Corvette Racing Completes Testing in Preparation for Sebring
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As the final shakedown before the season-opening 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the two-day ALMS Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway was crucial for Corvette Racing. The Chevrolet team continued to develop its new Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars and driver lineups. The team also unveiled its 2012 livery that features Jake, the team mascot, in their trademark yellow and black graphics.
Corvette Racing participated in the official preseason test with two new chassis, one new driver, and a revised lineup. Twenty-year-old Jordan Taylor of Apopka, Fla., made his public debut as a Corvette Racing driver, sharing the No. 3 Corvette C6.R with co-drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. Tommy Milner settled in with the No. 4 Corvette C6.R that he now shares with teammates Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook.
Announced last month as the third driver for the Sebring, Le Mans, and Road Atlanta endurance races, Taylor adapted quickly to both his new race car and new team. “It’s been exciting so far, being teamed with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia for the three long-distance races,” Taylor said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but also a huge opportunity for me to drive with these guys and to learn from them."
The twin Corvette C6.R race cars completed nearly 15 hours of track time without any significant issues. While long runs took priority over fast laps, both Corvettes ran considerably quicker than the 2:01.561 lap time that won the GT pole at Sebring last year. The No. 4 Corvette was clocked at 2:00.700, and the No. 3 Corvette turned a lap in 2:00.799 on the historic 17-turn, 3.7-mile circuit.
“The work that the team has done during the off-season gives me a lot of confidence,” said Milner. “I can really feel the results when I drive the car, and that’s very encouraging. Every test matters and every outing counts because the racing is so competitive in GT. Everyone at Corvette Racing is looking toward our ultimate goals winning races, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and winning the ALMS GT championship. Testing here in Sebring with our competitors has given us a benchmark to see how our work has paid off.”
Milner’s co-driver, Oliver Gavin, agreed: “The new car is very good, and the wider track has helped with the balance,” the Briton said. “I would almost say that this GT Corvette C6.R handles like the GT1 Corvettes we raced several years ago. It’s simply amazing how the technology, the aerodynamic development, and all of the work done by Corvette Racing’s engineers and crew have taken us a step forward for 2012.
Jan Magnussen is equally confident in his return to the No. 3 Corvette C6.R that propelled him to an ALMS championship in 2008. “I’m very positive with everything that we’ve tried,” declared the Dane. “We’ve gone in a new direction with this car, and when we try something new, we then find another 100 things we want to try! I think this test has been super-productive, and the new car is responding well to the changes we’re making. It’s always difficult at the Winter Test because the track will be quite different during the Sebring 12-hour race but I think we are in quite good shape.”
Corvette Racing’s next event is the season-opening 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway on March 17.