Stunning victory for Corvette
Stunning victory for Corvette
Road America delivered one of the most amazing finishes in sports car history with Tommy Milner claiming victory for Corvette Racing despite starting in fifth place on the final restart with only three laps to go.
The victory was the second in succession for Milner and teammate Oliver Gavin and comes one race after Corvette Racing scored its 100th victory.
Two of Milner’s rivals got eliminated with contact and the young American ace pulled off passes on the No.912 Porsche and race leading No.67 Ford GT to claim the win.
“It was a wild swing of emotions. My mindset at the end of the race there was to hopefully catch the Porsche in front of me and try to make something there,” Milner said.
“Everything happened in front of me. The Porsche spun, then the Ferrari got taken out, I got some help for sure. I was able to get by the 912 and then get close to the Ford.
“It looked like they were a little hurt, but I don’t know how we went from fifth with three laps to go and now sitting on the podium, and on the top, sitting in the press conference talking to you all now.”
Richard Westbook and Ryan Briscoe held on to take second place while the No.100 BMW finally broke their run of horrendous luck to finish on the podium with Lucas Luhr and John Edwards.
Milner and Corvette Racing struggled throughout the day before making a set-up change on the final round of pit stops.
“It’s a massive day for us, to see how things changed like that,” he said.
“The car was super loose and we struggled, but we took a bigger swing at the problem and my first impression was we went too far.
“Then the tires came up and the car was on rails. I could tell I had a quick car at the end, but it was going to be a lot of ground to make up if we didn’t go yellow.
“The Corvette was the best it was all weekend right there at the end. I worked my best to get temps in the tires, I knew it’d be short. All the guys in this class are tough to race against.”
Both the Risi Ferrari and the No.911 Porsche looked set to challenge for the winin the final three laps.
The Ferrari and Ford fought hard at the end, opening gap for Nick Tandy in the Porsche. The Brit looked set to move through into the lead but had contact with the Ford on corner exit and spun.
The Risi Ferrari with Toni Vilander at the wheel then suffered contact with the No.55 Mazda prototype in the first turn – pushing them back to fifth place.
“This class has been incredibly competitive over the last five or six years. And it gets more competitive each year and you think how is that possible,” Milner said.
“We keep pushing each other. We are elevating each other’s game. It’s rewarding to get wins in this class, even podiums feel pretty special.
“As a credit to our competition, I know they feel a sense of satisfaction when they win, and so do we. It’s super close racing, today was an exceptional example of that.”
In the GTD ranks Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating took the victory – their second consecutive victory here at Road America.
The GTLM and GTD teams will now set their sights on the next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship where they will headline the event in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR on August 28.
— Michelin Alley (@MichelinAlley) August 7, 2016
— Corvette Racing (@CorvetteRacing) August 7, 2016
— Tommy Milner (@TommyMilner) August 8, 2016