Corvette Racing stormed to a 1-2 finish in the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend, continuing with the dominant form that it showed during its run to the 2020 IMSA driver’s and manufacturers’ titles.
Jordan Taylor and the No. 3 Corvette C8.R crossed the finish line just 3.519s ahead of the No. 4 Corvette C8.R sister car, which was being driven Tommy Milner in the final run to the flag. Taylor shared the No. 3 Corvette C8.R with teammates Antonio Garcia and Nicky Catsburg, but Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday morning, leaving driving duties up to Taylor and Catsburg for the closing hours of the grueling endurance event.
“It was bittersweet to end the day like we did with Antonio having to leave the track after the test,” Taylor said post-race. “I was super upset and disappointed for him when I got out of the car after what I thought was my last stint and was told he couldn’t get back in the car. He lives for these events, especially this one.”
“So I felt bad for him in that respect, but he should be unbelievably proud of this whole team,” Taylor added. “He is the leader of this No. 3 car. He’s the one that drives the setup of it which is why we were so quick at the end of the race. He’s taught me so much as a driver, understanding the tires, how to do drive the car and understanding this new GT world that I’m in. If it wasn’t for Antonio, there’s no way I would have driven that last stint the way I did.”
The No. 4 Corvette C8.R, which Milner shared with newcomers Nick Tandy and Alex Sims, started from pole position and stayed in contention for the win for the duration of the 24-hour race, but lost out to the No. 3 car on strategy and settled for second place. The No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE entry of John Edwards, Augusto Farfus, Marco Wittmann and Jesse Krohn crossed the finish line third.
Newly appointed Corvette Racing team boss Laura Wontrop Klauser was pleased with the strong result and said the team intends to carry the winning momentum forward into the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring in late March.
“I’m proud and pleased for the teams, our Corvette owners and our fans,” she said in a statement. “This is the best possible way to start a new season, and we are going to work hard to capitalize on this momentum.”
Click here to view complete results from the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona.