Will getting back to home cooking lead to some better cooking back on the racetrack?
That’s what Corvette Racing hopes for both this weekend in the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen race this Sunday at Watkins Glen International.
The Corvette team didn’t do as well as it might have liked during the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans – primarily owing to a challenging Balance of Performance in the GTE-Pro class.
The trio of Antonio Garcia, Ricky Taylor and Jan Magnussen finished seventh in the legendary endurance race in their No. 3 Corvette C7.R (No. 63 at Le Mans). Meanwhile the sister No. 4 car (64 at Le Mans) crashed out in the morning hours after a rare error by Tommy Milner.
But on a brighter side, Garcia and Magnussen are past winners of the Sahlen’s Six Hours, having done so in 2014, Corvette Racing’s first appearance at The Glen.
And now that they’re back on U.S. soil, Corvette Racing is looking at Watkins Glen to get back to its winning ways this season.
“It is a short turnaround from Le Mans but we have the best team to get our cars ready,” Garcia said. “Watkins Glen ranks high on the list of favorite tracks for just about all drivers. It has speed and a lot of heritage.
“Jan and I were fortunate to win there together before in the Six Hours; we’re hopeful that another will jumpstart our season. Our Corvette has been quick all season in the WeatherTech Championship. We need one complete race with good execution and we’ll be in great position.”
Heading into this weekend’s event, the fifth for GTLM on the IMSA schedule, Corvette Racing has the points lead in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in several categories, including GTLM and Endurance Cup driver standings (Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin), Manufacturer (Chevrolet) and Team GT Le Mans.
“When I was growing up, the three tracks I remember were Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen,” Milner said. “It’s one of the ones where I haven’t won.
“We’ve had great run so far this year with our Corvette in the endurance events with the wins at Daytona and Sebring. So we are in a good position. (WGI is) super-fun to drive and really quick. I’m excited to get there and see what the track is like with the new surface.
“We have a championship to be concerned about, so a win would be great. Le Mans is always such a big draw, and a lot of energy and effort goes into that. But now that it’s over, all the focus goes back to the U.S., and our main job there.”
Another thing in Corvette Racing’s favor is that a six-hour endurance race like Sunday’s plays to its strengths and also kicks off a stretch where the team potentially could earn as many as three wins in as many races in the next four weeks, with races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock Park to follow soon (July 10 and 23, respectively).
If that were to happen, it would go a long way towards getting closer to a number of championships, obviously.
Milner and Gavin, who will drive the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R at Watkins Glen, are looking for their third combined win of 2016. They’ve already won in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and then the following week in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Those two races, along with the Sahlen’s Six Hours, are also part of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, a four-race series-within-a-series that is capped off at Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans.
Garcia and Magnussen, who were runners-up to their teammates at Daytona in the closest finish in the event’s history, are currently third in the Endurance Cup standings.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen is slated to take the green flag just past 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.
“We’re all looking forward to returning to The Glen, which should be even quicker with the all-new surface,” Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan said. “We have had some success at Watkins Glen in the past, and our endurance record speaks for itself. We’ll be ready!”
2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – GTLM Standings (After four of 10 events)
|Driver Standings||Team Standings||Manufacturer Standings|
|1. Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner – 130
2. Earl Bamber/Frederic Makowiecki – 118
3. Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbrook – 115
4. Giancarlo Fisichella/Daniel Serra/Toni Vilander – 113
5. Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner – 113
T6. Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen – 110
|1. No. 4 Corvette Racing – 130
2. No. 912 Porsche North America – 118
3. No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – 115
4. No. 68 Scuderia Corsa – 113
5. No. 62 Risi Competizione – 113
6. No. 3 Corvette Racing – 110
|1. Chevrolet – 130
2. Porsche – 127
3. Ferrari – 120
4. Ford – 115
5. BMW – 112
Corvette Racing at Watkins Glen
|2014||GTLM||Garcia/Magnussen||1st||Corvette C7.R||Team’s first race at WGI|
|GTLM||Gavin/Milner||7th||Corvette C7.R||Retired (accident)|