Corvette drivers positive for Sebring despite Daytona deficit

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Corvette drivers positive for Sebring despite Daytona deficit
David Malsher
By: David Malsher
Mar 13, 2018, 7:03 PM

Corvette Racing’s aces are hopeful that data, experience and strategy can lead to a fourth consecutive Sebring 12 Hours victory this weekend despite their performance shortfall in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fassler, pit stop
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia,
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
Pitstop, #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
Victory lane, third place GTLM: #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fässler
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fässler

Eleven of Corvette Racing’s 98 race victories have come at Sebring International Raceway, and it has clinched the last three in a row, thanks to Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe, then Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler, and then Magnussen, Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller last year.

However, Garcia has observed that the Corvette C7.R’s speed deficit at Daytona suggests the team’s fortune at may be reliant on its other qualities.

He said: “Winning at Sebring last year was a big reason we won the GTLM championship. Everything came together late in the race - our performance, strategy and execution. That carried over for the rest of the year.

“We did it again at Daytona this season and ran a perfect race but had no chance at a victory. So we know how difficult it will be to win Sebring again. What we may lack in performance we make up in experience at data at Sebring. I hope that gives us an edge.”

Added the #3 Corvette’s ‘third man’ Rockenfeller: “Last year’s race showed how unpredictable Sebring can be. Corvette Racing did another fantastic job with the strategy and our race plan to put us in the best position to win.

“We did the same at Daytona and ran a perfect race [this year], but ultimately that wasn’t enough. Hopefully we can do it again at Sebring.”

Milner said the February test at Sebring had taken the program forward since the Rolex 24. 

“After Daytona, I think we can feel good about where we are. Both cars had excellent runs with no mistakes. We also had a good test last month at Sebring to fine-tune some items we need to improve on.

“Given that and our extensive notebook of data plus our history at Sebring, we can feel confident going into this race.”

Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s program manager observed of Sebring’s challenges: “It has a little bit of everything – long straights, really fast corners, a crushingly slow hairpin, hard braking zones, bumps and even potholes, sometimes.

“With that said, I don't think there are many places where we have more fun competing, mainly because anything can happen… and most of the time it does.

“Rest assured, we have done our usual great job of preparing our Corvette C7.Rs and will squeeze out every bit of performance that we can.”

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