Corvette strikes at Long Beach

April 12, 2014

Corvette strikes at Long Beach

April 12, 2014

long_beach_race_14 039The new Corvette C7.R has shown strong speed all season, but today’s victory on the streets of Long Beach showed the new machine will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2014.

Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia took the victory today – virtually leading every lap. Garcia charged at the start and passed the prototype of Ed Brown into turn one. With the prototype machines taking longer to warm up their tires, the “King of Spain” was able to open up a huge gap of more than 10 seconds.

long_beach_race_14 022The victory on the 1.968 mile circuit was the fifth GT category win for Corvette at Long Beach in eight years and the first win for the newest generation Corvette in its first season of competition.

“It’s been a really good race for us. We couldn’t expect more. Basically I think 50% of the race was done by Jan, including the qualifying,” Garcia said.

“That pole position made a big difference. I knew half the race was all about turn one and the first three laps. My agression was probably a bit on the high side, I knew the prototypes were struggling to warm up the tires, I almost passed both of the Patron cars.

“A little bit of risk made the rest of the race a little bit more relaxed. We were battling very hard in the beginning, I think all the Corvette guys and Chevy deserve this.

“The off season was really short for us and now its really good. In Sebring we showed we had the pace, we were a lap down, but got it back and into the lead at one time. It shows we just keep working, and the Corvette guys just keep working hard. Now we’ve showed we can’t just go fast, but we can win races. It’s falling back to our side and now we need to win more.“

After pitting to hand over to Magnussen at the half way point, the Dane returned to the track with the same lead and was able to manage the rest of his race to safely bring the car home.

“It was important for the team and the guys who work so hard to get the C7.R ready for the season. the whole time we had a fast car but had a bit of reliability issues with it,” Magnussen said.

“Now we put together a good weekend start to finish and finish with the win. I’m proud of Antonio for doing such a great job and the last hour for me was easy, I just drove around not making mistakes. Antonio did all the hard work.

“The gap that Antonio managed to pull out in his stint could have come back to zero with a safety car. I was thankful there wasn’t, but we could have fought for the win anyway.”

Finishing second in GTLM was the #56 BMW Z4 GTE of BMW Team RLL, driven by Dirk Mueller and John Edwards. Taking third was the #4 Corvette Racing C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner. After Corvette’s Magnussen won the class pole in qualifying, Milner set the fastest GTLM lap of the race at 1:18.954 seconds.

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