Corvette Racing’s No. 4 C7.R has won its class in the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona following a nail-biting end-of-race battle with the No. 3 C7.R sister car. The two Corvettes crossed the finish line nearly neck-and-neck to give the team a 1-2 finish – Corvette Racing’s first 1-2 at Daytona in its history.
The result came after an intense 15-minute battle between Oliver Gavin, driver of the No. 4 C7.R, and Antonio Garcia of the No. 3 car. Gavin had made his pass for the lead on Earl Bamber, driver of the No. 912 Porsche 911, with just over 30-minutes to go and was looking like a shoe-in for the win, but Garcia was closing in fast on fresher tires.
Garcia took two late-race shots at Gavin for the lead. The first came at Turn 1 where Garcia looked as though he might complete the pass, however Gavin shut the door upon the corner’s exit. On the final lap he made another bid for the lead on Gavin’s outside, but again he was shut out by the Huntingdon, United Kingdom native.
The No. 4 C7.R ended up crossing the finish line just 0.034 of a second ahead of the No. 3 car, making for an epic photo-finish between the two yellow ‘Vettes. The result marks the first win for Gavin and Tommy Milner in the United States since 2013 and was Marcel Fassler’s first-ever win in a Corvette.
Both Corvettes experienced minor setbacks throughout the race. The No. 4 car was handed down a 60-second stop-go penalty in the 21st hour of the race for violating pit-light rules, while the No. 3 car was given an infraction for speeding in pit lane. The No. 3 car was also turned around by Ferrari driver Olivier Beretta about 12 hours into the race following a restart, bumping them back to eighth.
Check out the video below to see the nerve racking photo finish between the two Corvette C7.Rs, and click here for full preliminary results from the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
— Jan Magnussen (@janmagnussen) January 31, 2016
Photo via IMSA.tv