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CORVETTE RACING AT THE GLEN: Podium Finish For Garcia, Sims

Near miss for Catsburg, Milner in fight for GTD PRO victory; AWA grows Akin Award lead

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 23, 2024) – Antonio Garcia and Alexander Sims scored the season’s second podium finish for the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a third-place result at the Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday.

The No. 3 Corvette from Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports ran up front in GTD PRO, fell down the order following an early-race brake change and then challenged for the win late in a topsy-turvy enduro at Watkins Glen International that was severely impacted by rain. It was the first podium finish for the Garcia/Sims duo, following a similar finish for the No. 4 Corvette at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

While luck went the way of Sims and Garcia at the end, it was the opposite for Tommy Milner and Nicky Catsburg in the No. 4 Z06 GT3.R, which had to pit for a fuel splash from the lead on the final lap. The duo ended up seventh in the final GTD PRO standings.

In GTD, AWA’s No 13 Corvette Z06 GT3.R of Matt Bell, Orey Fidani and Lars Kern finished seventh in class following a similarly chaotic race and a number of drive time-related penalties to GTD competitors. The trio fought from deep in the field and briefly ran in the top-five before the Corvette was caught out on-track in a heavy downpour on slick tires and went off-track. The trio’s result did, however, unofficially grow Fidani’s lead in the Bob Akin Award standings, which goes to the highest points-scoring Bronze driver in GTD.

Three separate periods of rain had increasing impacts on the race. The first significant shower hit just shy of halfway and resulted in a crash for two GTD cars that brought out the third full-course yellow of the day. All three Corvettes had elected to stay on dry tires and jumped up the order as the pit closed – the No. 4 to second and No. 3 to third in GTD PRO, and the No. 13 to ninth in GTD.

More rain meant more chaos nearly 30 minutes later as the No. 4 Corvette pitted during a brief but heavy shower on the frontstraight for rain tires. Another full-course yellow neutralized the field again, and Milner was left on grooved tires with the track drying quickly. Once the race went green, he had to stop for slick tires and fell down to 10th.

The biggest downpour arrived with a little less than two hours to go. Garcia, the No. 77 Porsche and No. 14 Lexus were the only GTD PRO cars to make it into the pitlane for rain tires before the pits closed for the sixth time. After 25 minutes behind the safety car with standing water on the track, officials red-flagged the race.

It resumed with 35 minutes left and the field behind the safety car. With the three leading cars in class having to pit for slick tires, Milner assumed the lead and drove a stunning final stint to keep the No. 4 Corvette out front before having to make the last-lap stop.

All three Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs will be back in action for the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday, July 14.


ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – THIRD IN GTD PRO: “I’m happy with this. Considering we were on the front row the last two races and didn’t convert, it feels like today we got one back. It was an amazing job by Corvette Racing and Pratt Miller guys to change the brakes. They had the skills to almost keep us on the lead lap. Yes we lost some track position but after that, the car was good and every single strategy call was the right one. I had one of the scariest half-stints in my life when a whole set of our tear-offs on the windscreen came off and then came back on. So I had a triangle in front of me and I couldn’t see to my left. Somehow I made up several positions on the restart, but it was very scary to just keep the car on track. I just couldn’t see anything. Fortunately we got it fixed after the yellow, and it was made better when we were on the same strategy as the Porsche and Lexus to go on wet tires. It was the right call and it would have been nice to run four or five laps in the rain but we couldn’t take advantage of that. It’s also a shame for the No. 4 guys. With all the flag sequences, I think they deserved it. But it’s nice that we were able to get the first podium for Alex and me, and for the Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports team. Now we need to keep the momentum. We know we are fast; we just need to convert and hopefully a win is around the corner.”

ALEXANDER SIMS, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – THIRD IN GTD PRO: “To be honest with the weather forecast coming into this weekend, it kind of exactly panned out how we expected with a mayhem-filled race. We started up front and had a nice comfortable stint before we had to change the front brakes. The guys did an amazing job to change everything, and we almost got out without falling off the lead lap, which was pretty impressive. So our race went south for a little while but as with IMSA you’re able to get back in the race and we did. The guys made some great calls and the car was fast. It’s great to get a podium; it felt like we came back into contention where we should have been. It’s cool to get our first podium with the No. 3 Corvette. Antonio did a brilliant job in the end to almost get second. It was really tight out there, and I enjoyed it.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – SEVENTH IN GTD PRO: “Nicky was right in that it was a bit of a lottery race for a lot of people with tire calls and things like that. We did well with the tire choice except for when we snuck in just before a yellow to put wets on. I agreed with Tyler (Neff, No. 4 race engineer) that it seemed like the right call at the time because Turn One was undriveable. At the end, we had to take them back off because the track was drying too quickly. But we also got stuck from getting into the pitlane before the red flag, I was happy that it came. But at the end of the day, the result is what matters. And seventh place is not where we want to be. We did some things really well today and some things not so well. We’ll analyze those things that didn’t and be better for the next time when we go to Canada and try again.”

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – SEVENTH IN GTD PRO: “First off, Tommy did an amazing job late in the race in holding off the Aston Martin. I knew he had it and we were hoping the fuel would work out, but then that got snatched away. It’s tough. This style of racing makes some of these races a lottery. At the start I didn’t think we would be in a position to go for a win because our car was great everywhere except on a straight line. So that was a frustration. The car felt good toward the end of the stint, so we could get around some people. It was good on a long run and we saw that at the end with Tommy’s drive. It’s a tough way to end though. Hopefully we can be on the right end of it the next time out.”

OREY FIDANI, NO. 13 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – SEVENTH IN GTD: “I’m pleased with our result. It was a tricky race as we were lacking a little bit of speed this weekend, but I’m happy with how my stint went. The team has been working so hard all year long, and today they really delivered for us with strategy calls in what were very challenging weather conditions. They kept us in the fight, and Lars and Matt drove a great race as always.”

LARS KERN, NO. 13 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R – SEVENTH IN GTD: “I’m happy with the result we were able to achieve today. When looking at our outright pace, we were just a bit off the mark throughout the whole weekend, and we are actively working on figuring out the reason behind it. We executed well in the race, the team made no mistakes and were perfect as always. We as drivers kept it clean and were able to make up ground, I think we maximized our performance today.”

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


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