Corvette Racing took its 100th ever victory in Saturday’s Daytona 240, with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia overcoming difficulty early on to beat the No. 911 Porsche 911 GTLM to the line by just two seconds.
The two hour, 40-minute sprint race started out under wet-dry conditions, leaving teams guessing over whether to start on rain tyres or slicks. Corvette Racing eventually opted to start both the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and No. 4 Corvette C8.R on slicks, but Porsche GT Team ended up winning that gamble after it threw a set of wets on the No. 911 prior to the green flag. When the race got underway, the No. 911 Porsche of Nick Tandy pulled out a healthy 17 second gap, but the rest of the field eventually closed back up to him as the track dried out.
Meanwhile, Taylor managed was one of the quickest drivers in class early on and managed to go one lap longer on fuel than most of his GTLM competitors during his opening stint. He then handed the car over to Garcia, who drove a long two-hour stint and also managed to go a lap longer than most of his competitors in his opening run. Garcia then pitted with 51 minutes remaining and on the same lap as the No. 912 Porsche of Earl Bamber, emerging just behind the leading Porsche, which previously had a much larger gap to the No. 3 C8.R.
From here, Garcia used the C8.R’s pace advantage to pass Bamber with 31 minutes remaining – setting the fastest GTLM lap of the race in the process. He crossed the finish line just 1.98 seconds ahead of the No .912 Porsche, with the No. 911 sister car completing the podium in third.
The No. 4 C8.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner spent the majority of the race recovering from a difficult start. Gavin was leading at the time of the No. 4 C8.R’s final pit stop with 55 minutes remaining but was forced to sacrifice pace in favor of fuel economy in order to prevent taking a splash of fuel before the finish. Milner and Gavin were classified fifth in class, sandwiched between the two BMW M8 GTLMs in fourth and sixth.
Corvette Racing’s win drew praise from General Motors‘ president of performance vehicles and motorsports, Jim Campbell and dedicated the win to the Corvette community and Corvette owners.
“Their win is twice as special for Chevrolet, as Corvette Racing has now achieved 100 victories in IMSA competition,” Campbell said. “It also is the first for the new mid-engine Corvette C8.R in just its second race. This milestone win belongs to everyone who has been part of the Corvette program over the years, our Corvette owners and our fans.”
The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech season continues with the upcoming Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring from Sebring Internationa raceway on July 18th.