Corvette Racing didn’t quite manage to produce a win at last weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America, but with both of its Corvette C7.R race cars on the podium in the GTLM class, the team arguably had greater success than its foremost rival in the series: Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. That team’s No. 67 Ford GT took the win – its fourth in a row in the 2018 WeatherTech season – and was followed onto the podium by the No. 4 Corvette C7.R in second, and the No. 3 Corvette in third.
With the result, the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen manages to hold onto its second-place standing in the Team Championship fight, a mere four points behind the No. 67 Ford GT. The No. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner moved up one position to fourth in the championship standings, just behind the No. 66 Ford GT. With another three events left on the calendar, Corvette Racing retains a strong chance of moving up still more in the rankings.
The second-place finish of the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R validated its risky pit-stop strategy, which saw the team pit just twice for fuel through the entirety of the two-hour-forty-minute race. Oliver Gavin drove the first stint, starting from fifth on the grid and spending about 40 minutes at the wheel before handing off to teammate Tommy Milner; Milner made just one more stop to refuel, just over an hour from the end of the race.
The No. 3 Corvette opted to run a different fuel strategy, pitting more frequently throughout the race after Antonio Garcia’s 38-minute opening stint. His teammate, Jan Magnussen, took over in sixth place, but he managed to gain several positions before handing the car back to Garcia with 80 minutes left on the clock. Within the last 15 minutes, the driver mounted an offensive against the No. 67 Ford GT – then in second – to try and gain another position, but it was too late. The Ford GT and both Corvettes gained an extra position when, about two minutes from the end of the race, the leading No. 25 BMW M8 GTE ran out of fuel short of the checkered flag.
Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette went around Garcia on the final lap to retake the better position before the end.
“Another Corvette double podium. I am very proud of this team,” Milner said after the race. “We were just missing that little bit. The cars were super reliable; I could hit every curb I wanted to… Olly did a great job during that first stint. There was lot of action out there during the first couple of laps, and I was pretty nervous. He did an awesome job. He brought it in third, and we ended up second.
“Thanks to the whole team. It was a good team effort at the end trying to catch the Ford. Antonio was just a bit quicker than I was, and it was worth a shot letting him go by late in the race. It felt weird getting by him on the last lap, but it was a good team effort today.”