The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R will be repaired ahead of this weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans instead of going to a spare chassis, the team has confirmed.
It comes in the wake of Tommy Milner’s heavy crash in the closing stages of Saturday’s Motul 100% Synthetic Grand Prix at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, which saw the GT Le Mans contender snap around on the high-speed oval and make contact with the wall.
Milner was uninjured in the accident.
“I didn’t have any indication at any point that there was something going wrong,” he said afterwards. “Everything felt totally normal up until it wasn’t.
“I had almost finished on the banking, which is more G-loading than Daytona. It doesn’t really explain the problem, it seems like.
“At first I thought I lost a tire, like it just overheated or something like that for how quickly it went around. The first indications were that wasn’t the case.
“The track had some pretty gnarly weeps in the seams of the race track that would get you a little bit loose sometimes, but it was never really a huge deal.
“Upon further inspection it looks like once the car got back to the trucks, we did have something at the right-rear and the wheel came off. Fortunately this is a really strong and safe Corvette that we have and it held up really well.
“Selfishly I’m glad it is nothing I did wrong, but that doesn’t change the outcome.”
The Pratt & Miller-run squad traveled directly to Georgia to tear down and rebuild the No. 4 car for this wekeend’s ten-hour enduro at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, with track activity getting underway on Thursday.
“There is still a lot of work for the guys to get the car fixed and get ready to go to Petit Le Mans in less than a week,” Milner added.
“I feel bad for the guys for the amount of work they have to do.
“Obviously the first thing we do as a team is figure out what the failure is, how it happened and make the necessary changes to prevent that from happening again.
“The guys will go through that in the next couple of days and come up with a good plan.”
Milner and co-driver Oliver Gavin were classified fourth in the GT Le Mans class and now are at a 24-point deficit to teammates Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, who picked up their fifth victor of the season on Saturday.
Corvette “Pretty Well Prepared” for Petit Le Mans
Taylor explained that the focus to Petit Le Mans shifted immediately following the checkered flag at the Roval.
The factory squad tested at Road Atlanta earlier this month, with both Nicky Catsburg and Marcel Fassler getting their first laps in the mid-engined C8.R since February.
“We’re already thinking about it,” Taylor said post-race at Charlotte. “It’s at the top of Antonio’s list of races to win. The focus has already shifted.
“The guys are driving to Atlanta tomorrow to prep the cars, but unfortunately they’ll have a lot to prep on the 4 car.
“We did a test day there last week where Nicky and Marcel were able to get some laps.
“At the Six-Hour, we struggled with a few things and I think we found a few things at the test for some long runs and working on the different compounds of tires.
“This weekend was good to get in some mixed conditions. We haven’t had a lot of rain and mixed conditions in a race setting other than Road America.
“It was good to get a bit of everything. Now no matter what we see at Petit Le Mans, we feel pretty well prepared.”