Connect with us

WeatherTech Championship

Corvette Lacked “Outright Pace” to GTD Pro Competitors

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD comes up short in GTD Pro at Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Griffith Bean/IMSA

Corvette Racing didn’t have the “outright pace” to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona according to drivers Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, who along with Tommy Milner, settled for a runner-up finish in GTD Pro.

The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD came back from a two-lap deficit to lead the race in class, totaling 201 laps up front in the around-the-clock enduro.

It came amid in a three-way battle in the closing stages that included the eventual class-winning No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Maro Engel as well as Jack Hawksworth, who finished third in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.

The cars, mixed with the leading GTD class entries, swapped back and forth through three full-course caution periods, although Garcia was unable to match the pace of Engel in the final 26-minute run to the checkered flag, finishing four seconds behind.

“Based on how everything was going in practice and in the Roar, I think P2 in the end is quite good,” Milner said.

“When you have a chance to fight for the win like that and for us to run up front for so much of the race, to miss it by that much at the end is tough.

“We knew going in that the Mercedes guys were quick, the Aston was quick, the Lexus was quick. It was a great job by the team to persevere and to keep pushing all throughout the race.

“My teammates did a great job. We were just missing a little bit of pace at the end. It was a good race for all three of us. We were racing super-hard and pushing super-hard. We just came up a little short.”

The Pratt Miller-run factory squad lost ground overnight after a left-rear puncture for Taylor led to a rear brake change due to the damage caused in the rear of the car, dropping them out of initial contention.

“If you look at our race as a whole, we had some adversity during the night but came from two laps down,” Taylor said. Everyone executed well.

“We were in the hunt most of the way. We didn’t have the outright pace, but it was a true Corvette Racing race where we battled our way back to second.

“We started with a third-place car and finished second, so that’s a win in our book.”

Garcia, meanwhile, noted the challenges of traffic in the 61-car starting field, particularly interaction with LMP3 machinery.

“It was a bit crazy out there. With the P3 cars ahead of us, it was a lottery especially in Turns 1 and 3,” he said. “Everybody was getting super crazy.

“When you have a car with ABS, you can just go for it and that’s what people are doing.

“But we did all we could. That was all we had. A lot of times, I was very surprised to be where we were.

“We seemed to be good on fuel, which seemed to be our only chance. We just didn’t have the outright pace.”

Hawksworth: Third for Vasser Sullivan Lexus Was “All She Had”

Vasser Sullivan and Lexus scored its first Rolex 24 podium finish in GTD Pro, with Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Toyota Gazoo Racing driver on-loan Mike Conway combining to lead 76 laps in class.

“The Vasser Sullivan team has really been flawless,” Hawksworth said. “We had good stops, great strategy, and good reliability with our Lexus RC F GT3. The Lexus worked really well, and I think that was all she had today.

“We were lacking the top speed compared to the other cars who finished ahead of us, but in the infield we were strong.

“Mike and Ben drove absolutely fantastic and Vasser Sullivan guys on pit wall made all the right calls and pit stops were strong. Just a really good, strong race.

“I hate the opportunity to miss out, but honestly there was no way for us to have anything better than a third place today and I’m happy with that.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in WeatherTech Championship