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May 05, 2014 - 12:03 PM
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Two For Two: Corvette Racing Completes California Sweep With Gtlm Victory
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 12:01 PM
USCR News
Two For Two: Corvette Racing Completes California Sweep With Gtlm Victory At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


Corvette Racing completed a California sweep Sunday, with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen driving the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to its second consecutive TUDOR United SportsCar Championship victory, winning the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

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Garcia passed Giancarlo Fisichella’s No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class lead with 21 minutes remaining and drove to a 4.710-second victory ahead of Bill Auberlen in the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE. Garcia and co-driver Magnussen scored the first TUDOR Championship victory for the Corvette C7.R one race ago at the Long Beach street circuit.

"Traffic in this series is very [difficult] and as soon as I saw a Prototype going to pass [Fisichella], I really went for it and made a run as much as possible," said Garcia. "He had no chance to block me and after that [I could use] all the tires I had saved."

While Garcia cruised to victory, an intense battle ensued between the No. 55 BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE of Bill Auberlen and the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy for second.

After both cars found their way past Fisichella, the battle led to contact between Tandy and Auberlen on the second-to-last lap, forcing Auberlen off course. Despite the incident on the prior lap, Auberlen caught back up to Tandy and got past in the final turn to take second place.

After a review by IMSA officials, the No. 911 team received a post-race "stop, plus 60-second" penalty for the contact, moving the car to ninth and the No. 62 Ferrari of Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer to third.

"We assessed a penalty similar to what we assessed throughout the entire race for an on-track incident which is a stop, plus 60-second penalty to the (No.) 911," said Scot Elkins, IMSA vice president of competition and technical regulations.

The second-place finish for BMW Team RLL was its fourth consecutive podium finish to start the TUDOR Championship season. Auberlen and Andy Priaulx entered the event leading the GTLM points.

"Today was a balancing act, especially on strategy," said Auberlen. "Everyone went one way, and we went one way. And then we all met up at the end."

The next TUDOR Championship round for the GTLM class will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 29. The race - which also is the third round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup - will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 at 11 a.m. ET.

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