The Alley

Corvette quartet back for 2016

corvette_driversWith the GTLM battle intensifying in 2016 with Ford joining the battle alongside Corvette, BMW, Ferrari and Porsche, the GM performance brand has locked down its championship-winning lineup.

Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will all return in 2016 as Corvette battles for championship honors in the new WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The Corvette Racing program for next season is expected to include the full IMSA Championship plus a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – a race Corvette Racing has won eight times including a stirring victory this year.

rolex_podium_gal 2All four Corvette drivers have taken championships in recent years. Gavin and Milner took the American Le Mans Series GT title in 2012 followed by Garcia and Magnussen in 2013.

The Spanish/Danish duo have been in championship contention in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship both this year and last – taking four wins in a row in 2014 and opening two races of 2015 at Daytona and Sebring.

Corvette Racing has also claimed the “Triple Crown” in 2015 – victory at Daytona, Sebring (Garcia, Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe) plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Gavin, Milner and Jordan Taylor successful in France.

“Joining Corvette Racing in 2009 and moving to a full-time ride in 2012 is the highlight of my career,” Garcia said.

“Together with Jan, Oliver and Tommy, we’ve won many races and championships in the toughest class that sports car racing can offer. Even though we won at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans this year, we are never satisfied.”

Corvette_MainIn 2016 Corvette Racing campaign an evolution of the Corvette C7.R based on new GTE regulations that govern Le Mans-style GT racing around the world. The new spec cars feature more downforce and more power. 

“Next season will be a huge challenge with new cars and new teams coming in – starting with For,” Magnussen said.

“It will take a huge effort to maintain the level of success we are used to at Corvette Racing. Having the same full-season drivers for another year is a great start.” 

The core four Corvette Racing drivers will contest their fifth season together, a testament to the importance of continuity within the team and Chevrolet. Since the start of the 2012 season, the group has combined to win 16 races in the ALMS, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Le Mans.

“The continuity of our driver lineup is fantastic,” said Gavin.

“We have a great mix of youth and experience. It shows with the successes that we’ve had – the championships and race wins – that the core four drivers work well together. There is a transparency back and forth between all four of us – what we see on the track, what we’re working on engineering-wise, what our rivals are doing and so forth. We share all that information and it makes us better as a whole.”

corvette_winCorvette Racing enters this weekend hoping to complete a “grand slam” of endurance races – adding Petit Le Mans to their Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans wins. Corvette has won the Road Atlanta event nine times.

All the GTLM-spec machines recently tested a Michelin’s facility in Ladoux in France to set a baseline for performance balancing between the five brands. With the faster GT3-spec cars entering the GTD class in 2016, the GTLM cars will be improved with additional performance to maintain the balance between the two GT classes.

“It’s the most significant change in GT racing probably in the last 10 years and we’re all excited for that,” Milner said.

“More than ever, having continuity with the driver lineup is extremely beneficial for Corvette Racing and Chevrolet. There is no adjustment period; it’s business as usual. There’s a lot of work to be done, and having familiarity can only help during the development of these new Corvette C7.Rs.”

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