CORVETTE RACING AT DAYTONA: New Year, New Challenge

First weekend for team, Chevrolet and Corvette C8.R in GTD PRO category

· Three-day test ahead of Corvette Racing’s quest for repeat Rolex 24 wins
· 100-minute race Sunday to set grid for 2022 IMSA opener
· Pair of Corvette C8.Rs part of 13-car GTD PRO field

DETROIT (Jan. 18, 2022) – Corvette Racing starts a new year in a new classification this week with the annual Roar Before the 24 – a three-day test at Daytona International Speedway ahead of next weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.

For the first time since 2014, Corvette Racing will participate in a new category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: GT Daytona PRO (GTD PRO). It serves as a successor to GT Le Mans (GTLM), a classification in which Corvette Racing won more races and championships than any other program since 2014. The next goal is to replicate that same success in a full season of GTD PRO competition, which will feature 13 entries at Daytona.

The team’s Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs for the Roar and Rolex will look similar to the GTLM trim. A revised wing profile will mean a slightly different level of downforce at the rear of the Corvette. The C8.R will run on customer Michelin tires, per GTD regulations.

Under the skin, the GTD-PRO Corvette will retain the same 5.5-liter, flat-plane V8 with a slightly decreased power output over the GTLM rules package. An anti-lock braking system (ABS), tested by Corvette Racing at Belle Isle’s race in June, also will be featured on the IMSA C8.R along with other driver aids that are mandated by the class regulations.

Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg won last year’s Rolex 24 in GTLM to lead a 1-2 finish for Corvette Racing. The trio in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R is back for a chance at two in a row. Full-season teammates Garcia and Taylor won the last two GTLM Driver championships and seek to use Daytona as a springboard to another full-season championship run.

While Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2022, they will return to Daytona in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R alongside new teammate Marco Sorensen. Milner and Tandy were second to their Corvette Racing teammates in the 2021 Rolex 24 with Sorensen set for his second Daytona start.

The learnings from the Roar and the Rolex 24 also will serve to further development of the customer Corvette Z06 GT3.R that will be available to independent teams beginning in 2024.

The Roar Before the 24 is set for Friday-Sunday with the 100-minute qualifying race set for 2:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. Live coverage will be available on Peacock in the United States and IMSA.com outside the U.S.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Every year, we see how important the Roar test is for race preparation. With the Rolex 24 being the first race for us in a new category, it will be difficult to learn and understand things that every other team that has raced in GTD already knows. We will have to play catch-up to be competitive. But I have a lot of faith in Corvette Racing. Our experience can help us achieve that.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m super excited to get back to Daytona. Even with it being a shorter offseason than usual, it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been at the track. We’ve got a lot of new things to look forward to with the new GTD PRO class and a little different C8.R than we’ve raced before. It’ll be our first time having the car out on track with competition in this spec, so it’ll be interesting to see where we stack up. There’s going to be a long list of items we’ll be wanting to check off throughout the Roar test to give us confidence going into the Rolex 24.”

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “The Roar will be super important for us – maybe even more than the last couple of years. It’s an all new class and the field is much bigger and very diverse… simply bigger than years before. So it will be interesting in learning about who is strong where, which drivers are strong and where we fit in. It’s going to be interesting to find out where we are with our car compared to the other GTDs. We haven’t had an extreme amount of running in this spec so we are definitely going to use the Roar as a big learning tool. I’m excited to jump back in the car. It’s a little different now with ABS of course and some minor differences. It’s going to take some adjusting again. Coming off our Rolex win last year, it’s definitely a positive feeling coming into the Roar. I’m looking forward to it.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “At the end of last season, I didn’t think we would have the chance to race in IMSA this year. So this is a nice bonus to get us back into the groove of racing. Things will be a little different with some changes to our Corvette C8.R for the new GTD PRO category but they are items we’ve tested before in the simulator and on the track. So much of the success you have at Daytona is down to the preparation going into the race. I feel that’s where we are really strong. It looks like it’s going to be a deep and competitive field so let’s see how myself, Nick and our new teammate Marco pick up over these three days.”

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Daytona this year will be a challenge but it’s one we’re looking forward to. It’s looking like a very strong grid in GTD PRO, which should make great racing but also means getting a top result that much harder. It’s a brand new class to IMSA racing, however it shares many technical and sporting regulations with GTD and some of the teams transitioning from GTD to Pro might have a bit more experience and knowledge. One thing that Corvette Racing knows is how to win long endurance races so we go with high hopes, but we also know we still have work to do. For example the Roar test will be the first time the C8.R will run in GTD spec at Daytona. For me personally, it will be the first time I drive the car in GTD trim with the spec Michelin tires used for our class. The test days often don’t seem to last very long so we’ll need to be well prepared to make the most of all the on-track running we can get. I’m also personally excited to work with Marco for the first time. We first raced against each other back in 2007 in Formula Ford so I’ve known him a long time even though we’ve never shared a cockpit together. I’m sure he’ll fit in perfectly and be a big asset to our team alongside Tommy and myself.”

MARCO SORENSEN, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: Honestly, I can’t wait to meet and work with the full Corvette Racing team and get things going. To go racing with a team like this is going to be a real pleasure. I met some of the team at the race shop and got my first real look at the C8.R and spent some time in the simulator last week. It’s a really good setup and very useful to help me get ready for Daytona. The Roar and the qualifying event are obviously good opportunities to get some laps in the car and get comfortable with everything so we can get the job done in the real race.”

Corvette Racing at Daytona
1999
No. 2 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/John Paul Jr. – 3rd in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Scott Sharp/John Heinricy – 12th in GTS

2000
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/Justin Bell – 2nd in GTS
No. 4 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 10th in GTS

2001
No. 2 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Chris Kneifel/Franck Freon – 1st in GTS (overall win)
No. 3 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Dale Earnhardt/Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 2nd in GTS

2014
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 10th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Robin Liddell – 5th in GTLM

2015
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – 1st in GTLM (Magnussen fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Simon Pagenaud – 3rd in GTLM (Gavin pole)

2016
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 2nd in GTLM (Garcia fastest race lap)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 1st in GTLM (Winner by 0.034 second)

2017
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 4th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 9th in GTLM

2018
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 3rd in GTLM (Magnussen pole)
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 4th in GTLM

2019
No. 3 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 6th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 8th in GTLM

2020 (Rolex 24 – January)
No. 3 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor/Nicky Catsburg – 4th in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C8.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 7th in GTLM

2020 (WeatherTech 240 – July)
No. 3 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 1st in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C8.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 5th in GTLM

2021
No. 3 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor/Nicky Catsburg – 1st in GTLM
No. 4 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy/Alexander Sims – 2nd in GTLM
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 80 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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