Corvette Racing is putting extra focus on its race execution and overall racecraft for the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, team manager Ben Johnson revealed to Motorsport.com in a recent interview.
The IMSA GTLM class was competitive in the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, with Ford, Ferrari, Corvette and Porsche enjoying a four-way fight for the podium in the race’s closing stages. Corvette Racing is expecting the GTLM field to be equally as close in the upcoming 12 hours of Sebring and is hoping to gain an advantage by minimizing the number of mistakes it makes on track and on pit road.
“The technical regulations for the Corvettes remain the same as in 2016,” Johnson said. “But there was still plenty of work to do. It gave us time to catch our breath and work on racecraft.”
“When the rules are changing, you focus on that,” he added. “But when you are running existing rules, your focus turns to preparing the cars to be as good as they can possibly be, and making as few mistakes as you can. You don’t want to lose points because of mistakes, or because of bad choices we made.”
Corvette and BMW are the only two manufacturers participating in IMSA’s GTLM class without a mid-engine car. Newer and more up-to-date entries, such as the Ford GT, Ferrari 488 and the new-for-2017 mid-engine Porsche 911 RSR, are expected to be more competitive this year, but Corvette Racing says there’s little point in dwelling on what it doesn’t have and will try to its strengths this year.
“ is going to be a horse race. But it’s time wasted worrying too much about what the other teams have,” Johnson said. “We just have to worry about what we have.”
Corvette Racing will hit the track for the 65th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15th, 2017. The team will be looking to defend its class win in last year’s edition of the race, which came at the hands of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler in the No. 4 Corvette C7.R.