Third straight runner-up hard for No. 3 Corvette to take

July 25, 2018

Third straight runner-up hard for No. 3 Corvette to take

July 25, 2018

Corvette Racing’s push for a third straight championship ended in Lime Rock Park with a third straight runner-up finish.

This was arguably the toughest to swallow for the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, wheeled by defending IMSA GT Le Mans class champions Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia.

Magnussen and Garcia enjoyed their most competitive weekend of the season. Garcia blitzed the Lime Rock track with a staggering 49.7-second lap in qualifying for the pole.

In the race, the two drivers combined to lead 138 of 178 laps. It wasn’t enough for the win though. Magnussen lost ground in traffic during his final stint of the race and ultimately fell victim to Joey Hand’s pass with 12 minutes to go.

Although this win slipped away, Magnussen and Garcia closed to within one point of the championship lead. Hand and Dirk Mueller are just one point ahead for Ford.

“It is hard to swallow. It is tough because we had such a great car,” Magnussen admitted. “Everyone did a fantastic job all weekend-the crew, the engineers, everybody. It was just a little bit of a longer stint for the tire compared to what the Ford had there at the end.

“It got difficult. He (Joey Hand) was catching me. I think I could have held him off a little bit longer than I ended up doing because I got into the marbles passing a GTD car on the inside of the last corner, and it just threw me wide off the track. He drove by and that was it.”

Garcia took the result in stride as they head to Road America next.

“It’s not what we want for sure, but a third runner-up in a row is good for our average and points,” he said. “It was so close to our first victory of the season. We know how close the competition is here. The strategy was what we needed to do, and I think we knew the tire strategy and management would be the difference.

“The winners had a little bit more than us in the end, so there was nothing we could really do. Learning from second place isn’t that bad. We need to focus and carry on the work we are doing. Sooner or later, that victory will finally come.”

While the No. 3 Corvette posted its third straight runner-up result, the No. 4 Corvette of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin matched its car number all weekend. That car qualified and finished fourth. They’re two points away from fourth in the championship.

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