Doug Fehan has been moved to suggest that last Saturday’s Sebring 12 Hour win, Corvette Racing’s 10th at the event, proves the team is the best in its class.
Although the #3 Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller was taken out in a shunt with the #911 Porsche, the #4 car of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler survived off-track excursions and tire-temperature difficulties in the wet to grab victory.
Fehan, Corvette Racing’s program manager stated: “Just when you think you’ve seen it all - with the tremendous wins at Le Mans and Daytona - Corvette Racing comes back from one of our cars being taken out and the other going two laps down with six hours to go, and standing here in Victory Lane…
“It’s a great team, great drivers, tremendous strategy and engineering, flawless execution on pit stops.
“It takes an effort like this to win in this race and in this series. We’re racing against the world’s best. And today we demonstrated why Corvette Racing is the world’s best GT racing team.”
It was the second straight win for the #4 Corvette this season, Gavin having edged Garcia in a near-photo finish at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It also means Corvette Racing has won the last five of the world’s top endurance races – Daytona and Sebring in 2015 and 2016, plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015.
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, performance vehicles and motorsports echoed Fehan’s sentiments precisely, stating: "Great driving, teamwork and execution in the pits were keys to the GTLM class victory
“To come from two laps down and win in a field as competitive as the IMSA GTLM class is a true reflection of the never-give-up attitude of the Corvette Racing team.”
Milner, who drove the final two hours and 50 minutes in the #4 C7.R to win by 2.882 seconds said: “We sort of had an up-and-down race. At the start of the race the car wasn't super quick, but we weren't bad by any means. We had a great pit stop there and got me to the lead.
“We weren't super good in the wet…third or fourth quick there for sure. But then when I got in at the end, I've never had a race car that good. That Corvette was absolutely on rails and I could tell as soon as I left pit lane… I immediately knew we had a fast racecar.
“Here we are P1. I’m super, super happy for these guys – for Oliver and Marcel, and for all the crew guys. They have worked so hard.”
Fässler said: “Looking back at my race, it was quite tough after the red flag. I had never driven this track in the wet, especially not in a GT car. It was difficult to find the right racing line.
“I think we went a little too early on slick tires, and unfortunately I went off and hit one of the banners. We lost some laps but we were able to catch up. Oliver and Tommy did a really good job out there, the team made no mistakes and the car was a rocket.”
Stated Gavin: “I got the car back onto the lead lap and got us into the top-three. Then I handed it over to Tommy and he did a great, great job. He had been on fire all day. I had to do exactly what he did at Daytona which was sit on the pit box and watch and fret and pace and stress! ‘Is there going to be another yellow. Or is this going to happen, or is that going to happen? Is the last pit stop going to go okay.’
“This is 60 hours of racing that we've won in the last 12 months with the No. 4 – Le Mans, Daytona and now Sebring. That is just amazing."
By: David Malsher, US Editor