GTLM class battle set to be even tougher with new spec cars
Daytona Beach, FL, (Thursday, 28 January 2016) – They started the 2015 season in the best possible way with victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, now Jan Magnussen and Corvette Racing will be out to repeat those performances when the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicks off this weekend.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona kicked off today with added interest in the GTLM class where Corvette Racing shone bright in the opening two endurance events last year.
New technical specs have made the cars faster with added downforce. Both Corvette and Porsche have updated their race-winning machines from last year while Ferrari and BMW will debut new cars this weekend.
To make the the competition even tougher, Ford will make its race debut with a two car team featuring Magnussen and Antonio Garcia's endurance co-driver from last year, Ryan Briscoe.
Corvette Racing however has excelled in finding new enduro aces for both Magnussen's No.3 machine and the No.4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
Two drivers who both have overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans - Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fassler - will co-drive the No.3 and No.4 machines.
Rockenfeller made his debut with the team at the recent Roar before the 24 test with Magnussen and Garcia while Fassler makes a return to Corvette Racing - the Swiss driver was part of the Corvette Racing squad in 2009.
Strong year beginning
The No.3 Corvette was very strong during the Roar before the 24 test at Daytona, particularly on the final day. The team was second fastest in the Sunday morning session and then Magnussen topped the timesheet in the final session of the test.
All teams endured soaking wet track conditions today in Daytona. Jan Magnussen was fastest on his first run in the GTLM qualifying session. However, after qualifying resumed after a red flag stoppage, the Danish ace suffered a set-back.
“Today was less than ideal in a number of areas," Magnussen said.
"The conditions have been far from perfect but we had a really good Corvette. We also had a problem with the windshield fogging, which meant I couldn't go when the track got better. It’s a long race, and we have a really good record of success in the endurance events. We will be fine."
The Magnussen/Garcia/Rockenfeller Corvette will start 9th in class when the green flag drops at 2:40pm on Saturday.