2012 Corvette Racing Season
The 2012 season saw the introduction of two new and the final two chassis of the sixth generation Corvette C6.R in C6GT-005 and C6GT-006. At the time GM were developing the new seventh generation Corvette dubbed the C7, which Pratt & Miller later would start to construct the new C7.R race car in preparation for the 2014 season.
The regulation changes for the 2011 season allowed Pratt & Miller to build a more competitive C6.R, leading to Corvette Racing finishing as runner-ups in the 2011 ALMS GT Manufactures Championship and Oliver Gavin with Jan Magnussen finishing second in the ALMS GT Drivers Championship standings. During the 2011 season Ferrari introduced their new 458 Italia GT2 race car, which happened to feature a wider track than most of the other cars competing in the GT class. This resulted in the organizers introducing regulation changes within the GT class for the upcoming 2012 season. The rules adopted a 50mm (1.969 Inch) increase in axle track to match the width of the Ferrari ensuring there was no unfair advantage, along with some aero package changes.
To accomplish the increase in width, Pratt & Miller had to make many changes to the C6.R including extending the front control arms and an increase in the offset of the rear wheels. The control arms had to undergo a redesign as being extended added more stress on the components potentially leading to flexing or even breaking. New fatigue calculations, durability testing and packaging studies had to be conducted to develop the right suspension setup.
The relationship between Corvette and their tire supplier Michelin had been developing over the past seven years. This had led to a lot of testing taking place during the off-season between the two manufacturers. Due to the new wider axle track of the C6.R, Corvette Racing and Michelin developed a better tire package for the upcoming 2012 season. Michelin optimized a tire to better accommodate the new chassis configuration, as the increased width resulted in less load being transferred through the tires under cornering conditions. This led to CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) analysis, surface optimization and wind tunnel testing, which resulted in a tire package producing more lateral capacity.
Another area affected by the increased width of the 2012 C6.R was the bodywork. This created Pratt & Miller to adapt the body work including adding more inches to the already wide flared fenders. The 2012 GT regulation aero package changes allowed for the height of the rear wing to be increased moving it into cleaner air, helping it produce stronger downforce levels. Pratt & Miller increased the height of the rear wing for the 2012 C6.R over the wing used on the 2011 car by 75mm (2.9 Inches). The increase in rear downforce along with the new steeper angle of the rear diffuser introduced in 2011 upset the aero balance. To combat the lower pressure over the front axle, Pratt & Miller balanced the aero package by adding a larger front splitter and equipped canards/dive planes to the front fascia. With the front fenders increasing by 2 inches, the lower fender cutouts had to undergo a new design. The new cutouts were made deeper and merged cleaner into new rocker panels and side skirts designed to more effectively control air flow and side force. Keeping the tradition of the side exit exhaust, Pratt & Miller introduced a new exhaust outlet within the new rocker panels to work better in conjunction with the new side skirts. Along with the front fender cut outs the lower rear wheel cut outs almost doubled in size over the ones found on the 2011 C6.R. The new cut outs allowed to feed cleaner and a higher velocity of air to the rear diffuser. The final area of attention for the aero package went to the side mirrors. Typically Pratt & Miller had just used the same mirror housings as the production Corvette model, but on the 2012 C6.R the side mirrors underwent a bespoke design. With a long slim neck, extending the actual mirror higher and closer to the driver, Pratt & Miller were able to lower the drag as well as improve visibility for the driver.
Another regulation change for the 2012 season saw a 0.6mm increase in the diameter of the air restrictors allowing for a small performance bump. Not only did the the LS5.5-R motor now feature larger air restrictors for 2012 but the engineers at the Wixom Performance Build Center made improvements via a new intake manifold. The new manifold helped improve drivability and fuel economy whilst increasing performance and throttle response. The combination of the manifold and air restrictors resulted in a power increase from last years 485 hp @ 6000 rpm to 491 hp @ 5800 rpm and the torque figures improving from 479 lb ft @ 4500 rpm to 485 lb ft @ 4800 rpm. The final improvement in the drivetrain saw a revised calibration for the paddle operated transmission, which improved its overall functionality and durability.
The improvements made to the 2012 C6.R made the Corvette notably faster than the 2011 car. On average the 2012 C6.R was 1.4 seconds faster than the 2011 C6.R and at circuits like Le Mans the new car was almost 4 seconds a lap quicker. The faster pace was immediately on display at the start of the season with second place finish at Sebring and two class victories at Long Beach and Laguna Seca.
The 2012 ALMS GT class featured eight full time teams with two new cars. The two time GT champion team of BMW Team RLL returned with their BMW M3 E92 GT for a third year. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Team Falken Tire and Paul Miller Racing all ran the trusted Porsche 997 GT3-RSR. Only one team of Extreme Speed Motorsports entered the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2. A new team of Lotus / Alex Job Racing debuted the Lotus Evora GTE powered by a 4.0 L Cosworth V6. The final entry was the return of the Viper with SRT Motorsports running a pair of SRT Viper GTS-Rs.
The season started with Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor bringing the #03 C6.R to a second in class finish at Sebring behind the BMW of Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Jonathan Summerton. At round two and three of the ALMS season, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner collected back to back GT class wins. Unfortunately the luck at Le Mans would change for the team. Both Corvettes were running a great race with another GTE Pro class victory looking promising after the #74 car took the class lead after five hours of racing. Unfortunately the #74 car suffered a tire issue at the tenth hour and after returning to track suffered damage after attempting to avoid an accident. At the eighteenth hour of the race the #74 C6.R was involved in a big crash at the Porsche curves, which the team spent over two hours repairing to get the car back into the race. Unfortunately despite finishing the race, the #74 Corvette had not completed enough of the mandatory distance, therefore was not classified for the race results. The luck was no better for the #73 Corvette as the team needed to replace the steering rack and fix an electrical problem knocking back the #73 car to a fifth in class finish.
Throughout the 2012 ALMS season Corvette Racing accomplished a total of 11 class podiums including four GT class wins. Oliver Gavin and his new teammate Tommy Milner generated the most success by accomplishing six podiums and all four of the class wins for the team. This resulted in Corvette Racing taking the 2012 ALMS GT Manufactures Championship with a 37 point gap over BMW Team RLL. This would become the first championship win in the GT class for Corvette Racing and their ninth manufacturers title overall. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner took the 2012 ALMS Drivers Championship by a 23 point lead over Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek of Extreme Speed Motorsports. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia fell shy of second place in the GT drivers standings by only two points.
After a three year absence from eight consecutive titles, Corvette Racing once again had established themselves as the top team and manufacturer in GT racing. The drop from the GT1 class in 2009 had been a difficult journey for the team but they had persisted to work on developing the car and recruiting talented drivers. The 2012 championship was the result of great design, strategy and teamwork.
2012 Corvette Racing Schedule & Results
|Race||Race Date||Race Distance (time)||Track||Car Number||Class Position||Overall Position||Start Position||Drivers||Laps Completed||Fastest Lap||Series||Class|
|60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring||March 17 2012||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||3||2||19||3||Jan Magnussen / Antonio Garcia / Jordan Taylor||307||2:00.979||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|60th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring||March 17 2012||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||4||4||21||4||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Richard Westbrook||307||2:00.743||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach||April 14 2012||2 Hours||Long Beach Street Course||4||1||6||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||84||1:20.188||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach||April 14 2012||2 Hours||Long Beach Street Course||3||4||9||2||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||84||1:20.771||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented by Patrón||May 12 2012||6 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||4||1||9||2||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||232||1:23.624||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented by Patrón||May 12 2012||6 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||3||2||10||5||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||232||1:23.886||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 11 – 12 2012||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||73||5||23||5||Jan Magnussen / Antonio Garcia / Jordan Taylor||326||3:56.216||ACO||GTE Pro|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 11 – 12 2012||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||74||Not Classified, Accident||Not Classified, Accident||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Richard Westbrook||215||3:56.835||ACO||GTE Pro|
|American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock||July 7 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||3||2||10||6||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||160||51.505||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock||July 7 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||4||3||11||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||160||51.289||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport||July 22 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||3||2||11||1||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||112||1:17.386||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport||July 22 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||4||10||23||2||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||91||1:17.403||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge||August 4 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||4||1||11||6||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||115||1:20.875||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge||August 4 2012||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||3||13||31||5||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||105||1:20.814||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Road America Road Race Showcase||August 18 2012||4 Hours||Road America||4||4||16||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||97||2:05.912||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Road America Road Race Showcase||August 18 2012||4 Hours||Road America||3||6||19||5||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||97||2:05.882||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT||September 1 2012||2 Hours||Baltimore Street Circuit||4||2||5||1||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||67||1:30.313||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT||September 1 2012||2 Hours||Baltimore Street Circuit||3||6||9||3||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||67||1:30.342||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240||September 15 2012||4 Hours||Virginia International Raceway||4||1||8||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||126||1:47.469||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón VIR 240||September 15 2012||4 Hours||Virginia International Raceway||3||8||17||4||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||122||1:47.389||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda||October 2 2012||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta||3||2||13||5||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen / Jordan Taylor||375||1:20.075||American Le Mans Series||GT|
|Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda||October 2 2012||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta||4||12||30||4||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Richard Westbrook||348||1:19.663||American Le Mans Series||GT|
#3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Drivers 2012 (#73 used for Le Mans)
Jan Magnussen started his seventh year with Corvette Racing in 2012. He had been moved back to the #3 crew and paired with newly promoted driver Antonio Garcia. After finishing runner-up the previous year in the 2011 ALMS GT Drivers standings with Oliver Gavin, Magnussen was looking to capture the #3 team another title.
Magnussen started his racing career in 1990 racing single-seaters. In 1994 Magnussen won the British Formula 3 Championship with Paul Stewart Racing breaking Ayrton Senna’s record of most wins in a single season, capturing 14 wins out of 18 races.
Magnussen would become a Formula 1 test driver for McLaren before competing in DTM and International Touring Car Championship between 1995 and 1996, where he finished second in the 1996 ITC Championship. Magnussen would become a full time Formula 1 driver for the Stewart Grand Prix team in 1997, where he would accomplish a career best sixth place finish at the Montreal Grand Prix in 1998.
Magnussen joined Panoz Motorsports in 1999 to compete in the ALMS where he captured six wins. He would become part of the Corvette- Ferrari rivalry in 2003, driving the Prodrive Ferrari and would join Corvette Racing the following year.
A legend in Denmark, his aggressive racing style and take-no-prisoners mentality made him very popular with the fans. Magnussen became a full time driver with Corvette Racing in 2007 and throughout his time with the team he accomplished 35 wins. In 2008 Magnussen became the ALMS GT1 Driver Champion with teammate Johnny O’connell and would win the IMSA GT Drivers Championship with Antonio Garcia in 2013.
- Birthdate: July 4th, 1973
- Birthplace: Roskilde, Denmark
- Residence: Roskilde, Denmark
- Family: Wife Christina, sons Kevin and Luca, daughter Millie
- Corvette Racing: 2004-2019
Notable Career Highlights
- Two time ALMS Driver Champion – 2008 (GT1), 2013 (GT)
- Two time IMSA WeatherTech GTLM Champion – 2017, 2018
- Four time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner – 2004 (GTS), 2005, 2006, 2009 (GT1)
- Rolex 24 at Daytona GTLM class winner – 2015
- Five time 12 Hours of Sebring class winner – 2006, 2008, 2009 (GT1), 2015, 2017 (GTLM)
- ALMS “Most Popular Driver” – 2001, 2003, 2011, 2013
Olivier Berretta finished his time with Corvette Racing after seven years with the team at the end of the 2011 season. This handed Antonio Garcia the opportunity for a promotion into the full time seat after three years acting in the third driver role. Garcia had already helped Corvette Racing accomplish two wins at Le Mans and a win at Sebring and was hoping to help bring more championships in a full time role.
Garcia is regarded as one of the best GT drivers in the world. He has claimed multiple victories at the biggest endurance races in world such as Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona. Garcia won back-to-back IMSA titles in 2017 and 2018 and has never finished lower than third in points dating back to his first full season with Corvette Racing in 2012.
- Birthdate: June 5th, 1980
- Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
- Residence: Barcelona, Spain
- Family: wife and two children
- Corvette Racing: 2009 – Present
Notable Career Highlights
- 2013 ALMS GT Champion
- 2017 and 2018 IMSA GTLM WeatherTech Champion
- 24 Hours of Le Mans winner – 2008-09 (GT1), 2011 (GTE Pro)
- Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona winner – 2009 (overall), 2015 (GTLM)
- Sebring 12 Hours winner – 2009 (GT1), 2015 (GTLM), 2017 (GTLM)
Jordan Taylor (Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans)
Jordan Taylor joined Corvette Racing for his first season with the team in 2012. Taylor filled the vacant seat of the third driver role for endurance events left by Antonio Garcia. Throughout 2012, Taylor helped Magnussen & Garcia accomplish a second in class finish at both Sebring and the Petit Le Mans.
Taylor progressed quickly through karting and made his Grand-Am debut in the Rolex series in 2008. By 2011, Jordan Taylor paired with Bill Lester, took the Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to a runner-up finish in the GT Championship by only two points shy of the title.
Jordan Taylor became a full time driver for Corvette Racing at the start of the 2020 season replacing long time driver Jan Magnussen. Taylor is a two-time IMSA Prototype Driver Champion, having won in 2013 (Rolex Series) and 2017 (WeatherTech Championship) for his fathers race team Wayne Taylor Racing. His older brother Ricky Taylor drives in the same series for Acura Team Penske in the IMSA Prototype class.
- Birthdate: May 10th, 1991
- Birthplace: Orlando, Florida
- Residence: Apopka, Florida
- Family: Single
- Corvette Racing: 2012 – 2017, 2020 – Presen
Notable Career Highlights
- 24 Hours of Le Mans winner (2015 – GTE Pro)
- Two-time IMSA Prototype Champion (2013 and 2017)
- Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona winner (2017 and 2019 Overall)
- Sebring 12 Hours winner (2017 Overall)
#4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Drivers 2012 (#74 used for Le Mans)
Oliver Gavin started his 10th season with Corvette Racing in 2012. After a much improved season last year, Gavin was able to finish with teammate Jan Magnussen as runner-ups in the 2011 ALMS GT Drivers standings. Gavin for the 2012 season was paired with Tommy Milner, which would start a driver pairing that lasted nine years until Gavins departure from the team in 2020.
The 2012 season would prove to be successful with Gavin & Milner collecting a total of six podiums throughout the year including four GT class victories. This was enough for the duo to take the 2012 ALMS GT Drivers Championship awarding Gavin his fourth drivers title. The success of Gavin & Milner also handed Corvette Racing their first ALMS GT class manufacturer championship adding to a total of nine manufacturers titles.
Oliver Gavin would become the most successful and longest-serving driver in Corvette Racing history. With 51 victories and five championships as part of the program, Gavin would rank as one of the most accomplished drivers in IMSA history. His Corvette Racing record included wins at Le Mans, Sebring, Daytona and Petit Le Mans. Gavin would win two championships with co-driver Tommy Milner (2012 and 2016) and would become the longest-running driver pairing in IMSA history at the time of the start of the 2020 season.
- Birthdate: September 29th, 1972
- Birthplace: Huntington, England
- Residence: Yardley Hastings, England
- Family: Wife Helen; children Lily, Isaac, Fergus
- Corvette Racing: 2002-2020
Notable Career Highlights
- 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM Champion
- Four-time ALMS champion – 2005-07 (GTS/GT1), 2012 (GT)
- Five class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2002, 2004-06 (GTS/GT1), 2015 (GTLM Pro)
- Six class wins at 12 Hours of Sebring – 2001-02 (GTS), 2006-07 (GT1), 2013 (GT), 2016 (GTLM)
- Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona winner – 2016 (GTLM)
Tommy would begin his second season with Corvette Racing in 2012. Milner would be paired with veteran driver Oliver Gavin for the first time in 2012. This pairing would span across nine years until Gavin retired from full time driving duties with Corvette Racing in 2020.
Paired with Oliver Gavin, the duo throughout the 2012 season were able to rack up a total of six podiums including four class wins. This was enough to hand Milner & Gavin the 2012 ALMS GT Drivers Championship, which became Milners first drivers title. Milner & Gavins success in 2012 collected Corvette Racing the 2012 ALMS GT Manufacturers Championship.
A second-generation racer, Milner is son of noted team owner Tom Milner. Tommy Milner’s passion for racing started at a young age watching his fathers race team. Following success in go-karts Milner was chosen as one of the six North American drivers in Formula BMW USA junior drivers program in 2004. Later in the same year Milner made his sports car racing debut in the Grand-Am series with his father’s team, which paired him with former Corvette Racing driver Kelly Collins.
In 2006 Tommy Milner joined the American Le Mans Series driving for the Panoz Team PTG program in the GT2 class. In 2009 Milner became a full time driver with Rahal-Letterman to drive the new BMW M3 E92 GT where he accomplished three runner-up finishes and again the following season before joining Corvette Racing.
Milner’s debut season with Corvette Racing started very strong with a GT class podium finish in his first race for the team at Sebring and then he collected the GTE Pro class win at the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours. Tommy was integral to the victory at Le Mans as he chased down the class leading Ferrari of Toni Vilander in final hours of the race to eventually pass for the lead with only two hours remaining.
Since joining the team in 2011, Milner has won Le Mans twice, claimed two Drivers Championships and taken victories at Daytona and Sebring. Milner has competed in Formula and sports car series with distinction for factory-affiliated teams such as BMW and Chevrolet. His partnership with Oliver Gavin covered nine years making them the longest-running teammates in IMSA up to date.
- Birthdate: January 26th, 1986
- Birthplace: Washington D.C.
- Residence: Ashton, Virginia
- Family: Wife Lauren
- Corvette Racing: 2011 – Present
Notable Career Highlights
- Two-time class Driver’s Champion – 2012 (ALMS GT), 2016 (IMSA WeatherTech GTLM)
- Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner – 2011 and 2015 (GTE Pro)
- Two-time 12 Hours of Sebring class winner – 2013 (GT) and 2016 (GTLM)
- Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona class winner – 2016 (GTLM)
Richard Westbrook (Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans)
Richard Westbrook returned for a second season with Corvette Racing in the role of the third driver for the endurance events. Joining fellow Brit Oliver Gavin and for the first time Tommy Milner, Westbrook competed at Sebring, Le Mans and the Petit Le Mans.
Westbrook become a back to back Porsche Supercup champion in 2006 and 2007. He would go onto to take a ALMS GT2 win at Road America in 2008, and quickly established himself as a elite international sports car driver after winning the FIA GT2 championship in 2009. In 2010 Richard Westbrook accomplished a GT2 class third place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and third overall finish at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Westbrook has competed in the FIA GT1 championship along with Spa and Nurburgring endurance events.
- Birthdate: July 19th, 1975
- Birthplace: Chelmsford, England
- Residence: London, England
- Family: Wife Jessica, daughter Amelia
- Corvette Racing: 2011-2014
Notable Career Highlights
- Porsche Carrera Cup GBR Champion – 2004, 2005
- Porsche Supercup Champion – 2006, 2007
- Nominated for Autosport International Driver of the Year Award 2006
- FIA GT2 Champion – 2009
- Twelve Hours of Sebring GT class winner – 2013