Corvette Racing kicked off the 2023 IMSA season with a dramatic showing, as the No. 3 Corvette C8.R appeared to be a dominant force before adversity struck during the dark hours of the 24 Hours of Daytona. However, The Bow Tie managed to recover and put up a fight right down to the line, finishing second in the GTD Pro class overall.
The No. 3 Corvette C8.R, driven by a joint effort between Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner, suffered a blown tire that resulted in brake damage. The Bow Tie’s sole GTD entry was forced to undergo repairs to replace the race car’s rear brake calipers and rotors before charging back out on track, two laps down.
The Corvette C8.R would ultimately lead 201 out of its 729 completed laps, certainly proving that it had speed. As the clock ticked into the final three hours, the Corvette Racing team had managed to claw its way back up inside the top three competitors in the GTD class. The No. 3 C8.R fought tooth and nail against the No. 14 Lexus RC F and the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the tricky Daytona infield road course. The No. 3 C8.R edged ahead of the Lexus, but could not rein in the Mercedes, flashing across the line 3.9 seconds back for second place.
After the race, Taylor explained that he was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the setback. “If you look at our race as a whole, we had some adversity during the night but came from two laps down,” he said. “Everyone executed well. We were in the hunt most of the way.”
Garcia said, “It was a bit crazy out there. With the P3 cars ahead of us, it was a lottery, especially in Turns 1 and 3. Everybody was getting super crazy. When you have a car with ABS, you can just go for it and that’s what people are doing.”
Milner was also encouraged by his Corvette Racing team’s efforts at Daytona. “Based on how everything was going in practice and in the [Roar Before the 24], I think P2 in the end is quite good,” he said. “My teammates did a great job. We were just missing a little bit of pace at the end. It was a good race for all three of us. We were racing super-hard and pushing super-hard. We just came up a little short.”