Taylor, Westbrook rejoin team at Le Mans; Liddell, Briscoe in for Daytona and Sebring
DETROIT (Dec. 19, 2013) – Corvette Racing is continuing its history of strong driver lineups with an impressive roster for the 2014 endurance racing season. The team will field eight drivers across 12 races around the globe in the new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the United States.
The cornerstones of this year’s program are the four full-season drivers that are unchanged from a year ago. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen – last year’s GT champions in the American Le Mans Series – are back together after leading the category with three victories. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – third in the ALMS GT championship in 2013 with two wins after taking the class title in 2012 – will drive the other Corvette.
The endurance roster for 2014 sees a mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the Corvette Racing program. Robin Liddell and Ryan Briscoe join Corvette Racing for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring as part of the GT Le Mans category. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, Jordan Taylor and Richard Westbrook return for the team in the GTE Pro class.
“The 2014 season will be thrilling for Corvette Racing enthusiasts with the debut of the new Corvette C7.R,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The C7.R will debut with a roster of drivers who bring high levels of experience and a team-first mentality that can help Corvette Racing succeed in the world’s most challenging endurance events.”
Briscoe will partner with Garcia and Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R for his first taste of GT-spec racing. The Aussie is a star in both prototype sports cars and open-wheel formulas. Last week, he was named as a full-time driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series. In addition to seven IndyCar victories, Briscoe won nine times in ALMS prototype competition for such prestigious operations such as Penske Racing and Level 5 Motorsports. His first time in the C7.R will be at the Roar Before the 24 on Jan. 3-5.
Liddell is no stranger to the Chevrolet ranks. He drove for Stevenson Motorsports in a Camaro GT.R as part of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series the past six seasons. He won 18 times with a highest finish of second three times in the Rolex Series GT championship. In the ALMS, Liddell won seven times driving both prototype and GT cars.
While full-season duties in the TUDOR Championship’s prototype class precludes them from competing for Corvette Racing in the U.S., the familiarity of Taylor and Westbrook with the program at Le Mans is a boost for a team seeking its eighth class win there since 2001. Westbrook will race for fourth time at Le Mans with Corvette Racing and Taylor his third.
“We feel this roster will be extremely competitive,” said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing. “This is a program that embraces continuity and teamwork in all areas. It is a key to success in motorsports – evidenced by the roster of drivers who will compete at Le Mans against the most challenging competition in endurance racing. We also welcome championship talents Ryan Briscoe and Robin Liddell to the Corvette Racing program for the opening two races of an exciting new chapter in sports car racing.”
The TUDOR United Sports Car Championship begins with the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona from Jan. 25-26 at Daytona International Speedway. All six of the drivers for the TUDOR Championship will participate in the Roar Before the 24 test days from Jan. 3-5. It will mark the first public showing of the Corvette C7.R race cars. Live timing and scoring will be available at imsa.com.
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R (Daytona & Sebring)
“It’s an honor to get the opportunity to run Daytona and Sebring with Corvette Racing. I’ve often been pitted alongside the Corvette team (in the ALMS), and I’ve long idolized them. It’s an amazing group of guys that run two amazing cars. I was always a little envious of the guys driving them, and now I get a shot to. So I’m really excited about it. I know Jan and Antonio really well. I should be able to slot into the team pretty well. The closest thing I’ve raced to the Corvette is the V8 Supercars in Australia. The Corvettes will be a much higher performance car as far as cornering. Honestly, having raced around the Corvettes before, they aren’t far off the pace of the prototypes I raced in the P2 class the last couple years. They are really quick and have great tires. They look like they brake really well. But this is really my first time racing in the GT-spec class. The competition is going to be unbelievably strong, as it always is in GT. But I’m really looking forward to getting a feel for the new C7.R on the track. It’s a beautiful looking car. Hopefully it’s as strong as it looks.”
ROBIN LIDDELL, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R (Daytona & Sebring)
“I’m delighted to join the team. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me – the best I’ve had in my career. To be asked to drive this car for Chevrolet and with Pratt & Miller involved… I couldn’t ask for anything more. The new C7.R is a great car, and a real head-turner too. We’re all very much looking forward to the first two races of the year at Daytona and Sebring. All the pieces are there to do a fantastic job and achieve great results. I’m also thankful to Mark Kent, Doug Fehan and Gary Pratt for their faith in giving me the chance to represent the Corvette brand. If you’re in any kind of GM or Chevrolet road-racing situation, getting the chance to drive the Corvette is the Holy Grail moment. I fully recognize and appreciate the opportunity.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R (Le Mans)
“I’m honored and grateful to be part of the Corvette Racing program at Le Mans once again. For a sports car driver, Le Mans is the biggest race in the world. It will be terrific going back with Corvette Racing alongside my teammates Antonio and Jan. Le Mans is a very unique and challenging event where you gain massive amounts of experience each time you’re there. Last year we packed a full year’s worth of racing into one 24-hour event with changing conditions throughout. I’m looking forward to going back with that knowledge in 2014. Being able to drive the new C7.R there will make this year’s Le Mans the most important one for myself, the team and Chevrolet.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R (Le Mans)
“It’s great to be going back to Le Mans with Corvette Racing. I’m absolutely looking forward to driving the C7.R for the first time. Obviously I’ve talked to the guys who have been in it, and they are so excited about the C7.R. It’s a mouth-watering prospect being part of the car’s Le Mans debut. The thought of coming away with some success in its first race there is something that really excites me. The goalposts consistently change in GTE Pro. The competition gets stronger and stronger. People keep bringing out new cars. Now it’s our turn. We won’t take this challenge lightly.”