Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor scored their fifth GTLM victory with the No. 3 Corvette C8.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this season, winning Saturday’s Motul 100% Synthetic Grand Prix at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
The Corvette Racing duo, which has won two consecutive and four of the past five while building a comfortable points lead with three races remaining, started on the pole position in the 100-minute race.
With a daylong rain leaving standing water in many sections (and affecting the NASCAR race earlier in the day), Taylor stayed out of trouble before turning the wheel over to his teammate.
“It wasn’t easy,” Taylor told NBCSN reporter Parker Kligerman. “For us leading the championship, it’s all about minimal risk. You weren’t going to win the race in the first 20-30 minutes, it was just all about survival and handing the car over to Antonio and waiting for it to dry out, and thankfully it did.
The track conditions came to us in our Corvette, and Antonio never put a wheel wrong and brought home another win, so an ongoing amazing year for the new C8.R.”
Garcia held off the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE of John Edwards and the No. 25 BMW of Conor de Phillippi on a restart with just more than 5 minutes remaining. The caution had flown after the No. 4 Corvette of Tommy Milner crashed after apparently blowing a tire with just more than 12 minutes left.
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Garcia was able to snatch the lead from Edwards in a spirited battle through the infield section of the 17-turn, 2.28-mile layout that leads into Turn 1 of the 1.5-mile speedway.
They were really fast, they were aggressive,” Garcia said. “The C8.R was running perfectly. That was my chance. He was struggling with tires, but so was I, and I stayed calm and knew it was my turn. He did a little mistake. I went for it, and head down, another victory for Corvette.”
It’s the sixth victory this season for Corvette Racing, which switched to an overhauled midengine design this season.
“First year with a brand new car, no one would have expected this,” Taylor said.
In the GTD class, Bill Auberlen won for the second time this season (and 62nd of his career) with co-driver Robby Foley in Turner Motorsport’s No. 96 BMW M6 GT3.
“When (the track) started to dry, this thing is on fire,” Auberlen, who became the all-time winner in IMSA with an Aug. 22 victory at Virginia International Raceway, told NBCSN reporter Dillon Welch. “This M6 does what it does, and it knows how to get to victory lane.”
Patrick Long finished second in GTD with the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3R of Wright Motorsports.