IMSA Spotlight: Tommy Milner
Driver: No. 4 Corvette C7.R
Congrats on winning the 2016 GT Le Mans class championship, alongside your co-driver Oliver Gavin. How would you summarize the year?
“It doesn’t have the initial shock of a win, but deep down this is a pretty satisfying end of the season. We had four wins… a couple of bad races, but we had some amazing ones as well. I just don’t know what to say.
“Most of all, I am just really happy. I feel really fortunate to be a part of this Corvette Racing team and Chevy. Every year, every weekend, every practice session, I always have the best stuff. That is all a driver can ask for.”
Was there any extra tension heading into the last race at Petit Le Mans?
“Definitely, the Ford having their issues took some weight off our shoulders for sure. I wouldn’t say we had tons of pressure going into the race, with the gap we had. But as close as the class is, you couldn’t assume someone’s going to have a problem.
“Our car was not great to start the weekend. We were basically seventh and eighth when the Ford was fast. So we were looking at it and going, ‘This is going to be close.’ It didn’t quite work out that way.
“I was happy we were in the race in the end there and we were able to push hard at the end and cap the season off with a good result.”
You had a really good year with key victories at Daytona, Sebring, the 100th for Corvette Racing at Lime Rock… Is it tough to put it into perspective?
“We had a phenomenal year. The start of the season was perfect. The win at Daytona and how that win came at that finish was crazy. Sebring was another great race. The car was really, really good in the night there when I finished. Those are the moments you remember for a long time when you have a car that good.
“That was obviously a great start to our season. We had a really fast car at Long Beach but didn’t quite get the win there. Le Mans was obviously a bit of a low point in the year but it was really cool to come back and get the 100th win, That was another big boost of confidence for us.
“Also, how it all worked out for us at Road America… Lime Rock and that one were a bit of a turning point. The 67 car was on a roll for a little bit and it was pretty important for us to grab those two wins and grab the championship back from them.”
This is your second IMSA championship after your 2012 title, also with Corvette. Does this one feel any bit sweeter?
“It’s different. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. That’s the best way to put it.”