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Potent Corvette lineup adds Jordan Taylor for 2020 IMSA season

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Corvette Racing’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team in 2020 will feature a four-driver lineup with a combined 102 wins and 13 championships. It’s the first time in nearly a decade the team will have a new full-season driver roster as the team gears up to compete with the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Jordan Taylor, who has 21 wins and two championships in IMSA competition, has been named to the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R. He will join Antonio Garcia, who has 17 wins and three championships.

Taylor replaces the legendary Jan Magnussen, who retired at the end of the 2019 season.

Oliver Gavin, who has an incredible 48 wins and six championships, returns with Tommy Milner (16 wins and two championships) in the No 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette for the ninth-consecutive year. They are the longest-running driver pairing in IMSA.

Both cars with all four drivers will compete in the entire GTLM season.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this group of talented drivers behind the wheel of the mid-engine Corvette C8.R for the 2020 IMSA season,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, Performance and Motorsports.  “Given our rich history at Daytona International Speedway, we are proud to debut the C8.R at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

Taylor has previous experience as a driver for Corvette Racing, having been part of the team’s endurance lineup from 2012-2017. In that span, he was part of a Corvette Racing victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and finished second at Sebring and Petit Le Mans in 2012. Taylor, a two-time IMSA Driver’s Champion, will partner with Garcia. The two were endurance teammates in 2012-14 and again in 2017.

“It’s a huge honor to be back with Corvette Racing for 2020 and part of the full-season lineup,” Taylor said. “I’m very proud to be joining one of the most successful teams in sports car racing history and to represent the Corvette and Chevrolet brands. I was very fortunate to spend six years with Corvette in the endurance races driving both the C6.R and C7.R. Now being back with the brand new C8.R is really special. I am especially happy to be back driving alongside Antonio, who I believe is one of the best GT drivers in the world. I know I will have a lot to learn over the next few months leading to Daytona, but I’m ready and looking forward to the challenge of GTLM.”

This will be Garcia’s ninth full season with Corvette Racing, having partnered with Jan Magnussen for the previous eight. Garcia has 16 wins with Corvette, including three at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Garcia is also a three-time GTLM Driver’s Champion.

“First off, thanks to Jan for all the great years we had in Corvette Racing,” Garcia said. “I’m proud of what we all were able to accomplish together as a team.

“Now as I look ahead, welcome back to Jordan. I am happy to have him now as a full-time teammate. We obviously know each other very well, so I’m looking forward sharing the car together and hopefully returning to our usual Corvette Racing form. The 2020 season is an important one for all of Corvette Racing with the new C8.R. It’s very different from any Corvette I have ever driven but in a positive way. I’m anxious to continue testing and development with all our team.”

Gavin and Milner continue a partnership that is the standard-bearer for Corvette Racing and modern-day IMSA. They’ve won 14 races and two IMSA titles together, the most recent in 2016.

Gavin will compete for the 19th consecutive season with Corvette Racing and is the longest-serving and most successful driver in team history. He has 50 victories with the program including five at Le Mans; his most recent was 2015 with Milner and Taylor.

“It’s another honor to represent Chevrolet and Corvette Racing again in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship,” Gavin said. “If you had told me back in 2002 when I first joined the program that I would continue for 19 years, I’d never believe it. I’m appreciative of the confidence that everyone at Corvette Racing has in me, and I’m absolutely delighted to be back with Tommy now in the Corvette C8.R. It’s a wonderful car to drive and is a huge step forward for Corvette Racing. Tommy and I have been together for many races and many seasons. Certainly, last year was full of misfortune and things not going our way. The great thing about Corvette Racing is that we always try to take that next step above our competitors, and I think we have an excellent chance to do that with the C8.R.”

Milner joined the team in 2011 and won Le Mans for the first time the same season. He was teamed with Gavin the following year, and they went on to win the American Le Mans Series’ GT Championship.

“I can’t wait to start this next chapter of Corvette Racing with the entire team, which has worked so hard on the new 2020 Corvette C8.R race car,” Milner said. “This will be the biggest adjustment the program has ever had to make with an all-new car. But with the time, effort and testing spent so far, I’m confident we will be ready to take on all challenges. I’m really looking forward to be continuing with Oliver again in the No. 4 car, and I think we’re both eager to get back to winning races and championships with this new Corvette.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500 

Steve McQueen’s famous Porsche 917K displayed in new museum

Photo courtesy of the Brumos Collection
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One of the most famous race cars in film history will be featured in a new automotive museum in Florida.

The legendary Porsche 917K driven by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film ‘Le Mans’, which was last seen in 2017 when it sold for $14 million in an auction, will be one of the prominent pieces in the Brumos Collection, a new automotive museum in Jacksonville.

Widely considered the most famous Porsche 917 ever built, the historic race car initially was used for Le Mans testing before being featured in the McQueen film. The car was housed in a barn for more than two decades before re-emerging fully restored in 2001.

The car was unveiled as the newest member of the Brumos Collection during a special event signifying the museum’s grand opening on Monday.

With more than three dozen vehicles, the Brumos Collection provides museum guests an up-front look at racing and automotive history.

Notable race cars in the collection include:

  • 1968 Porsche 908: In the second track appearance ever for Porsche’s then-new 908, drivers Jo Siffert and Vic Elford tackled the notorious Nürburgring’s 1000 km in this yet-unproven model. Starting in the 27th position, Siffert guided the 908 to second at the end of the first lap and into the overall lead after the second lap, setting a lap record. This historic 908 persevered through a grueling 44 laps around Nürburgring’s 14-mile course, skillfully navigating a 1000-foot elevation change and 160 turns through the forest.
  • 1979 Porsche 935: This #59 Brumos Porsche 935 is shown exactly as it raced when it won the 1979 IMSA Championship with Peter Gregg behind the wheel. It is authentic in every detail, down to his distinctive tartan seat upholstery. Arguably the finest season of his career, Gregg won eight races and eight consecutive pole positions in 1979. The car won 53 percent of the races it entered, carrying Gregg to 20 percent of his total career IMSA victories.
  • 1972 Porsche 917-10: The first 917/10 was produced in 1971. This Can-Am Racer had a twin-turbocharged engine capable of 200+mph speeds at 1100 hp. Peter Gregg raced the car to a 9th place finish in the 1972 Can-Am Championship, followed by Hurley Haywood’s 3rd place finish in the 1973 Can-Am Series season. The Brumos Porsche 917-10 was the first race car to carry what has now become the iconic and recognizable white, red and blue livery with the famous Brumos Racing “sweeps.”
  • 1923 Miller 122 Grand Prix: Miller was the first American race car bought solely to race in Europe. This 1923 Miller 122 Grand Prix was driven by Bugatti racer Count Louis Zborowski, who raced it in England, Spain and France. Returned to the United State 89 years later, this is considered one of the most complete surviving Millers.

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