Corvette ready to race at CTMP, its home away from home

July 7, 2018

Corvette ready to race at CTMP, its home away from home

July 7, 2018

For Corvette Racing, Detroit is home. But unfortunately, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans class doesn’t race in Detroit.

Luckily just over four hours to the East lies the closest thing to a “home race” for the team. It’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

One of the track’s owners happens to be Corvette Racing legend Ron Fellows, who’s enjoyed a second successful career outside the cockpit.

Then factor in that CTMP features Michelin with primary facility signage.

Add in that Corvette Racing’s longtime lubricant partner, Mobil 1, is the title sponsor of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix and you have a great mix of success.

Corvette has 11 class wins at CTMP since 2001. So the team looks for its 12th this weekend, as part of its 20th season of competition.

They’ll also crest the 10,000-mile mark at CTMP this weekend provided they have a good start to the race. Corvette enters this weekend with 9,958.95 miles raced here. That equates to 4,050 laps and approximately 40 trips from Detroit to Toronto.

Speaking of Detroit to Toronto, the team got here early to participate in a downtown street event in Toronto on Wednesday.

It’s been since 2014 since Corvette won here. That marks the longest number of years in-between wins for Corvette at this track in its history. Other wins have come in 2001-’05, 2007-’09, 2011 and 2013.

Either Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, or Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 car has a good shot to end that relative drought.

Magnussen and Garcia scored a season-best second place finish at Watkins Glen last week. Without the fastest car, they used a combination of pit strategy, precision and tactical driving to do so. Magnussen has managed to finish fourth or better in his last 11 CTMP starts. The Dane also just made his 700th career race start at Watkins Glen.

“Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is pretty similar to Watkins Glen,” Garcia said. “They are both fun circuits with a lot of speed. As a racing driver, I enjoy those a lot. I’m sure the setups will carry on somewhat from last weekend.

“We’ll see how the temperatures are. It should be quite bit cooler than Watkins Glen, which will make it more bearable for us and the team. We all are looking forward to going back there as we have a lot of history and a lot of wins there. Hopefully we can have one more this weekend.”

Gavin and Milner ended fifth despite contending for a podium position most of the race.

“Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a great, high-speed circuit and one of the fastest tracks we go to all year,” Gavin said.

“It’s a place where we have had a lot of success as a team. Everyone at Corvette Racing enjoys going there, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s run by our ex-teammate and Corvette Racing legend Ron Fellows.

“It’s a well-run circuit and a great facility. In a lot of ways it feels like home for us.

“This is a track we always look forward to, and hopefully we can carry some momentum from Watkins Glen and have a little bit better end to the race than we had in the Six Hours. We’re hopeful and looking forward to it.”

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