Corvette Racing couldn’t clinch the 2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship GTLM title at Petit Le Mans Saturday, with the No. 3 C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia finishing sixth in their class and tenth overall. Rather unexpectedly, the No. 4 C7.R sister car of Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner finished ahead of the No. 3, winding up third in GTLM and sixth overall.
After starting from the seventh position on the grid, Garcia and Magnussen held the GTLM class lead and overall lead at different points of the race. They looked good stacked up against the eventual race-winning Porsche 911 of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, however a series of unscheduled pit stops ultimately thwarted their chances at victory.
“I took every opportunity I had to pass the 25 BMW, the 62 BMW, and then closed up on Oliver (Gavin) in the 4 Corvette and the 24 BMW,” Garcia said of the race’s second half. “Halfway through that stint, I felt something funny on the rear of the car, and I asked the team if there was something wrong with the pressures. We found out that the nut was loose and we lost track position. Thankfully it didn’t come all the way loose.”
The No. 4 C7.R of Milner and Gavin started from pole position in the GTLM class, with Gavin running among the race leaders for the majority of his stint. He then had a minor off into the grass, but recovered from the shunt to hand the car over to Milner. After a storming double stint, Milner moved into the GTLM lead and then took the overall lead before pitting to hand driving duties back over to Gavin.
Not long after, race officials waved the red flag to call the race off due to deteriorating weather conditions. The No. 4 C7.R was running third at the time, giving Milner and Garcia their second podium finish of the 2015 TUDOR United Sportscar Championship season.
“The end result is good,” Milner said. “There were good fights when the track conditions were good. I’m glad we’re on the podium because I think we earned it and deserved it. Our Corvette C7.R was great, and the Michelin tires were good. Our pit stops were great all day. We did everything we needed to do to have a good race. It would have been a shame to not get a podium after the pace we showed.”
The pairing of Milner and Gavin winded up eighth in the 2015 TUDOR GTLM standings, while Magnussen and Garcia took third behind BMW Team RLL’s Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen in second and Porsche Motorsports’ Patrick Pilet in first. Magnussen and Gavin also managed to take home the Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup after winning the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours Sebring earlier this year.