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Aug 24, 2014 - 06:36 AM
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CORVETTE RACING AT VIR: Quite a Comeback After Crash During Practice
Posted by: newsla on Aug 24, 2014 - 06:34 AM
USCR News
CORVETTE RACING AT VIR: Quite a Comeback After Crash During Practice


Corvette Racing’s No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R qualified sixth Saturday for the Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway - barely two hours after a crash in the final practice session for this weekend’s round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Antonio Garcia set a best time of 1:44.105 (113.078 mph) in a car that was rebuilt as a result of Jan Magnussen going off track after sliding on fluid from another car.

 

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The No. 4 Corvette C7.R will start ninth in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class after Tommy Milner qualified the car with a lap of 1:44.812 (112.315 mph). He and teammate Oliver Gavin won the 2012 American Le Mans Series GT event for Corvette Racing.

Magnussen was running in the top-half of the GTLM class during the final practice when he slid and spun under braking early in the lap. He was transported, evaluated and released from the track medical center.

Less than two-and-a-half hours after the damaged Corvette returned to the paddock, crews members from both the No. 3 and No. 4 teams replaced the engine support cradle, sway bar, suspension, steering column, air jacks, rocker, assorted bodywork, body tray, left door and windshield, among other items. The No. 3 Corvette C7.R rolled to pit lane 15 minutes before the qualifying session began.

Garcia and Magnussen arrived at VIR with the GTLM points lead on the strength of four consecutive victories earlier in the season. Chevrolet is first in the manufacturer standings, and the No. 3 Corvette leads in GTLM team points.

Giancarlo Fisichella was the fastest qualifier at 1:43.797 (113.414 mph).

FOX Sports 1’s live television coverage of the Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR starts at 4 p.m. ET Sunday. Live coverage of qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on IMSA.com.

GTLM QUOTES

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R

"Corvette Racing worked hard as a group to put the car together. It wasn’t Jan’s fault this morning - going off like that. Everything after that was a gift. At some point we were thinking we wouldn’t race, to we thought we could race, and then every single minute went in our favor instead of against us. We went from not racing to thinking maybe we can make qualifying but the car might not be really good. Then we had time to get it ready - although maybe not 100 percent. But this crew gave me the confidence to do it even if I had to be progressive in my laps. I couldn’t go hard on the first lap just in case there was an issue. At the end of the day, the car was there. With the pace we showed in Practice 3, (the crash) was kind of a shame. We could have been P2 with four- or five-hundredths more. I was capable of doing those laps. The good thing is that not only are we ahead of the all the GTD cars, we’re mid-pack in our class. It’s a good starting position to keep pushing and fighting for the championship."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R

"We’re a little confused, to be honest. The car didn’t feel too bad to be honest. I wasn’t going as quickly as I had gone before in the last practice, so that wasn’t a good sign. My best lap was my best one, so it seemed like the more we ran the better the car got. We’ll have to look at the tire pressures and data to see where we missed it and go from there. We made a change in the last session and didn’t get a great read on it, but it felt promising initially. Maybe that was part of it - I’m not sure. We have a good car for the race, which we always do. The track surface has more grip as we go along, so that will help."

DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER

"There are moments in life that make you immensely proud. What we witnessed today in the two hours and 20 minutes from when the Corvette Racing team got back a car that seemed not raceable to bringing it out for qualifying - and turn laps consistent with those that qualified on top - is one of the most amazing and proud moments I can remember. These guys are simply unbelievable."


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