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Jul 22, 2014 - 05:31 PM
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Corvette Racing At Indianapolis: Looking To Kiss The Bricks For First Time
Posted by: newsla on Jul 22, 2014 - 05:30 PM
USCR News
Corvette Racing At Indianapolis: Looking To Kiss The Bricks For First Time


There is no shortage of Chevrolet racing history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It dates all the back to 1920 with Gaston Chevrolet’s victory in the Indy 500. More than 90 years later, a new page will go into the history book with Corvette Racing’s first race at the famed circuit. The team’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs will race alongside four Corvette Daytona Prototypes in Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

 

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The inaugural season of the TUDOR Championship has been a good one so far for Chevrolet and the Corvette brand. Chevy leads both the Prototype engine manufacturer championship and the auto manufacturer standings in GT Le Mans (GTLM).

Corvette Racing: Another New Stop

Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen ride a four-race win streak with their No. 3 Corvette C7.R into Indianapolis. The duo hasn’t lost since the Long Beach round in April and have surged into the lead of the class’ driver’s championship. They won the American Le Mans Series’ GT championship in 2013.

Garcia has raced once at Indianapolis - 2012 for Spirit of Daytona Racing in a Corvette DP where he finished ninth in class with Richard Westbrook. Magnussen, with experience in nearly every major championship around the world including Formula One, has not been to Indy before… much less raced there. Taking their Corvette to a new venue worked out well earlier when they won in team’s first visit to Watkins Glen last month.

In the No. 4 Corvette C7.R, Tommy Milner has experience racing at Indianapolis during the 2004 Formula BMW season. Teammate Oliver Gavin has not raced there in his storied career. The Gavin/Milner pairing stand fourth in GTLM points and come to the Brickyard in search of their first victory of the season. Their Corvette has suffered from a chassis imbalance that the team worked to remedy following the last TUDOR Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Corvette DP: Hoping for a Brickyard Breakthrough

Four Corvette Daytona Prototypes are looking to put Chevrolet in Victory Circle for the first time at the Brickyard. It would add to a season that has seen Corvette DPs sweep the overall podium at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and win twice more in the TUDOR Championship.

Speed has been no issue for the Corvette DP at the Brickyard. Jon Fogarty was the fastest qualifier in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ inaugural Indy round in 2012, and Jordan Taylor followed with pole position last season. The best result in each season was third place: Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli in 2012 for SunTrust Racing, and Jordan Taylor and Angelelli in 2013.

The Taylors hold the lead in the Prototype driver’s standings and have finished on the podium in four of the last five races. Action Express Racing’s duo of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi are second.

Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante will try to keep their string of strong runs going for Spirit of Daytona Racing. The pairing won at Watkins Glen and came in second at Detroit and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the Marsh Racing Corvette DP, Eric Curran will drive alongside Burt Frisselle, who replaces the injured Boris Said.

Live television coverage of the Brickyard Grand Prix starts at 5:30 p.m. ET, Friday on FOX Sports 1.

GTLM QUOTES

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R

"It’s a new track for most of us, and it’s new for GTLM. We need to work on learning the track layout and how the surface will work with our car and gathering as much information and data as possible to prepare and have a good car right away. The first session is going to be a time to learn and retrieve as much information as possible to go forward from then on. It will be a time where track time is important. The way you anticipate and work your way to a setup has to be spot-on. It isn’t that different than what we faced at Watkins Glen. We came in with a good, basic setup to start with but we had to work a lot to get the car really good from practice to the race. The entire team worked hard to make that possible and we expect the same for Indy."

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R

"It will be a new track for me. Being such a short weekend, there is a lot of pressure to make the most of things, get in there and get to know the track. It will be good to go to Indy. I’ve never been, even as a spectator, so it will be a really cool experience. . When you’ve been driving for as long as I have, you don’t get to go to a lot of new places. You usually always have some experience in one car or another. So that will be nice. If we can carry on how we have so far with our Corvette, it will be a fantastic first weekend."

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R - QUALIFIED 4TH

"I was at Indianapolis a couple of years ago for a GRAND-AM race and got to drive the track briefly in a safety car but I didn’t run there at all. I believe the circuit has been modified a little bit since then. It’s an amazing place with so much history. It has that coliseum feel and should be interesting for us to go there. I don’t know how the circuit will suit our form of racing. But it will be good to go there. This is obviously something that Corvette Racing has been keen to do since the two series came together. We are getting to go to these great tracks and places like Daytona, Watkins Glen and now Indy. That’s only good for everybody in the series. Everyone is excited."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R - QUALIFIED 4TH

"For us to go for the first time with our Corvettes to Indianapolis is pretty special. It’s a great facility with a lot of history. Hopefully we can build some history of our own there. In my case, I’ve raced there before so some of the layout is similar so it’s not all new to me although a lot of it is. It will be the first time there for all of us in the GTLM class so we’re all going in kind of blind. These days with all the simulations that we have all the engineering programs that we and everyone else in our class has, we should have a setup that is pretty close and then it will be up to us drivers. It will take us a little longer to fine-tune our driving lines and brake points. But it’s a fun challenge and a phenomenal race track. The history there is incredible."

DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER

"There aren’t many race circuits in the world with a history as deep as Indianapolis. For more than 100 years, it has been a focal point of the American racing landscape. Having the opportunity to bring the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R - in its first season - to race in front of such a knowledgeable and passionate fans and Corvette owners is a tremendous opportunity. Chevrolet has a prodigious history at IMS. We are excited to write a new chapter in Indianapolis and Corvette Racing history!"

PROTOTYPE QUOTES

JOAO BARBOSA, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP

"We’re expecting to win at Indy because that is always our team motto - expect to win. It’s not going to be easy because this championship is very competitive. But we had a very good test at the track. We have a very good car and team so I’m confident we can get back on the podium soon."

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING CORVETTE DP

"The track has a few changes from the last time we raced there. We've got a slightly different configuration and it's been resurfaced on the infield. I always enjoy going to this race, and I've always enjoyed driving on the track. It's got mostly low-speed corners but can make for a different challenge to get the lap time out of it. It offers a pretty big challenge to the engineer as you're mostly in low-speed corners through the infield, then it's offset by the long front straight."

BURT FRISSELLE, NO. 31 MARSH RACING CORVETTE DP

"I hope to jump in and help make this unexpected driver change as smooth and seamless as possible. I'm thrilled to be back racing at such a historic venue in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and then one of the best circuits in the United States at Road America. I am grateful that Action Express Racing gave me their blessing to join Marsh Racing for the next two rounds and I'll give Marsh Racing, my co-driver Eric Curran and the No. 31 Whelen Corvette my absolute best effort!"

TROY FLIS, TEAM OWNER, NO. 90 SPIRIT OF DAYTONA CORVETTE DP

"We didn’t quite get off to the start we wanted at the beginning of the season but it seems we’ve found our stride and the results are finally reflecting what this team is capable of. We have a couple of these Indianapolis races under our belts now and we’re ready to go. It would be incredibly special to win at the Brickyard and to be the ones kissing the bricks at the end!"

JIM LUTZ, CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE PROGRAM MANAGER

"It is always an honor for our Corvette Daytona Prototype teams to race at Indianapolis. Chevrolet power has a rich history at IMS and hopefully another chapter is added this weekend. The circuit is somewhat different than what we saw in GRAND-AM the last two years. The new layout with a chicane on the speedway oval, should move the advantage in the race to the P2 machines. Our Corvette DPs were fast on the previous configuration as evidenced by consecutive pole positions. It should be another competitive and exciting race in the Prototype class."


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