2017 Corvette Racing Season
Pratt & Miller created a new aero package for the 2016 GTE Pro regulations. Changes were made to allow for the use of a larger splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and a repositioned rear wing. The changes made to the C7.R resulted in the best season Corvette Racing had within the C7.R era. With a total of 12 podiums including five wins and two 1-2 finishes resulted in Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner winning the GTLM Drivers Championship and Corvette Racing taking their 11th title.
For the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the competition would return with developments to their cars to ensure Corvette Racing would not have it as easy as they did in 2016. Porsche were the main manufacturer to evolve their trusted 911. Despite being competitive throughout 2016, Porsche had stressed to the governing bodies of the GTE regulations, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), that the other teams had an unfair advantage. Porsche maintained that due to the rear engined architecture of the 911, the rear diffuser was limited in height, that gave the other manufacturers a benefit. Porsche requested to the FIA/ACO for a special waiver to move the 4.0L flat six engine to the middle of the car, behind the driver thus allowing room to increase the size of the diffuser to regulator dimensions. The request was permitted and Porsche started testing in October of 2016 the first mid-engined Porsche 911 race car with its larger rear diffuser. The diffuser plays a major role in creating rear grip, stability and downforce, via the use of an opened volume space from a flat floor design that creates an area of low pressure. With air directed underneath the car being accelerated towards the rear diffuser there is a decrease in pressure, which inversely increases the pressure above the car. The result is powerful levels of downforce without the penalty of lot of drag.
In preparation of the 2016 rule change, Pratt & Miller had constructed three C7.Rs. Chassis C7RGT-004 was used all season as the #4 and became the championship winning car. Chassis C7RGT-005 became the #3 and finished third in the championship standings. The third chassis of C7RGT-006 was constructed on April 19th, 2016 but remained in the Pratt & Miller factory as a spare car. The plan going into the 2017 season was to use the same chassis as last year of C7RGT-004 and C7RGT-005, however changes to this plan had to be made.
The 2017 season started with the three day test at Daytona International Speedway named the “Roar Before the 24′. All teams wishing to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona were required to attend the ‘Roar’. The test was set between January 6th-8th, 2017 and Corvette Racing arrived with chassis C7RGT-004 and C7RGT-005. Unfortunately on the final day of testing, a red flag halted the session due to chassis C7RGT-004. Whilst Marcel Fässler was behind the wheel of the defending championship C7.R, a fuel injector failed, spraying gasoline within the engine bay. After the fuel made contact with a hot surface, a large fire broke out. Fässler was able to escape without injury, however C7RGT-004 sustained a heavy amount of fire damage resulting in the Corvette being sent back to the Pratt & Miller factory. It became apparent back at the factory that C7RGT-004 would not be able to be rebuilt in time for the race in under three weeks time. In the replacement for C7RGT-004, the spare chassis of C7RGT-006 would become the #4 car and make its competitive debut at the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Pratt & Miller would investigate the fire and make changes to the C7.R to lower the risk of a repeat incident.
The livery for the two C7.Rs in 2017 had remained unchanged from the previous year, with the use of a Corvette Racing Yellow with black accents. The only change made to the 2017 livery from the livery used the previous year was the silver flash behind the fender vents that featured a stars and stripes design had altered. The 2017 design saw the fender vent flashes feature a stars and stripe flag that faded into silver. The two Corvettes were separated by the use of a black text on white background Corvette window banner on the #3 and a white text on black background Corvette window banner used on the #4.
The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship started with the Rolex 24 at Daytona. After the historic finish the previous year when Oliver Gavin crossed the finish line only 0.034 seconds ahead of teammate Antonio Garcia, Corvette Racing had their sights set to win the prestigious event for a third straight year. The GTLM grid was made up of 11 cars in total, with two entrees from Porsche, Corvette, and BMW, four entrees from Ford and one Ferrari. It became evident after the practice sessions that the C7.R was down on speed in comparison to a lot of the GTLM field. The lack of pace would continue throughout qualifying with the #3 C7.R setting the seventh fastest lap ahead of the sister #4 car that would be starting from ninth on the grid. On race day the weather was cold and damp, creating tricky conditions for the teams and drivers. Throughout most of the race, Corvette Racing executed their strategy with perfect pitstops. Daytona International Speedway was mostly rain soaked for the first 12 hours of the race, which caused problems for the team dropping the #3 down a lap. The race really came alive within the final three hours with the #3 Corvette looking to challenge for the class win. Throughout the final three stops, the Corvette Racing pit crew managed to get the #3 back onto the lead lap and make up nine positions. The #3 would come out of the pits ahead of the rest of the GTLM field to be chased down on track due to lack of pace. The race finished with the top seven GTLM cars all within 7.5 seconds of each other. Unfortunately despite the hard work of the team, the pace of the Ford, Porsche and Ferrari were too much for the C7.R and the #3 crossed the finish line in fourth. The race for the defending champions in the #4 didn’t go as smooth with an electrical problem causing a loss of power. The bad luck would pursue for the #4 when close to the six-hour mark, contact was made with another GTLM competitor that caused a broken right rear control arm. The team were able to get the #4 back into the race, but the trio of Garcia, Magnussen and Fässler would finish 16 laps behind the lead GTLM cars in ninth position.
Corvette Racing were able to take a lot of positives from Daytona despite not getting the results they wanted. Using the data and experience collected, they headed into the second round of the season, the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Mike Rockenfeller were able to take the class win the previous year and the team were looking to repeat that success. The Friday qualifying session proved encouraging when Tommy Milner in the #4 put up a best lap of 1:56.252 to start from third on the grid. Milner’s laptime was only 0.313 seconds away from the pole Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe. Antonio Garcia in the #3 managed a 1:56.368 making him the fifth fastest. The GTLM grid was very close, proving to create a tight race, which was displayed during the opening minutes of the race. Unfortunately within the first hour, the defending champion #4 car was forced to retire with water temperature issues. The sole Corvette Racing effort of the #3 was able to take the class lead at the three-hour mark. Later in the race the lead was lost due to a combination of greasy track conditions and caution periods. At the halfway point of the race, Mike Rockenfeller was preparing to pit for tires, fuel and a driver change. This strategy would be ruined by a yellow flag that forced Rockenfeller to make an emergency stop for five seconds of fuel only to stop again a lap after the GTLM leaders had pitted to keep the #3 in the GTLM battle. The Corvette Racing pit crew, yet again stepped up to the challenge and managed to help the #3 make up positions throughout the second half of the race. At the final pitstop, the pit crew got Garcia in the #3 out in the class lead. With the #66 Ford GT chasing behind, Garcia drove an incredible final stint to stay ahead and sprint to the finish to take the class win by 4.453 seconds. It was an great overall team effort, but the driving of Antonio Garcia really pushed Corvette Racing to take their 11th overall Sebring class victory.
The state of California would host the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the streets of Long Beach. Corvette Racing had achieved 13 podiums including five wins at Long Beach since 2006. The Long Beach race the previous year saw a controversial incident by one of Porsches, that stole the victory away from the #4. Corvette Racing were aiming to redeem last years race by taking the class win. During Fridays qualifying, Jan Magnussen in the #3 would stun the GTLM grid by setting a new class record lap of 1:16.090 becoming Magnussen’s third pole lap at the venue. Oliver Gavin piloted the #4 C7.R to a best lap of 1:17.115, the sixth fastest lap of session. The tight and bumpy street circuit can catch out the best race drivers in the world. This would be the case on the first lap when Jan Magnussen was a victim of the #62 Ferrari 488 GTE collided with a prototype at turn five that unfortunately Magnussen was caught up within. The #3 suffered damage to the front end but was able to stay in the race. Despite running different strategies the two Corvettes ran most of the race in first and second place. The race would finish yet again with controversy at the final turn. Garcia driving the #3 seemed to be heading to certain victory until a multi-car incident between three GTD cars at the final tight hairpin. As more cars arrived at the incident the track became completely blocked. Garcia went around the cars parked to the right to be trapped by the three GTD cars stuck on the left. One of the parked cars to the right managed to escape, which created an opening allowing Tommy Milner in the #4 to dart through, bypassing the crashed GTD cars. Tommy Milner took the win, whilst Garcia had to reverse into position to free himself from the pileup. Garcia lost four positions during the incident to cross the finish line in fifth.
For the past five years the 100 minute race at Long Beach had been followed by a race at Laguna Seca. In 2017 that tradition was broken with the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) race and Laguna Seca race swapping months, moving the Laguna Seca round to September. Corvette Racing first competed at COTA in 2013, which was won by Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the C6.R GT. After Corvette Racing transitioned to the C7.R, the best result came the previous year when Garcia and Magnussen finished third in the GTLM class. Going into the fourth round at COTA, Garcia and Magnussen were sitting second in the GTLM standings by only a two point deficit behind Dirk Müller and Joey Hand of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. Getting a good result became a priority for the team and they needed to build off the improvements from last years results. On the Friday a close qualifying battle would ensue, with the entire GTLM field being separated by only 0.926 seconds. Magnussen would set the best laptime for Corvette Racing of a 2:03.030, only 0.197 seconds behind the pole laptime. Despite the tight gap, Magnussen’s laptime would place the #3 Corvette C7.R sixth on the starting grid. Tommy Milner driving the #4, struggled throughout qualifying with understeer resulting in Milner and Gavin starting from eighth. The race started with drama in the GTLM class at the first turn. At the exit of turn one, moments after the green flag, both of the Ford GTs made contact with each other, which resulted in the #62 Ferrari of Fisichella being spun out by a out of control Ford. Fisichella came across the track and hit Tommy Milner of the #4 Corvette in the right front. After the Corvette was struck by the Ferrari the #912 Porsche couldn’t get out the way in time and hit Milner in the left rear. The #4 was badly damaged but Milner crawled around the circuit to get the wounded Corvette back to the garage. The Corvette Racing crew got to work quickly on the #4 to replace the suspension and brake components in the left rear and right front. The #4 was able to get back into the race, however it would require multiple trips back to garage to make adjustments. Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin managed to finish the race seventh in class displaying the never give up attitude of Corvette Racing. Jan Magnussen in the #3 managed to avoid the first turn incident and settled into fourth for the rest of his stint. At the 51-minute mark a car stopped out on track. The #3 Corvette lead engineer; Kyle Millay, spotted the stationary car on track and made the call to bring Magnussen into the pits. Magnussen reached pitlane just before pitlane closed. The #3 was able to take on a full tank of fuel, a fresh set of Michelins along with a driver change to Antonio Garcia. None of the three leading GTLM cars made pitlane before they were closed, allowing Garcia to take the lead when they could finally stop. For the rest of the race Garcia held the lead to take the win by 2.498 seconds ahead of the #25 BMW M6 GTLM. The victory became the 105th race win for Corvette Racing and the third straight of the season for the team. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen moved into the top spot in the GTLM standings by six points.
The next event on the Corvette Racing calendar would be the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team had competed at Le Mans for 16 consecutive years achieving a combined total of 19 podiums including eight class wins. The previous year at Le Mans the officials had set the Balance of Performance (BoP) in favor of the Ferrari and Fords, which resulted in the rest of the GTE Pro field being down on pace. For 2017 the BoP was set much closer, which created a more even playing field across the 13 entrees within the GTE Pro class. The BoP resulted in the C7.Rs producing laptimes over two seconds faster than the times they set the previous year. The 2017 times were on par with the laptimes set by the faster GT1 Corvette C6.R used between 2005 and 2009. Qualifying would create a tight fight between the teams, with both Corvettes settings times within the top 10. Antonio Garcia in the #63 C7.R set the best time for the team of 3:51.484, which sat only 0.647 seconds behind the pole-winning time. The #63 of Garcia, Magnussen and Jordan Taylor would start from sixth on the GTE Pro grid. Tommy Milner set a best time of 3:52.017 in the the #64 Corvette he shared with Jan Magnussen and Marcel Fässler. Tommy’s time placed the #64 in the tenth spot on the grid. The race started on the Saturday with drama at the first turn. Whilst Oliver Gavin piloted the #64 he would be hit by one of the Ford GTs, resulting in a damaged wheel. Fortunately the damage wasn’t too severe, but it made the first stint for Gavin difficult. Garcia in the #63 was running well until he started to struggle to keep pace with the other GTE Pro cars. The #63 had sustained a slow puncture in the right rear. Garcia had to compensate the slowly decreasing tire pressure with his driving style that resulted in the front tires suffering from aggressive wear. The decision was made to bring the #63 in for pit stop only four laps into Garcia’s second stint which put the #63 out of sequence with the other GTE Pro competitors. Heading towards the halfway mark of the race, Jordan Taylor was able to put in an impressive stint lasting over two hours to keep the #63 C7.R on the lead lap. For the #64, more bad fortune would ensue when Tommy Milner would lose the left-rear wheel in the Porsche curves. Milner would spin and make contact with the left wall breaking off the rear wing. Being only a short distance from the pits, Tommy would crawl the C7.R back to the garage but whilst entering the pit lane chicane, he would lose control due to the missing wheel. The Corvette would rotate backwards and drop the remaining rear wheel into the gravel. Tommy could not move the beached C7.R and a crane would need to come to his assistance. Remarkably the #64 would only lose four laps whilst the team replaced the wing assembly and parts of the left-rear. Throughout the early morning hours, Garcia, Magnussen and Taylor drove brilliantly to recover from the early race puncture to get the #63 back onto the same pit sequence as the lead GTE Pro cars. Throughout the last three hours of the race, Magnussen and Taylor alternated single stints and within the final 45 minutes at the last pitstop, elected to take on fuel only and a change drivers to Taylor. The decision against taking on fresh tires put the #63 into the GTE Pro lead after spending over 18 hours recovering from the early race puncture. Jordan Taylor was staying ahead of the #97 Aston Martin of Jonny Adam. With five minutes remaining of the 24 hour race, the worn tires of the #63 started to cause issues. The #97 Aston Martin used the slipstream to close the gap on Taylor going into the Indianapolis turn. Jonny Adam then stuck out the nose of the Aston Martin to take the inside line at Arnage corner only to lock up under braking and go wide at the exit. Taylor managed to use the undercut and the two cars bumped on the exit, whilst Taylor regained the lead. Jordan managed to extend a 1.5 second lead over the Aston Martin and Taylor was looking to earn Corvette Racing their ninth class win at Le Mans. As the fans, teams and media watched the phenomenal GT battle, the Michelins on the #63 Corvette gave out on Jordan Taylor heading into the second chicane of the Mulsanne straight. Taylor would miss the chicane and was sent bouncing over the gravel trap with Jonny Adam lurking behind. When Taylor entered the Porsche curves, Adam had closed the gap to within half a car length. Taylor struggled to drive the Corvette through the fast sequence of turns, allowing the Aston Martin to close within inches. At the last corner of the Ford Chicane, the left-front of the C7.R had almost fully delaminated forcing Taylor wide and the Aston Martin was able to easily pass heading onto the final lap. Taylor dragged the Corvette around for the final lap, losing another position in the process, to eventually cross the finish line in third. There was a mixed emotions as it was an amazing accomplishment that Corvette Racing got the #63 on the podium, but it was also devastating the win was stolen on the last lap due to another puncture. Gavin, Milner and Fässler managed to get the #64 across the finish line in eighth position. The 2017 GTE Pro battle will be remembered as on of the greatest fights in Le Mans history.
Corvette Racing returned to US soil in preparation for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The team had won the event in 2014 in the inaugural season of the C7.R, however the best result since then had been fourth. Fresh off the third place finish at Le Mans the team were looking to extend the four consecutive podiums streak and boost their lead in the championship standings. During qualifying on Saturday, Tommy Milner led Corvette Racing’s efforts with a 1:43.189 placing the #4 C7.R sixth on the grid. Garcia behind the wheel of the #3 placed eighth with a 1:43.243. The race on Sunday started with a battle at the back of the GTLM field between Milner the #912 Porsche and Garcia in the #3. Moments later, a rare mistake was made by Antonio Garcia only seven minutes into the six hour race. Garcia lost the rear, entering the bus stop chicane and spun onto the grass. Garcia was able to rejoin the track with no damage, but had lost a lot of grounds to the rest of the GTLM cars. At the halfway mark, the #4 was leading the GTLM class, however both Corvettes were lacking the outright pace of the rest of the GTLM runners. Garcia and Magnussen in the #3 steadily worked their way back up the GTLM order to take the lead with under two hours remaining. With 45 minutes remaining in the race, Antonio Garcia made his final pit stop for fuel and tires with a 11.5 second lead. Garcia rejoined the track and dropped to fifth in class. Ten minutes later the #2 Nissan prototype coming out of turn nine lost power and brought out a full course yellow. The race would restart with 24 minutes remaining, with Garcia down in sixth. Garcia closed the gap on the #911 Porsche ahead of him and made the pass coming out of turn six. Moments later at the exit of turn nine, Garcia was able to get the inside on Joey Hand of the #66 Ford GT to take another position heading to turn 10. Garcia then spent the next 15 minutes putting pressure on the third placed #912 Porsche until the last four minutes, when the Porsche was forced to stop to change a deflating left-front tire. Garcia took third place behind the #67 Ford GT to take a podium finish in an exciting race. Tommy Milner was able to bring the #4 Corvette to finish line in fifth. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen along with the #3 Corvette Racing crew extended their lead in the GTLM championship fight by eight points.
The next event on the Corvette Racing calendar took the team to Canada for round seven of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). Corvette Racing boasts a rich history at CTMP with a total of 24 podiums including 11 class victories. During qualifying both Corvettes were within 0.819 seconds of the GTLM pole setter, however they filled the last row of the GTLM grid. Magnussen qualified the #3 seventh with a 1:14.884 and Gavin in the #4 set a 1:14.904 for eighth. The race on Sunday started under dry conditions but dark clouds lingered in the skies above the 2.459 mile circuit. Magnussen started the race in the #3 and encountered a pretty uneventful stint. The #3 C7.R was proving to be faster than the two Ford GTs ahead. Magnussen struggled to maintain the aero performance when behind the competition due to the dirty air generated by the cars ahead affecting the way the aero package worked. At just shy of the two hour mark, the first full-course caution of the race gave way to a heavy shower on the back section of the circuit. Both Corvettes stopped for tires, fuel and driver changes, leaving Garcia and Milner to finish the race. The two C7.Rs exitted the pits after opting to stay on dry tires along with the rest of the GTLM field. With the back section of the circuit remaining damp, it created challenging conditions for all drivers. With just over 20 minutes remaining in the race, Garcia in the #3 was running fifth in class with Milner driving the #4 back in seventh. Entering turn four, Milner was making a pass on the #66 Ford GT of Dirk Müller on the damp side of the track whilst surrounded by traffic. Unfortunately Jordan Taylor in the #10 Cadillac DPi-V. R prototype cut in front of Milner resulting in contact. Milner lost traction due to the contact, which forced his C7.R onto the wet grass. Milner collider hard into the tire barrier, which threw the #4 into an aerial spin. The safety car was deployed whilst Tommy Milner was able to walk away from the accident unharmed. The #4 was immediately retired from the race but was officially classified as finishing eighth in class. With 10 minutes remaining the safety car exitted the track to allow racing to resume. Garcia was still sitting fifth behind Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford GT when Patrick Pilet in the #911 Porsche entered pits from second place to retire. Garcia passed the retired Porsche to take fourth position. The rain started again with five minutes remaining to make the job of Garcia even harder. The cars skated nervously on the damp track when in the final minute the #52 Ligier made hard contact with the tire barrier, flipping the prototype onto its roof. A full-course caution came out to end the race behind the safety car. Garcia finished in fourth to retain the championship lead, but the gap had been closed to within 3 points by the #25 BMW.
Round eight of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship took the series to Connecticut for the narrow, rollercoaster circuit of Lime Rock Park. Corvette Racing were returning to the venue after one of their biggest landmark achievements the previous year when the team scored their 100th all-time victory. During Fridays qualifying session the two Corvettes were separated by only 0.010 seconds with Tommy Milner lapping the 1.5 mile circuit in 50.720 and Magnussen in the #3 achieving a laptime of 50.730. The times placed both C7.Rs on the third row of the grid for fifth and sixth place with the #912 Porsche taking pole position with a 50.404. The race on Saturday featured only GT cars with Magnussen starting the race in the #3 and Milner in the #4. During his 51 minute stint, Magnussen was able to make up two positions before handing the #3 over to Antonio Garcia. Garcia rejoined the track in fifth position and was able to get his C7.R into the lead. Different pit stop strategies would playout within the GTLM class, and the #3 crew took a gamble with a late stop. The #3 Corvette pitted for its final stop from first place with 47 minutes remaining making the stop one of the last in the GTLM class. The strategy was designed to put Garcia on fresher tires than the competition going to the finish. It had almost paid off, however the tight, confined nature of the Lime Rock circuit made the job for Garcia difficult to make up positions. Garcia battled hard with the #24 BMW that was struggling on older tires. The BMW almost spun on a couple of occasions trying to hold off Garcia, which motivated Garcia’s decision to not risk the overtake especially due to the #24 not being in the championship fight. The #3 C7.R crossed the finish line in fourth place with the two championship rivals of the #66 Ford and #25 BMW behind. Magnussen and Garcia had extended their championship lead by seven points. For the #4 Corvette Racing crew, the rough season persisted when only 25 minutes into the race, Tommy Milner was trying to regain fifth place from the #66 Ford of Dirk Müller heading into the uphill chicane. Whilst Milner was in position for the overtake, Müller moved to the middle of the track to defend and braked earlier than Milner expected. Milner locked up all four wheels trying to avoid the Ford, causing the Corvette to hit the right rear of the #66 twice, first with the right front resulting in a spin, and again with the right rear. The Ford drove away with right rear bodywork damage, however the right rear suspension of the #4 Corvette was broken. Milner was able to drive the #4 in a crab walk to the garage for repairs and was able to rejoin the race after losing 30 laps. Oliver Gavin would finish out the race in the #4 to take eighth in class.
The ninth round of the season took the championship to Elkhart Lake for the high speed circuit of Road America. Historically since transitioning from the GTS/GT1 era in 2009, Corvette Racing had struggled at Road America with the only victory coming the previous year. In 2016 Tommy Milner produced a fantastic drive within the dying minutes of the race to go from fifth to first to take a momentous win. The team were looking to replicate the success of last year at Road America to help build on the championship fight with only four races remaining. During qualifying the #66 Ford GT displayed its straight line speed setting the GTLM pole lap of 2:01.422. Oliver Gavin led Corvette Racing’s efforts throughout qualifying putting up the best time of 2:03.358 for sixth on the grid. Right behind in seventh spot was Magnussen in the #3, with a 2:03.581. Both C7.Rs struggled to produce the times of the two Fords, but the prediction of changing weather conditions on race day looked to be favorable for Corvette Racing. Within 15 minutes of the race start a full-course caution paused the action when the #21 Prototype Challenge car made a mistake under braking at turn 14. The #21 went nose first into the tire barrier, which requiring the assistance of track workers. Green flag action resumed with 2 hours and 20 minutes remaining with Jan Magnussen in the #3 running last in GTLM at the time. With nothing to lose the team made the decision to bring the #3 in its first pit stop the next lap. Garia took over driving duties and the #3 took on a fresh set of tires and fuel. The #4 of Oliver Gavin decided to stay out to remain in sequence with the pit strategy of the rest of the GTLM competitors. The new pit strategy worked out for the #3 when 53 minutes into the race, the GTLM leaders started making their scheduled pit stops. Garcia managed to leapfrog the #4 C7.R to move up to seventh. Some luck would come Corvette Racing’s way when the #25 BMW that was sitting second in the championship standings came into pits with issues just past the 1 hour and 30 minute mark. The two Corvettes would take advantage of the misfortune of the BMW to gain a position each. With 55 minutes remaining in the race the second full-course caution would come out due to John Edwards in the sister #24 BMW became stationary on the entrance road to pit lane. The caution period allowed the #3 of Garcia to move up to sixth and right behind the #912 Porsche for the restart. The GTLM cars all pitted together whilst still under a full-course caution with 45 minutes remaining. Due to the alternative strategy, the #3 was able to make a quicker pitstop with less fuel required to fill the tank. The strategy paid off and Garcia was able to leave pitlane in fourth position. The safety car came in and the race restarted with 38 minutes remaining when immediately at turn one the #911 Porsche of Dirk Werner went into the gravel trap, whilst trying to overtake Garcia in the #3. The incident brought out another full-course yellow, which lasted seven minutes allowing the race to restart with 31 minutes remaining. A lap later Garcia served a drive through penalty for the incident with the #911 dropping him down to sixth in class. Fortunately for the #3 another full-course caution would come out with 26 minutes remaining due the #93 Acura NSX spinning into the wall at the exit of turn one. The race would restart with only 16 minutes remaining to create a sprint to the finish. On the final lap, Tommy Milner running in fourth at the time was defending against Alexander Sims in the #25 BMW. Sims misjudged his braking and hit Milner going into turn three sending the #4 spinning onto the grass. The BMW suffered damage however, Garcia behind was able to take advantage of the incident and gain two spots to finish in fourth. Milner would manage to finish in fifth and the #3 crew would manage to extend their championship lead to eight points.
With three races remaining, the next round at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) would be another GT only race featuring the GTLM and GTD class. The race in 2017 marked the sixth consecutive year that Corvette Racing had competed at VIR, with a record of three podiums including two wins. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen took the victory at VIR the previous year and with a small lead in the championship standings, they needed to replicate that same success. Saturdays qualifying session yet again displayed the close performance of the GTLM class. The previous year at VIR, Magnussen was able to set the pole laptime, however despite both the 2017 Corvettes being over half a second quicker, they would start side by side from the third row. The championship rival #66 Ford GT managed to secure pole position with a 1:40.211. Tommy Milner qualified the #4 C7.R in fifth position with a 1:40.758 and with a laptime of 1:40.802, Magnussen placed the #3 Corvette sixth on the grid. Ultimately Corvette Racing were not happy with the results from qualifying, however the drivers reported a good balanced setup that only required some minor tweaks for race day. The race started with plenty of drama when the #24 BMW of John Edwards bumped the #62 Ferrari of Fisichella wide onto the grass allowing both Corvettes to gain a position each. The #25 BMW of Alexander Sims managed to pull out a big lead from the #66 Ford at the start, whilst a spin in the GTD pack behind stole the attention of the TV cameras. Both Corvettes would gain another position each with Milner securing third and Magnussen fourth after the #24 BMW pulled into the garage with a power steering issue only 23 minutes into the race. At the 44 minute mark the first group of GTLM cars started to make their pitstops, whilst out on track, Magnussen was lapping a GTD Acura at turn three, which resulted in the #86 Acura NSX turning in on Magnussen on the inside line and making contact. The #3 Corvette drove away from the incident unscaved, but the Acura spun off track to make light contact with the tire barrier. A few laps later Jan Magnussen made his first scheduled stop, 52 minutes into the race from third place to hand over driving duties over to Antonio Garcia. The #3 rejoined the track in fifth, whilst Milner stayed out on track to take the race lead to complete one more lap before making his stop. Milner pitted to hand over to Oliver Gavin at the same time as the #62 Ferrari, which featuring a slightly smaller fuel tank was able it to beat the #4 out of pitlane. Gavin was able to get out on track behind the #3 to take fifth position. Not long after at the one hour mark, Gavin would end up in a rough battle with the #67 Ford of Ryan Briscoe, as they bumped doors multiple times throughout a series of turns in a fight for fifth place. Garcia drove the first part of his stint with fantastic pace, managing to close the gap to the championship rival ahead of Dirk Müller in the #66 Ford. With 52 minutes remaining in the race the GTLM leaders had all pitted, but the two Corvettes were able to extend their fuel one more lap. The #3 from first and #4 from second both pitted at the same time to take on fuel and tires. The decision was made to keep Garcia in the #3 until the end and Gavin handed back the #4 to Tommy Milner. Garcia left pit lane and due to the excellent work of the Corvette Racing pit crew, he was able to get out in third place ahead of the #66 Ford. Yet again the pit work of Corvette Racing gained track position and ahead of the car only eight points behind in the championship standings. With just shy of 30 minutes remaining in the race, Scott Pruett in the GTD Lexus made a mistake at the oak tree corner, going head first into the tire barrier. During the incident, the #62 Ferrari ahead of the #3 Corvette, made a mistake trying to go around one of the Turner Motorsports GTD BMWs and went off track. The Ferrari dropped to sixth, moving Garcia into second place. With under 20 minutes remaining, Garcia was able to gradually close the 17 second gap from the lead #25 BMW to within 10 seconds. With just under 13 minutes to go, Tommy Milner was able to start making a move on the third placed #66 Ford GT. On the long back straight Milner pulled alongside the Ford as Müller started to force the Corvette wide into the dirt. The two cars banged doors and went side by side into the top of the rollercoaster section of the track. The contact unfortunately forced Milner out wide entering the turn resulting in Milner to spin, which intern pushed both cars off track. At the same time as the drama unfolded on track, the race leader pitted for a left front tire and some fuel, handing Garcia the lead. Antonio Garcia brought the #3 C7.R across the finish line over 12 seconds ahead of second place. It was a perfect team execution of great strategy, fantastic pit work and outstanding driving on track. Corvette Racing accomplished race win 106 and the #3 increased its lead in the championship whilst also moving Chevrolet into the top spot of the GTLM Manufacturers standings. Tommy Milner was looking to potentially create another Corvette 1-2 finish but finished in sixth due to the scrap with the #66 Ford.
Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia headed into the second to final round with a 16 point lead over Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims in the GTLM drivers standings. Round 11 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship took the series back to California to the hills of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Corvette Racing had competed at Laguna Seca every year since the inception of the team in 1999, resulting in a record of a combined 23 podiums including seven class victories. On the Saturday the cars took to the track for qualifying. Dirk Müller in the Ford GT posted the quickest time amongst the GTLM field of 1:22.156. Jan Magnussen led the best efforts for Corvette Racing with a 1:22.789 placing the #3 C7.R seventh on the grid. Oliver Gavin placed the #4 Corvette in ninth after posting a laptime of 1:23.009. The race started with the #24 BMW of John Edwards from second place getting bumped from behind heading into turn one, resulting in Edwards spinning. This allowed the #912 Porsche to move up to fifth position and Gavin in the #4 Corvettes to take eighth. During the incident the #48 Lamborghini GTD went into the back of Oliver Gavin, which caused damage to the rear diffuser and undertray of the #4 C7.R. Closing in on the 40 minute mark of the race, Edwards was able to get by Gavin and close up on the rear of Magnussen. Gavin would be the first of the GTLM cars to pit with just under two hours remaining. A lap later four of the GLTM leaders pitted at the same time, whilst Magnussen stayed out. At the 47 minute mark of the race, Magnussen from second place along with the GTLM leader of the #62 Ferrari became the last of the GTLM cars to pit. Antonio Garcia would take over driving duties from Magnussen and re-enter the race in ninth. With one hour and 15 minutes remaining a majority of the GTLM cars came into pits including the #3 C7.R to make their second scheduled stops. At the same time a full-course caution came out due to the #25 BMW that was sitting second in the GTLM standings, beached itself in the gravel trap. The #3 Corvette left pitlane in fifth after it was able to take advantage of pit exit being closed. The pit exit opened just as the #3 C7.R was dropped off the jacks allowing Garcia to gain track position. Tommy Milner would pit again five minutes later to take advantage of the yellow flag period, allowing the Corvette Racing pit crew to replace the whole rear diffuser section of the #4 Corvette. After the final group of GTLM cars pitted, Antonio Garcia had climbed to second place just as the safety car was ready to come in. The race would restart with just over an hour remaining. The #24 BMW would catch a pass Garcia to eventually take the lead from the #66 Ford. Garcia had dropped to third but was able to catch and overtake Joey Hand in the #66 Ford a couple of laps later to take second place. With 46 minutes remaining, Garcia would bring the #3 in for the final pitstop with the team opting to take on fuel only. The #3 would rejoin the track in fourth place as Garcia settled in for the final stint. With just over 30 minutes remaining, the #62 Ferrari would exit pits behind Garcia moving the #3 into third, however Garcia trying to save fuel was unable to keep the Ferrari behind and he dropped back into fourth. Garcia spent the rest of the race holding off the #67 Ford GT behind to cross the finish line in fourth position. Tommy Milner would manage to bring the #4 Corvette to the finish line in eighth position. Heading into the final race of the season, Garcia and Magnussen would hold a 19 point advantage ahead of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in the #67 Ford GT. The result also allowed Chevrolet to extend its lead to 4 points ahead of Ford in the GTLM manufacturers championship.
The 2017 season finale would be the Petit Le Mans, an idea thought up by Dr Donald Panoz, whom wanted to bring a taste of the Le Mans 24 Hours to North America. Corvette Racing had been part of some iconic track battles whilst competing in the Petit Le Mans, and yet again they had the opportunity to seal up another title. Saturdays qualifying session demonstrated how close the GTLM fight had been all year. The #67 Ford GT took pole position in GTLM with a 1:17.705, however Antonio Garcia would produce a 1:17.714 to secure the second spot on the front row of the grid. Despite being only 0.109 seconds behind, Tommy Milner would place the #4 C7.R on the third row of the grid in fifth place. Garcia and Magnussen had technically sealed the 2017 championship as all they needed to do was start the race and the title was theirs. Throughout the race the top seven GTLM cars were rarely separated by more than 30 seconds with six different cars leading the class throughout the 10 hour event. The #3 C7.R was able to take the class lead on four separate occasions during the race with yet again, the phenomenal pit work and strategy playing a key role. The Corvette Racing pit crew really stood out on the final pit stop when Garcia entered the pits in third and left in second to beat the #67 Ford with only 50 minutes remaining. The fight would go all the way to the end with Garcia crossing the finish line in second place only 1.060 seconds behind the class winning #25 BMW M6. The #4 Corvette would finish in a respectable fourth place, with Tommy Milner gaining three positions within the final five minutes of the race. The championship would end with Garcia and Magnussen of the #3 Corvette winning with a total of 334 points. Bill Auberlen and Alexander Sims would secure the runner-up spot with 317 point in their #25 BMW. Third in the standings would be shared between the two Ford GTs with 306 points each. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner of the #4 Corvette would end a rough year, filled with bad luck to take eighth in the standings totalling 276 points.
Corvette Racing had secured back to back championships and the #3 crew had achieved the championship sweep by taking the drivers, team and manufacturers title. Throughout the 2017 season Corvette Racing collected a combined total of seven podiums including four wins. The 2017 season had certainly been on the hardest triumphs for Corvette Racing, which was won by an allround team effort. The season would add to the long success of Corvette Racing history with the team’s 11th drivers title and 12th Team Championship dating back to 2001.
|Race||Race Date||Race Distance (time)||Track||Car Number||Class Position||Overall Position||Start Position||Drivers||Laps Completed||Fastest Lap||Series||Class|
|Rolex 24 at Daytona||January 28 – 29 2017||24 Hours||Daytona International Speedway||3||4||8||7||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen / Mike Rockenfeller||652||1:43.979||IMSA||GTLM|
|Rolex 24 at Daytona||January 28 – 29 2017||24 Hours||Daytona International Speedway||4||9||18||9||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Marcel Fässler||636||1:44.038||IMSA||GTLM|
|Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida||March 18 2017||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||3||1||7||5||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen / Mike Rockenfeller||334||1:58.092||IMSA||GTLM|
|Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida||March 18 2017||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||4||10, DNF||46, DNF||3||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Marcel Fässler||42||1:58.189||IMSA||GTLM|
|BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach||April 8 2017||100 Minutes||Long Beach Street Circuit||4||1||6||6||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||63||1:18.506||IMSA||GTLM|
|BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach||April 8 2017||100 Minutes||Long Beach Street Circuit||3||5||10||1||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||63||1:18.522||IMSA||GTLM|
|Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown||May 6 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Circuit Of The Americas, Austin||3||1||7||6||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||71||2:05.438||IMSA||GTLM|
|Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown||May 6 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Circuit Of The Americas, Austin||4||7||35||8||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||41||2:05.122||IMSA||GTLM|
|85th Edition des 24 Heures du Mans||June 17 – 18 2017||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||63||3||19||6||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen / Jordan Taylor||340||3:51.156||ACO||GTE Pro|
|85th Edition des 24 Heures du Mans||June 17 – 18 2017||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||64||8||24||10||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Marcel Fässler||335||3:51.510||ACO||GTE Pro|
|Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen||July 2 2017||6 Hours||Watkins Glen International||3||3||10||8||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||192||1:42.097||IMSA||GTLM|
|Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen||July 2 2017||6 Hours||Watkins Glen International||4||5||13||6||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||192||1:42.379||IMSA||GTLM|
|SportsCar Grand Prix||July 9 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||3||4||12||7||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||117||1:15.748||IMSA||GTLM|
|SportsCar Grand Prix||July 9 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park||4||8, DNF||34, DNF||8||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||102||1:15.935||IMSA||GTLM|
|Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock||July 22 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||3||4||4||6||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||181||50.780||IMSA||GTLM|
|Northeast Grand Prix Lime Rock||July 22 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||4||8||22||5||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||151||51.451||IMSA||GTLM|
|Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Road America||August 6 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Road America, Elkhart Lake||3||4||14||7||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||69||2:03.909||IMSA||GTLM|
|Continental Tire Road Race Showcase Road America||August 6 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Road America, Elkhart Lake||4||5||15||6||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||69||2:03.940||IMSA||GTLM|
|Michelin GT Challenge at VIR||August 27 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Virginia International Raceway||3||1||1||6||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||93||1:41.403||IMSA||GTLM|
|Michelin GT Challenge at VIR||August 27 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Virginia International Raceway||4||6||6||5||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||93||1:41.675||IMSA||GTLM|
|Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered By Mazda||September 24 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||3||4||12||7||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen||110||1:23.996||IMSA||GTLM|
|Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered By Mazda||September 24 2017||2 Hours 40 Minutes||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||4||8||16||9||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner||107||1:23.657||IMSA||GTLM|
|Motul Petit Le Mans||October 7 2017||10 Hours||Road Atlanta||3||2||8||2||Antonio Garcia / Jan Magnussen / Mike Rockenfeller||392||1:18.532||IMSA||GTLM|
|Motul Petit Le Mans||October 7 2017||10 Hours||Road Atlanta||4||4||10||5||Oliver Gavin / Tommy Milner / Marcel Fässler||392||1:18.663||IMSA||GTLM|
#3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R Drivers 2017 (#63 used for Le Mans)
Antonio Garcia took over full time driving duties with Corvette Racing in 2012, replacing Olivier Berretta. In his first full season with the team he helped Corvette Racing accomplish five class podium finishes, which played a major part in handing Corvette Racing their ninth ALMS Manufactures Championship.
Garcia entered his sixth year as a full time driver with Corvette Racing for the 2017 season. Garcia and driving partner Jan Magnussen finished third in the standings the year before and were looking to score another championship for the 2017 season. Garcia drove an incredible final stint at the 12 hours of Sebring to secure the first win of the year for Corvette Racing. Garcia achieved his second win at the Circuit Of The Americas, which placed Magnussen and himself at the top of the GTLM Drivers standings. Garcia and Magnussen earnt one more win in 2017 at Virginia International Raceway and along with their consistency staying within a top four position they never dropped out of the top spot in the standings. Throughout 2017, Garcia scored six podiums including three wins to sweep the 2017 standings. Garcia became the GTLM Drivers champion, which intern handed Corvette Racing their 12th title and Chevrolet the Manufacturers championship.
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)
Jan Magnussen returned for his twelfth season with Corvette Racing in 2017. Since being paired with Antonio Garcia in 2012, Magnussen had not finished lower than third in the standings. With his last championship coming in 2013, Magnussen was eager to become a champion again. Magnussen and Garcia earnt their first victory of 2017 at the legendary Twelve Hours of Sebring, becoming the fifth career win at Sebring for Magnussen. The duo of Magnussen and Garcia scored their second win of the season at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) helping break a three year drought of poor team results at COTA. The final win in 2017 for Magnussen and Garcia came at Virginia International Raceway, which helped solidify the championship for the duo. With a total of six podiums and three wins throughout 2017, Jan Magnussen won his third championship whilst earning the 12th title for Corvette Racing.
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, 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
Mike Rockenfeller (Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans)
Mike Rockenfeller returned to Corvette Racing for his second year in the role of the third driver of the #3 Corvette C7.R. Mike was able to become a first time Twelve Hours of Sebring winner in 2017 at the second round of the season. Rockenfeller also helped Garcia and Magnussen win the 2017 championship with a second place finish at the Petit Le Mans season finale.
Rockenfeller is considered one of the most accomplished drivers of his generation, with a résumé that boasts a DTM Championship and wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Spa 24 Hours and the Nürbürgring 24 Hours.
Nicknamed “Rocky”, Mike Rockenfeller started racing in go-karts at the age of 11, where he was also his own mechanic. At the age of 18 he became a Porsche Junior driver to be promoted the following year to a full Porsche works driver. In 2005 Rockenfeller won six races in the FIA GT series including the Spa 24 Hours to become the GT champion. He would also win within the same year the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2007, Rocky would join the DTM series driving for Audi Sport Team Rosberg and raced for the Audi factory team in the Audi R10 TDi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The following year Mike would become the LMP1 champion in the Le Mans Series with Audi Sport Team Joest. After multiple attempts, Rockenfeller would finally become the overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 driving the Audi R15 TDi Plus. In 2013, Rockenfeller accomplished two victories and multiple runner-up finishes in the DTM series to become the champion.
To date Rocky races for Abt Sportsline in the DTM series as well as for Action Express Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driving a Cadillac DPi-V.R.
- Birthdate: October 31st, 1983
- Birthplace: Neuwied, Germany
- Residence: Landschlacht, Switzerland
- Family: Wife Susanne, sons Phil and Paul, daughter Stella
- Corvette Racing: 2016-2019
Notable Career Highlights
- German Carrera Cup Champion – 2004
- FIA GT Champion – 2005 (GT)
- Le Mans Series Champion – 2008 (LMP1)
- 24 Hours of Le Mans winner – 2005 (GT2), 2010 (LMP1)
- Rolex 24 at Daytona winner – 2010 (DP)
- DTM Champion – 2013
- Twelve Hours of Sebring winner – 2017 (GTLM)
Jordan Taylor (Le Mans)
Jordan Taylor returned for his sixth consecutive year with Corvette Racing as a third driver for endurance events. Due to his commitment driving full time in a Daytona Prototype in the same series, Taylor would only be available for Corvette Racing at Le Mans throughout 2017. Taylor had solidified himself as quite the Le Mans master, helping Corvette Racing achieve runner-up status in 2014 and taking the GTE Pro win in 2015.
Taylor was involved in one of the most exciting endings in Le Mans history whilst leading the GTE Pro class at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours. Within the final five minutes of the race, Taylor was defending the lead on worn tires against Jonny Adam of the #97 Aston Martin. Adam managed to get by Taylor but outbraked himself, allowing Taylor to regain the lead. Unfortunately on the second to last lap a slow puncture caused Taylor to go straight at the second chicane on the Mulsanne straight. Adam closed the gap and with little to no grip, Taylor went wide through the Ford Chicane handing the Aston Martin the lead heading onto the final lap. Taylor dragged the beaten up #63 Corvette around the final 8.4 mile lap to finish third.
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 of 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 – Present
Notable Career Highlights
- 24 Hours of Le Mans winner – 2015 (GTE Pro)
- Two-time IMSA Prototype Champion – 2013, 2017
- Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona winner – 2017, 2019
- Sebring 12 Hours winner – 2017 (Overall)
#4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R Drivers 2017 (#64 used for Le Mans)
The 2017 season became Oliver Gavin’s 15th year driving for Corvette Racing. Gavin and driving partner Tommy Milner entered 2017 as the defending GTLM champions. Unfortunately, 2017 would be filled with misfortune for the #4 crew, starting with a fire at the ‘Roar Before the 24’ that took the championship winning chassis of C7RGT-004 out of action for the year.
Gavin would finish ninth at the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and would not finish at the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Due to a bizarre last lap incident that stole the win away from the #3 Corvette, Gavin and Milner took their one and only win in 2017 at Long Beach. For the rest of the 2017 season, Gavin and Milner failed to finish higher than fifth place until an impressive final race at Petit Le Mans where the #4 finished in fourth place.
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 ranks 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 Milner entered his sixth season with Corvette Racing in 2017. Tommy with driving partner Oliver Gavin swept the 2016 GTLM championship but unfortunately the 2017 season would be a rough year for the duo. An incident with a GTLM competitor at Daytona forced repairs to the #4 placing Milner ninth at the finish. Overheating issues at Sebring forced the retirement of the #4. Some luck would come the way of Milner at Long Beach, when a pile up on the final turn created a gap for Tommy to take the race win. Tommy was involved in a scary accident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, when he was taken out by a prototype, sending the Corvette into the tire barrier at high speed. Besides the one win at Long Beach, the best finish for Milner in 2017 was at the season finale during the Petit Le Mans when Milner gained three positions in the final five minutes to take fourth place.
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)
Marcel Fässler (Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans)
Marcel Fässler made his debut with Corvette Racing in 2009 in the role of the third driver for endurance races. After a six year absence, Fässler returned to Corvette Racing in 2016 as a third driver for three of the four endurance races. Fässler was kept on in the third driver role of the #4 Corvette for the 2017 season.
Unfortunately at the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours the podium was taken away from Fässler in the last few hours of the race due to transmission failure. This was not Fässler’s first time behind the wheel of a Corvette race car as previously he had competed in the FIA GT Championship 24 Hours of Spa taking victory in the Carsport C6.R in 2008. Fässler went on to race a full season with Phoenix alongside Jean-Denis Deletraz in the C6.R taking one victory at Bucharest and five pole positions. Fässler redeemed himself at Le Mans later in 2010 when he finished second and then won the race overall with Audi in an R18 in 2011, 2012 and again in 2014.
Fässler helped Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner sweep the 2016 championship with wins at Daytona and Sebring and a third place at Petit Le Mans. At the 2017 ‘Roar Before the 24’, Fässler was behind the wheel of the #4 when a fire broke out. Fässler was able to escape the unharmed, however chassis C7RGT-004 was out for the year.
- Birthdate: May 27th, 1976
- Birthplace: Einsiedeln, Switzerland
- Residence: Gross, Switzerland
- Family: Wife Isabel
- Corvette Racing: 2009, 2016 – 2020
Notable Career Highlights
- Runner-up German Formula 3 Championship – 1999
- DTM race winner – 2003
- Runner-up FIA GT 24 Hours of Spa – 2006
- Winner FIA GT 24 Hours of Spa – 2007 (Overall)
- Runner-up 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2010 (Overall)
- Winner 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2011, 2012 and 2014 (Overall)
- Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona class winner – 2016 (GTLM)