of testing. The highlight was Magnussen’s fastest GTLM lap during qualifying for garage and pit positions. With drafting help from Gavin, Magnussen turned in a lap of 1:42.651 at 128.44 mph in the No. 3 Corvette. Gavin meanwhile turned in the No. 4 Corvette’s best lap during the qualifying session with a time of 1:43.193 (124.188 mph).

Throughout the weekend the team worked on a variety of race setups and tire combinations in advance of the 24-hour race on the 3.56-mile road course at the end of the month.

Keep watching The BLOCK and @theblockdotcom on Instagram throughout 2019 for much more from Corvette Racing and all of Team Chevy.  

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