Milner aims to bounce back from mishap

October 5, 2013

Milner aims to bounce back from mishap

October 5, 2013


Virginia native Tommy Milner has lots of happy memories at VIR – yesterday wasn’t one of them.

He made his professional sportscar debut at VIR in 2004 with his father’s team. He started the race aboard a BMW and stuck it on pole in his first attempt at qualifying.

Last year he earned his first American Le Mans Series GT championship here at VIR, but yesterday his qualifying session came undone when he ended up nosing the No.4 Corvette into the tire wall.

“Looking at the track now, you can see a pretty big wet spot,” Milner said.

“I had just wound up for another quick lap and put some front brake bias into the car. My first indication of it was when I went for the brakes and locked the front. The first reaction was that I went too far on the front brake bias and just went off.

“I started apologizing to the crew over the radio. When I finished, Chuck Houghton, No. 4 engineer said, ‘I don’t think it was your fault. It looks like there was something on the race track.'”

Milner and Oliver Gavin will start from position nine today – just behind teammates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.

“It’s not the best qualifying all the way around. We’ve struggled all weekend but I think everyone has with grip levels and other areas,” Milner said.

“Maybe we are having the worst of it. We’re not miles off the pace but would like to be farther up the grid than where we are now. In the session, we made some changes looking a little toward the race. We have some work to do for sure to get the cars better for the race. The good thing is that our pit crews have been phenomenal all year long.

“We’ve had one of the slowest cars for the last half of the season, but we are making the most of it because we have the right strategy calls, not making mistakes and the pit work has been great. We’d like to make it easier on them, for sure. But they’ll always be up to the task and will gain us a couple spots if we need.”

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