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SEBRING, Fla. (March 17, 2018) – Corvette Racing put forth another strong effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday with Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler leading the team’s efforts at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts.
The trio in their No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R placed sixth in GT Le Mans (GTLM) after a trouble-free run that saw the Corvette go from ninth at the start to the lead of the race at the four-hour mark.
As was the case at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 4 Corvette team didn’t make any missteps, didn’t lose any time in the pitlane and kept the C7.R running all day and into the night. The pace from the rest of the front-running cars, however, proved to be more than a spotless race could overcome.
Saturday marked Corvette Racing’s 20th appearance at the Sebring 12 Hours, which started with the team hoping for its 12th class victory and fourth in a row. The race also was the 200th event for the Corvette Racing program.
Defending Sebring class winners Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller – in the No. 3 Corvette – finished eighth in class after a determined fightback from a variety of early-race troubles. The Corvette suffered a punctured tire resulting from contact on the opening lap, followed by visits to the garage to solve electrical and steering problems in the first six hours.
The next event for Corvette Racing is the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach from the streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, April 14 with live television coverage on FOX.
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “It looked like in the middle of the race that we were looking pretty good. As we started to lose the sunlight, it looked like we lost the balance and performance in the car. We were unable to generate the grip we needed to be competitive. There are some lessons to learn here. We battled all weekend with our Corvette and tried to come away with as many points as possible. It’s frustrating through to have a clean race, not make any mistakes and come away with nothing. Marcel and Tommy drove well. We rolled the dice a couple of times on strategies.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “All things considered, that was as good as we could have expected today when you look at how practice shook out. All the guys on the team did a great job. Marcel and Olly did a great job – no mistakes. I only had one little bit of contact from another car all day between the three of us. We can’t be unhappy about that. We tried everything we could throughout the race to make something happen… strategy calls, car changes, things like that. We can be proud of the effort we put in all weekend. We never gave up! But I still think we can be disappointed with the finishing result. That is a valid frustration. We got OK points. Our Corvette’s in one piece. We can all hold our heads high knowing we did the best job we could today.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED SIXTH IN GTLM: “If you look at the results, I think it we can for sure be a bit disappointed because we knew it was going to be a very tough race for us going into it today. But now seeing it… that there really wasn’t a chance to go on the podium, it is disappointing for the team. But we look now to the future, and we know that we come back stronger. It wasn’t our weekend, now we focus forward.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R- FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM: ”For us here, it feels like we either go from winning to completely out of contention. It is a bit of a shame to not even be able to fight for it. We knew at the start that it would be hard. After the puncture, we kind of came back and I had the feeling following the Porsches that the car wasn’t that bad. That was in the opening hour. I had some hope there that it was probably going to be a good race for us. But then everything fell apart. It was very unfortunate. It was very difficult to spot are issues were. We lost a ton of laps. In this category, as soon as you have a little mistake, you lose every opportunity.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM: This is Sebring for you. When things are great around here, man they are so great. But when they are like they are today, boy is it a long day. Our guys worked hard so we could go back out. We drove to the end to take whatever we can take. It is just about salvaging one or two more points if we can. It’s not what we came here for, but it is what we have.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM: “I had a couple of decent stints there. In the first one, we were still struggling with the steering. After that, things were fine. The Corvette was very good and it was good to get more laps. The track was difficult and very greasy for everyone toward the end of my second stint. We thought we would have a chance of victory, but we tried everything we could. Our pace was similar to the No. 4 Corvette. Things happen at Sebring but we kept fighting.”
Article by Ryan Smith and Judy Kouba Dominick
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