Corvette dominance

June 29, 2014

Corvette dominance

June 29, 2014

race_glen_6_29_14_ 68They’ve taken three poles in a row, three wins in a row and now have charged into the championship lead – Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia are certainly on a roll.

The 2013 American Le Mans Series GT Champions had disappointing Daytona and Sebring weekends but from Long Beach forward – the Danish/Spanish duo have been unstoppable.

While Porsche triumphed with its new team in the opening enduros, the overall pace of Corvette, Magnussen and Garica – combined with smart and clever race strategies has quickly pushed them to the top of the points.

jan_watkinsglen_GTLMIf not for an air jack failure at Le Mans, the combination may have added a 24 hour victory to their credit as well.

“I have to say, I am so pleased for how things have gone for the team this year, with the No.3 car especially,” Magnussen said.

“We’re developing a new car and we keep finding new things to do with it. We have a fantastic racecar. I just saw that all the fastest race laps for all the GTLMs were all within three tenths. It is a very competitive category.

“You have to be on your best game for everything you do. There is no room for any mistakes.”

Magnussen has now won three times at Watkins Glen – in a Daytona Prototype, a ROLEX Series GT win and now a TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTLM win.

“I have been here before in other categories but driving the C7.R around here is such a fantastic feeling,” Magnussen said.

“It feels like there is a part missing in the corner that you would normally do. Usually you have a brake hard, downshift and get the car ready to rotate. But around here that is missing.

“Basically for every corner you just barely touch the brake, downshift, back to full throttle. It’s all about the momentum around here, building the speed.

“So dealing with the traffic is the most important because you can lose it in traffic. With all the cars we had today it went better than I feared it would.

“I thought we would have a lot more safety cars and a lot more trouble.”

race_glen_6_29_14_ 42Garcia was saving fuel on his final stint today before the final late race yellows.

“We had been saving big time up until the last two yellows,” Magnussen said.

“Antonio did a fantastic job saving the fuel and keeping the pace. You can’t count on the safety cars. But we were quite a bit short on fuel.

“We could make it on the pace he had, but as long as he kept it rolling. The safety period made it so we could race the Vipers until the end. It was nerve wracking. The Viper is a fast car.

“Nothing was set in stone, even though we were in the lead that could have changed in traffic or the restart. It was an exciting moment, fantastic job by Antonio.”

Garcia had extra reason to celebrate. Today’s victory was his first as a father – his daughter was born on the Friday of Le Mans race week. The Spaniard made a Friday dash home to meet the newest member of his family before heading back to Le Mans.

“It was really good. The C7.R was running perfect. Jan was able to get a perfect start and pull the gap,” Garica said.

“Then when we got a caution we made it back up from zero to almost to 20 seconds. I went up, and whenever I was able to go on fuel I made it up to 30 seconds.

“Strategy-wise we were two or three laps short I believe. So we decided because the Viper, maybe they gambled a bit at the beginning and were out of sequence.

“It was difficult to save fuel. We would have been good to go until the end, but the yellow definitely saved us just in case.”


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