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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition

Final GTE Pro race in WEC sees Milner, Tandy going for second victory of

Final GTE Pro race in WEC sees Milner, Tandy going for second victory of

DETROIT (Nov. 8, 2022) – Corvette Racing will put a cap on its first full
year in the FIA World Endurance Championship with its initial trip to the
Middle East for the season-ending Eight Hours of Bahrain.

As they have all season, Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy will pilot the No. 64
Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in Corvette Racing’s first trip to
the Middle East. A new venue doesn’t intimidate the team as it has a victory
at Monza in its Italian debut. Bahrain will be the 33rd different track for
the Corvette program.

Another victory not only would close out the WEC season in the best way
possible, but it also would put Corvette Racing in the history books as the
winner of the final GTE PRO race in the championship.

The category has been part of the WEC since the 2011 season, and the
technical regulations matched the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the IMSA
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2014-2021. In the GTE/GTLM era,
Corvette Racing has recorded 33 victories across WEC and IMSA competition.

The 3.363-mile, 15-turn Bahrain International Circuit is unique in multiple
ways. It features less than 17 meters of elevation change over the course of
a lap, and the entire lap – all but the exit of Turn Four – is run below sea

As expected, it’s a very arid circuit with desert sands and rocks bordering
the racing tarmac and runoff areas. In many ways, Bahrain is similar to
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on the IMSA calendar. There, sand and dust
constantly blow across the track surface which puts a premium on generating
grip and maximizing tire life.

While the track surface at Bahrain is much smoother and less destructive to
tires compared to Laguna Seca, the significantly warmer air and track
temperatures at Bahrain compared to the Monterey Peninsula will make it a
challenge to prevent sliding of the tires across the track surface. To that
point, tire performance will play a significant role in the outcome of
Saturday’s race.

The No. 64 Corvette opened the WEC season with a strong second-place showing
at the rain-shortened 1,000 Miles of Sebring. Things were trending the right
way for the Tandy/Milner pairing at the Six Hours of Spa before a red flag
just past the one-hour mark wiped out the team’s first planned pit stop and
effectively put the Corvette a lap down before finishing fourth.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans was a cruel blow with the No. 64 C8.R eliminated
while leading just shy of the 18-hour mark. Spirits lifted within the team
following a thrilling class victory at Monza where the team won a
fuel-mileage race for its first WEC win outside of Le Mans. Milner and Tandy
finished fifth on a challenging weekend at Fuji in September.

The Eight Hours of Bahrain for the FIA World Endurance Championship is
scheduled for 2 p.m. Arabian Standard Time (AST) / 6 a.m. ET Saturday from
the Bahrain International Circuit. Qualifying is set for 4:50 p.m. AST/8:50
a.m. ET on Friday. The race will air live on MotorTrend with live streaming
coverage of the race and qualifying on the MotorTrend Plus app. Radio Le
Mans will broadcast qualifying and the race.

surface at Bahrain is pretty unique in general. To simplify it, you have big
stones and little stones, polished and unpolished. It’s totally different
than anywhere else we go. From the sim work we’ve done, it feels like there
is a lot of grip. From what other drivers and teams have said, it’s a track
that is aggressive on tires. That correlates pretty well with what we’ve
seen in the simulator. I’d imagine the first practice session will be quite
difficult as we dust off the track a little bit. It’s a circuit that is a
little bit like Fuji with some long-duration corners and medium- and
high-speed stuff. There are lessons we took from Japan that can apply here.
The track surface being unique and its characteristics will play a big role
in the strategy for the race.”

“I’ve raced in the Middle East once before at Dubai, so I have a little bit
of understanding of the culture. It sounds like Dubai and Bahrain are
similar in some ways. The fans were awesome when I went and it was a cool
place to go see, and I’m sure Bahrain is similar in many ways. I’m excited
to get there.”

Bahrain for the first time in 2010 and went there twice before in WEC. I’ve
never driven a GTE car around there so this will be fun. The effect of the
sand on the tire and how the tire interacts with the surface… how each car
reacts to the sand blowing around – and it does quite a lot – can affect
things quite a lot. It’s one of the challenges. It can be very gusty and
windy, and the direction can change. This is another factor with the
high-downforce cars that we have. When it’s windy, it does have an influence
on the race and it can change lap by lap.”

“It’s an interesting circuit and good for racing and good to drive. Bahrain
rewards consistency because you see the highest level of tire wear of any
track we go to. You have to have consistent and clean driving, and the track
punishes overdriving. This is good because you always want to influence a
race as a driver.”

“One of the good things there is that you have linked corners… corners where
what you do in the first corner influences what happens in the next. You
have places like turns One and Two and then you have the Esses in the middle
of the track, and the fastest section is in the middle. You have to figure
out how to best get time out of them, whether you give up time in the first
part to improve the second section or second corner. That’s always nice as
opposed to have a straight, a hairpin and then another straight. Those races
are kind of car-defined whereas with these types of corners, you can as a
driver affect more of what’s happening and affect the laptime.”


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