Corvette Racing brought two of their all-new C8.R mid-engine racing machines to Daytona International Speedway to compete in the 2020 IMSA Rolex 24 at Daytona. Competing in the GTLM class, and knowing that the race would be ultra competitive, the Corvette Racing team knew that a large task was ahead of them. However, Corvette Racing shined on the high banks, locking up a fourth place finish on debut.
The No. 3 Corvette Racing C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg stayed out of trouble for a majority of the race, securing a fantastic finish on debut. The car also set the Corvette Racing team mileage record during the event competing for 785 laps or 2,794.6 miles. That distance becomes the longest distance ever competed by a Corvette in Rolex 24 history.
For the Corvette Racing team, the race itself was an up and down contest. The No. 3 Corvette C8.R held a position in the top five for the entire race, while in contention for the lead throughout most of the race as well. The No. 3 led twice during the race as well, proving that the new car can indeed race up front and hold its own.
However, the same story can not be said for the teams No. 4 Corvette C8.R which was driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler. During the first eight hours of the race, the No. 4 held strong inside the top six in class. In the ninth hour, an oil leak inside the car forced the No. 4 behind the wall for extensive repairs. The leak itself was contained at a point in the car which required the team to remove the engine to get to it, costing the car numerous laps. Even with the race win out of reach, the No. 4 returned to the track almost nine hours later and finished the race.
“I think it is impressive to have a finish like this. It’s always difficult with a brand new car and limited testing to go 24 hours without issues. That’s a testament to the team, Corvette Racing, Pratt & Miller, the Corvette brand and everyone that is behind this program. It’s a good start to the season,” stated new Corvette Racing driver Jordan Taylor after his No. 3 car finished fourth.
Oliver Gavin, who piloted the No. 4 Corvette C8.R, said, “Whenever you do a race of this magnitude against the competition we have in our class, you have got to learn stuff. There is nowhere to hide. There are no ifs, buts, maybes. It is the truth. We come here with a very fast Corvette, a car that has been developed well. But there are some things we need to go away an work on. You just look at the desire, the will and the drive of the guys to get the car fixed and back out there on-track. They worked some eight hours to fix that oil leak that we had. It’s amazing to see that these guys that have been working so hard for so many months, on getting this program up and running and ready.
The next round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series takes place at Sebring International Raceway with the Super Sebring weekend taking place March 19th thru the 21st.
Featured Image Credit: Richard Prince/Corvette Racing
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