Posted: 04/04/14 08:54 AM
Corvette C7.R Ready For Long Beach Podium-IMSA.COM
The new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R showed flashes of brilliance along with a few teething issues when it first raced in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, the two longest races on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule.
Now, is Corvette Racing ready for a visit to the podium in its next event, the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, April 12?
Two bright yellow Corvette C7.Rs are entered in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the 100-minute race, the No. 3 for Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia and the No. 4 for Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
"We’re unsure of how the car will be on a tight track like that, but I don’t think it will pose any problems for us,” Milner said. “So far, the new Corvette C7.R has been as good if not better in every area of performance compared to the C6.R.”
Last year, the Corvettes just missed the podium at Long Beach, with the No. 4 finishing fourth – one position ahead of the No. 3. The team is a four-time winner at the event, most recently with Gavin and Milner in 2012. The team also has posted the fastest race lap in its class each year since 2007.
“In years past, it seems like what has helped us at Long Beach has been our braking performance,” Milner said. “With the Corvette C7.R, we have improved putting power down. Those are two pretty crucial parts of having a fast car at Long Beach. So if the power-down is improved like it was at Daytona and Sebring then I think we’ll be pretty good shape for Long Beach.”
The two Corvettes each led the GTLM division at both Daytona and Sebring, but various maladies – including a transmission bearing, cooling problems and fuel pressure issues – put both cars out of contention in the second half of both races.
"Leading races is one thing, winning is quite another,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing program manager. “The new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R has clearly demonstrated that it has all the qualities necessary to compete at a level our fans have come to expect. Now we need to close the loop and start bringing home a few trophies.
“Rest assured, the team is working through the teething issues we have experienced, not to mention we are in possession of one of the most impressive racing tools in IMSA history ... the all-powerful Corvette fan base. Put all that together and we believe we are fully prepared for that top step of the podium.”