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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Press Release:

CORVETTE RACING AT VIR: All the Right Calls in Overall Victory

Garcia, Taylor, No. 3 C8.R team take season’s second IMSA victory at VIR

ALTON, Va. (Aug. 27, 2023) – Corvette Racing claimed victory at Virginia International Raceway again as Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia drove the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to a win in the Michelin GT Challenge on Sunday.

Corvette Racing took the VIR triumph for the third time in four years as the Garcia/Taylor duo won for the second time in four years in the GT-only event for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sunday’s result was critical as Corvette Racing and Chevrolet remained in the hunt for the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO championship with two races to go.

Sunday marked the second win for Corvette Racing in IMSA this season and it’s 126th worldwide victory – 114 coming in IMSA competition.

The race was one largely between two cars. Garcia, who qualified in the Corvette on Saturday, began the race third but moved to second place behind the pole-sitting No. 14 Lexus after the second lap. It stayed that way in class – and mostly in the overall order – for the next two-and-a-half hours.

Garcia brought in the C8.R for its first stop at the 54-minute mark with the Corvette team adding fuel and taking fresh Michelin tires. The team elected to change drivers with Taylor going the rest of the way as the pair of leading cars committed to a two-stop strategy.

Taylor was the first of the two leaders to pit for the final time with 57 minutes to go. Excellent pit work by the Corvette Racing crew – a quick tire change and fuel fill – proved crucial as Taylor got around Ben Barnicoat as the Lexus left the pitlane after stopping a lap later than the Corvette.

With a 3.7-second gap in-hand, Taylor set off for the final 54 minutes needing to save fuel while keeping the No. 14 at bay. He did just that in crossing the finish line by a little more than two seconds.

Corvette Racing’s next event in IMSA is the Battle of the Bricks on Sept. 15-17 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE WINNER: “This is the perfect weekend for sure. Road America looked like a perfect weekend, too, before we lost the race. So this is the perfect turnaround. Even here, we didn’t look as competitive here as we did at Road America but the team did an amazing job. I was lucky enough to be up there with the Lexus at the start to keep some pressure on them. I knew they were strong, but that’s what we had to do. When the yellow came, Jordan obviously kept the pressure and it was time to do something different on the last stop like we always try to do. That undercut definitely help. I don’t know if that put pressure on them. They stalled coming out of the pits, so that was another two or three seconds. That buffer is kind of nice to be able to control your pace. If you have to save fuel, it’s not close enough for them to make a move. Jordan was fantastic today. It was very stressful for me! I’m not used to seeing that in the end! I prefer to be in the car, but you know when Jordan is in that he will do an amazing job. I’m glad he ended this weekend the way he did.”

On what it took to win: “I would say consistency. Yesterday we tried to do something different in qualifying because everyone seemed to be so close. That probably gave us an indication about how to set up the car for today. The morning warm-up was pretty good. I’m glad that during the first stint the car was where it needed to be. I was able to go up to second, and I knew the Lexus was very, very strong. In a way, we managed to stay in contention with not a lot of time behind them. We had to be there putting pressure and eventually someone would make a mistake. It wasn’t us today, and then Jordan drove really, really well for the rest of the race. It’s another great example of consistency and a good race from Corvette Racing.”

On the satisfaction of winning after Road America: “It’s very satisfying. It’s the best turnaround after what happened at Road America where we felt everything was done and everything slipped away. It’s a massive turnaround. We were not as competitive as we were at Road America, but again you can’t give up. You just need to be prepared, be consistent and put pressure on everybody. In the end, one little mistake in GTD PRO makes the difference. Today we weren’t the ones to make mistakes.”

On Taylor moving away in 2024 and getting at least one more win together: “It’s one more win with hopefully two more to go! So let’s make Indianapolis and especially Petit Le Mans the last two wins this year.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – RACE WINNER: “This win is down to Corvette Racing calling that strategy to get us track position. When they told me the fuel number, I was definitely worried but the car was so good in fuel-save mood that it helped me save the tires. I know the announcement (about going to GTP in 2024) has come out, but I’m glad to give these guys one back.

More on the win: “We were pushing the whole race even on the first cycle to close the gap to the Lexus to see if we could make them make a mistake. When the second yellow came out, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Those guys really restart strong so I thought we were kind of out of it. But the Corvette guys made an amazing call to short-fill on the last stop to get us out front and get the track position. It was down to saving fuel and managing tires from there. I was counting down the laps from about 25 to go, so I was very happy to see that checkered flag.”

On the next two races with Corvette: “It’s been an amazing run. This one is definitely for all the Corvette Racing fans out there. Since the announcement, the outpouring from the fans from the Corvette side has been the best part, just to see the appreciation and respect on my decision to move away. Corvette Racing will always be my family no matter where I am, what I drive and what I do. Deep in my heart, I’m a Corvette guy.”

How special is this win? “This will definitely be one of the most special wins I’ll ever have. This was a classic Corvette Racing victory. We didn’t have the fastest car. Antonio was able to stay in contention in that first stint, and we made some gains on fuel-savings in that first stint to get closer to the Lexus for when I was in the car. In that last pit cycle, the guys made an amazing call on the short-fill to get that track position. They gave me a fuel number to hit to get to the end, and it was my job to save that amount and not lose any laptime. We nailed it. The fuel reserve came on, but it must have been tight because I couldn’t do a burnout in the end! This win goes to Corvette Racing.”

On if the undercut strategy would have worked if the 14 didn’t stall: “If they had beaten us out, there’s no way I would have gotten by him unless he made some mistakes. In this series these days, one mistake can lose you the victory. We’ve seen that this year. We probably lost two or three this year that we could say that we could have won. They’re probably going to say the same thing after this one… that they could have won had they not stalled. Today was our day. It was a very deserving victory and down to our guys making that call.”

The attempted pass on the 14 on the second restart into T14: “I didn’t have a ton of confidence going in there. The lap before I braked kind of late and had a bunch of ABS interaction and almost hit the back of him. That lap, I knew I was going to be off-line so I wasn’t 100 percent confident that I’d make the corner. He did the exact same thing to me last year where I had a similar run. I knew he was going to go deep. At that point in the race, I knew that had we gotten track position then it would have transformed the race for us but I also didn’t want to throw away the race with an hour-and-a-half to go. I knew there was a lot of racing to go. We hadn’t done a full stint yet to see where all the cars were on tire deg. I knew we had a lot to play for, and it wasn’t worth taking that big risk.”

On seeing the 14 come out of pitlane after the last stop: “The engineers just told me to push on the out-lap, so I knew it was all down to my out-lap, my in-lap and the short fill and calculating how much we needed to jump them. They told me when he was leaving the pits, and it was quite early so they didn’t say he stalled; they said he’s leaving so I thought he’d be pretty far ahead of me by the time I got there. I crested the hill and saw he was still at pit-out, and I had so much momentum that I knew for sure I was going to go by him. I’m not sure what he was doing, but he drifted all the way across the racing line. He for sure saw me, so I’m not sure what that was about. But I wasn’t going to lift. I would have driven through him if I had to at that point to get the lead.

“It was a sigh of relief because I didn’t know I had to save fuel at that point. But they told me after that what the fuel number was, and the stress crept in until I kind of found a rhythm of hitting that number with my lift points and finding the laptime. Once I got into a rhythm, I felt pretty good. With about 15 laps to go, I felt pretty confident that the tires weren’t dropping too much.”

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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