The Alley

Corvette does it again

corvette_winThey won Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in 2015, backed that up with another Daytona win this year and now Corvette Racing have kept the endurance streak alive with Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler clinching the GTLM class win in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The GTLM battle was a fierce contest with all five manufacturers Corvette, Ford, Porsche, Ferrari and BMW all taking turns in the lead.

The victory for the No.4 Corvette was a great fightback for the team after an early switch to slick tires after the rain resulted in a couple of off track excursions for Marcel Fassler.

Milner moved to the front on Lap 175 and led all but one lap during the pit stop cycle to take the checkered flag from the No.25 BMW of Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen and Bruno Spengler and the No.912 Porsche of Earl Bamber, Frederic Makowiecki and Michael Christensen.

sebring_gal2_2016_27“To come here after Daytona, after that win, we felt like the cards were stacked against us with the BOP changes and practice and qualifying we weren’t the quickest,” Milner said.

“But strategy and not making mistakes was the way to win, if you do make a mistake you have to find a way to come back with it. At the end there, with Oliver’s stint, as the night started to fall and the last three hours, I knew I had a great race car and I knew I could pass the cars in front of me.

“It was difficult with all the cautions and getting back up there. I know I had like a 20 second lead but then we had a caution. The car wasn’t quite as good as it was at the end as it had been all day, so I tried to minimize my mistakes, and then we got the caution there at the end.

“I knew everyone was racing for the lead and the race, so I tried to get through as best as I could without screwing them up, and once I saw all headlights I just kept pushing and was able to bring it in.”

After BMW dominated qualifying yesterday, both BMWs had issues early when the No.25 and No.100 cars incurred penalties for working in a closed pit during the first rain interruption.

Other challenges from the No.3 Corvette and the No.911 Porsche also came unstuck when Porsche’s Kevin Estre locked his brakes on the damp inside of the track entered turn one and struck the rear of Magnussen’s Corvette which was making a move on the dry line for the lead.

Both cars suffered heavy impacts with the tire wall – the Porsche eliminated on the spot and the Corvette losing 33 laps for repairs.

More to follow….

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