Corvette’s huge comeback

August 23, 2014

Corvette’s huge comeback

August 23, 2014

michelin_VIR_fri2_14_gal_8When the No.3 Corvette came back to the paddock after this morning’s dramatic crash, the last thing everyone expected to see was the Antonio Garcia qualifying the car sixth fastest only a couple of hours later.

Jan Magnussen (pictured right) had a heavy impact with the No.911 of Richard Lietz this morning in practice after both cars fell off the circuit on fluid dropped by another car.

michelin_VIR_fri2_14_gal_14While the Dane was released from the medical center without major injury, the same could not be said for the car. Crew members from both the No.3 and No.4 Corvette cars jumped all over the damaged machine and was able to pull off repairs in time for qualifying.

The team had to replace a large number of items including the engine support cradle, sway bar, suspension, steering column, air jacks, rocker, assorted bodywork, body tray, left door and windshield.

“Corvette Racing worked hard as a group to put the car together. It wasn’t Jan’s fault this morning – going off like that” Garcia said.

“Everything after that was a gift. At some point we were thinking we wouldn’t race, to we thought we could race, and then every single minute went in our favor instead of against us.

“We went from not racing to thinking maybe we can make qualifying but the car might not be really good. Then we had time to get it ready – although maybe not 100 percent. But this crew gave me the confidence to do it even if I had to be progressive in my laps.

“I couldn’t go hard on the first lap just in case there was an issue. At the end of the day, the car was there. With the pace we showed in Practice 3, (the crash) was kind of a shame.

“We could have been P2 with four or five-hundreths more. I was capable of doing those laps. The good thing is that not only are we ahead of the all the GTD cars, we’re mid-pack in our class. It’s a good starting position to keep pushing and fighting for the championship.”

The No.911 Porsche is expected to be back on track tomorrow. The team is expected to announce details soon regarding a replacement driver after Lietz was diagnosed with a fractured arm from the crash.

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