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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Press Release:

No. 3 Corvette C8.R moves toward the front in GTD PRO in opening hours of Rolex 24

No. 3 Corvette C8.R moves toward the front in GTD PRO in opening hours of Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2023) – Corvette Racing opened the Rolex 24 At Daytona in strong style Saturday as the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R spent ample time out front during the first eight hours.

Antonio Garcia was in the middle of a triple stint in his second round in the GTD PRO challenger. All three drivers – Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner double-stinted in their initial rotations in the Corvette. As the clock moved past the eight-hour mark, Garcia ran fourth in class and fifth of all GTD cars.

The No. 3 C8.R started fourth in GTD PRO and 11th among the GTD category. Garcia wasted little time in moving forward and gained eight overall positions and ran third in GTD PRO by the time he made his first stop shy of the one-hour mark. He continued strong pace in the daytime and moved to second in class before he stopped to swap over Taylor.

The No. 3 Corvette benefitted from a full-course yellow just after Taylor got in the car, and he moved into the lead shortly after the restart. He drove just shy of eight hours before Milner drove in the race for the first time. The pace of some of the competing cars increased in the dark and colder temperatures but Milner kept the Corvette clean and in contention as the driver rotation began again.

Corvette Racing’s next update will come at the 16-hour mark.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "It's been good so far. The pace was really good. I don't know who was starting in every car. It's tough to judge who was driving and how aggressive you could be. I tried to be careful on the start but lost the right-hand mirror anyway. The pace seems to be really good. I was able to pass people; the infield seems OK and the slipstream seems to be doing the job to get by. Of course once you get to the front, the slipstream goes away and you're pretty much stuck with that you have. But it looks pretty good but there are many hours to go.

"Coming into the race, we didn't know the pace we would have. At the start, I kind of pushed and was a little bit aggressive. I could get closer and closer to other cars and could pass them. That was something new compared to last year when we were basically just hanging around on the oval. It's good to know we can pass cars. Let's see... it's still too early into the race but we have pace and we are up there. Now it's time to start tuning everything we have toward tomorrow and let's see where we are. Tomorrow is a different day and it's supposed to be hotter so we'll see where everybody stands."

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "The stint was OK. I think we were expected pace-wise. We don't have the outright pace to compete with the top guys. I think we cycled through the front through some strategy and some slower guys getting in the car. We fought to the front in my last stint. The LMP3 cars on the restarts are as we thought. I was able to make some moves and pass some LMP3s to gap myself to the GTD field, and that helped us keep that lead through the stint. The name of the game right now is staying out of trouble, which is difficult in traffic but so far so good."

MORE ON THE OPENING RUN: "So far so good. Antonio was able to get up to P3 in his stint and then we were able to cycle to the lead and stay there for a couple of hours. The competition is tough. We don't have the fastest car right now, but I think through pit stop cycles and strategy, we can stay out front. There's a long way to go. Hopefully come tomorrow morning, we'll be in a good spot."

DEALING WITH GTP TRAFFIC AND COMFORT LEVEL: "It's not bad. I think most of those guys are somewhat conscious as opposed to previous years with the cars maybe not as reliable. So you can tell they're a little more hesitant, which is nice for us. The closing rates at places like the Kink are a little faster but nothing too crazy. It's usually the LMP2s or LMP3s that kind of cause more issues for us."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “The first stint for me went OK. We were close to the front when I got in but dropped back a little bit throughout. My first stint was difficult; the tire pressure was a little too high so that was tricky at first. The second was a lot better. Right now the name of the game is keeping the car in one piece and making sure we get the strategy right. We’ll see how Antonio does in his run. It seems like we were quite quick in the warmer temperatures and maybe not so much in the cooler stints, so we’ll see how it goes through the night.

RETURNING TO IMSA: “I’m back with Brian (Hoye) again. I’ve spent a lot of year with Brian as my crew chief so that feels very normal. I’ve been with this program for many years; I think this is my 13th season with Corvette Racing. We have a lot of new faces in some ways but some familiar ones as well. It feels like home no matter who’s on the car and who’s engineering the car. The formula at Corvette Racing is shared among everyone. It doesn’t matter who’s putting on tires, who’s putting in the fuel, who’s engineering or who’s driving. We’re all trying to do the same job, and that’s to put our Corvette out front.”

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