• Milner quickest of Corvette Racing drivers in GTLM pit, garage qualifying
• Steady program of chassis, engine, system improvements
• Weekend is a dress-rehearsal for season-opening Rolex 24
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 5, 2019) – Three days at Daytona International Speedway gave Corvette Racing an encouraging result with the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R as the Roar Before the 24 wrapped Sunday ahead of this month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The pair of Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvettes combined to complete 341 laps for 1,213.96 miles around 3.56-mile road course at Daytona. All six Corvette Racing drivers expressed satisfaction with the progress of the C8.R ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s opening event January 25-26.
Tommy Milner posted Corvette Racing’s best time of the weekend during the GT Le Mans qualifying session for pitlane and garage assignments in the Rolex 24 – a 1:42.793 (124.671 mph) pass in the No. 4 Corvette that he shares with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler. That was good enough for third place in GTLM.
Antonio Garcia wasn’t far behind in the No. 3 Corvette with a lap of 1:43.131 (124.263 mph) that he will drive with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg. As has been the case throughout testing, the primary objective of Corvette Racing team focused on reliability of the chassis, powertrain elements and systems within the C8.R. Showing strong pace right away was a pleasing development for the drivers and team.
Months of on-track testing and work in Chevrolet Racing’s simulator aided in the development of the new Corvette – along with its production counterpart, the 2020 Corvette Stingray – ahead of this weekend’s public debut. Analysis and further simulation work will follow between now and the Rolex 24’s first practice session on Jan. 23.
Corvette Racing has won the Rolex 24 three times including 2015 and 2016 with the Corvette C7.R. It also claimed an overall victory in 2001.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona is set for Jan. 23-26 with live television coverage on NBC, NBC Sports and the NBC Sports App. IMSA Radio will broadcast all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race on IMSA.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I think we’ve done a good job with our test plan. We need to figure out when we get back what work and what didn’t work. Every lap counts when you are testing, especially with a new car. I’m confident that the car is doing the right things and we’ve been testing quite a few different things to prepare for different conditions and car behaviors. We will carry on working with our plan to get all our drivers comfortable; that is the main thing. I hope it continues to go the right way.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We had a massively long list but I think we got through most of everything we wanted to. The pace of the Corvette C8.R was there pretty quickly but we were working toward our plan toward the Rolex. Being fast wasn’t important but it is more about reliability. We’re happy. The car was good and consistent to drive. All of us were pleased, which is good for a 24-hour race when everyone wants the same thing. Getting to work on little things like seatbelts, driver comfort and driver changes… you don’t get a lot of chances to practice that on a live pit lane. We checked a lot of boxes, but we found some other ones we can work on come the week of the race.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It was nice to jump in the car, to experience and feel like it was like. I feel like I’ve gotten a decent number of laps. I’m comfortable in the car and with the system, but not completely 100 percent. I think that is true for all of us. We will continue to work on that. In terms of my first experience and first few laps, it’s good. It feels like a very natural experience to drive. In the same way, the first experiences with Corvette Racing have been very good. This has been a positive experience all the way around.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We’ve gotten quite a lot covered and made some steps forward with understanding the C8.R and the Michelin tires for this track. There are still some things we need to get right… procedural things that we would like to get better. But that is pretty normal with a new car. It’s very rare to come to the Roar and then the Rolex 24 with a brand new car and have absolutely everything covered. We’ve all been through this race many times and know what it can throw at you. We’re all eyes-open but somewhat satisfied with how things have gone and progressed.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We have obviously done a lot of testing in private and felt like we came here with a good car. Certainly we have had a program to work through, but we had work to do once we got here with setup and things like that. Every test is different, obviously. I think we were a little bit out of the window to start with here in figuring the tires out, and the car setup wise and things like that. Each day that has gone by we have gotten the car a little bit better for each of us to drive and a little bit faster. It was a lot of fun there to drive in qualifying. Obviously just the fact that it is called a qualifying session you can tell that everybody ramps it up a little bit. Most of all just really happy with how the Corvette felt. All the changes that we have made the last few days have made a big improvement. It’s encouraging that we can start with a balance that we are all not too happy with and find a good place for all of us. It’s taken two days, but with this new C8.R, we don’t have the knowledge base that we have had in the past. So it’s been trying a lot of different things we’ve never tried before in some ways or just going down a new path completely. I think it is a good experience for us as drivers working with the engineering to figure out how we can get the most out of the car. It was fun to have that qualifying session where we can go on low fuel and new tires and see how we good we could do. Third is pretty good. It looks like everyone is pretty close out there on lap times. It should be another very close and competitive for GTLM class at the Rolex 24.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Before this weekend, I had heard a lot already about how good the Corvette C8.R is to drive, so I was very much looking forward to getting in it for the first time. I can admit what everyone has said – that the car is amazing to drive. There hasn’t been a lot of time to get used to the car, but you can see the potential. Also you can feel how much a difference seven years makes from when the C7.R first arrived. The car is very agile, and you can fight it harder and push pretty hard. It’s great to have this opportunity to drive this new Corvette.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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