Corvette banks double podium at Road America

August 6, 2018

Corvette banks double podium at Road America

August 6, 2018

Corvette Racing was perhaps unlucky to come up second and third in Sunday’s IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America. But the team’s dogged consistency has kept them in the GT Le Mans class championship fight in pursuit of its third straight title.

The No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin finished second, one spot ahead of the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen.

Corvette’s team employed a strategy to send the No. 3 Corvette after the No. 67 Ford GT, which wound up taking the lead inside the final three minutes when the leading No. 25 BMW M8 GTE ran out of fuel.

However when the No. 3 Corvette was unable to track down the Ford, the No. 4 Corvette regained second place on the final lap.

In a quirky statistic thanks to this runner-up finish, Gavin and Milner have now finished anywhere from first to eighth – except seventh – one time apiece in the last seven races.

“We were really good early on in that run,” Milner explained after the race. “It’s tough when you’re behind a car early on though in a stint. You have to work so hard to get by.

“It looked like at the end some guys tried different stuff. In the end, with the way the yellows fell, it ruined any alternate strategies. The BMW ran out of gas. We were cautious on the last caution to make sure we could make it to the end.

“It’s a great team effort to get both cars on the podium. Second and third is great… but one more would have felt better.”

This is Corvette Racing’s second double podium finish of the 2018 season. The team also finished second and third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, albeit with the order reversed.

Garcia and Magnussen, who had finished second in each of the last three races, extended their podium streak to five races in a row with third place. In Sunday’s race, they fought back from running sixth in the final hour after pitting off sequence compared to five other cars in class. Garcia also set the fastest race lap.

They remain second in the GTLM class championship standings, now four points behind the leading Ford pair of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.

“Considering the race we had and how we went up and down the order, third place for us and second for the No. 4 was about the best we could hope for,” Magnussen said.

“The team did a great job as usual. The car was great to drive… good as a race car. Even being close to other cars, we didn’t have a massive loss of grip. We changed strategies toward the end of my stint, but I was so happy with the car and where we were in the race.

“Fantastic job by Antonio as usual… he was super-fast in the end. But we were just a lap or two short to get the win. But it’s another podium. This is starting to look a lot like last year in terms of the consistency we have. But man, we want that win.”

If there is a happy hunting ground for the No. 3 Corvette team in pursuit of its elusive first victory this season, it’s VIRginia International Raceway for the next stop on the GTLM calendar.

Magnussen and Garcia have won the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR two years in a row. In two weeks, the No. 3 car will have a shot at a three-peat.

The Corvette team also enjoyed a successful weekend off the track. Dan Binks’ annual auction for Camp Anokijig raised more than $25,000.

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