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Magnussen, Garcia Take Corvette to Victory at VIR

Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen take top honors at VIR…

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

Photo: Scott LePage/IMSA

Corvette Racing scored its third consecutive GT Le Mans class victory, but this time with a dominant run for Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, who claimed top honors in Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.

Garcia took the No. 3 Corvette C7.R to a 0.802-second win over the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand, in the GT-only race that ended with a one-lap shootout following a late-race yellow.

After a sweep of the front row in qualifying, the Pratt & Miller squad had the field covered, virtually all race, despite strong challenges from the No. 66 Ford and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.

It was Magnussen and Garcia’s first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season and the fifth of the year for Corvette, which extends its lead in the GTLM manufacturers’ championship.

Giancarlo Fisichella looked to be en route to a third place result but was spun by the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber on the final lap. He and Toni Vilander came home in seventh.

No further action was taken by IMSA for the contact.

The No. 912 Porsche of Bamber and Fred Makowiecki, which finished third, was one of many cars to fall back with off-course excursions during the two-hour and 40-minute race.

Championship leaders Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner had a miserable race, ending in retirement after an accident by Gavin with seven minutes to go, which brought out the race’s one-and-only yellow.

Gavin limped the No. 4 Corvette C7.R back to the pits but was classified 18th overall, adding to he and Milner’s misfortunes, which included an early off-course excursion and pit lane penalty.

Title rivals Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford made the most of the No. 4 car’s misfortunes to finish fourth, after starting from the rear of the field due to electing to change tires after qualifying.

They’ve closed to within seven points of the Corvette duo heading into next month’s penultimate round of the season at Circuit of The Americas.

RESULTS: Michelin GT Challenge

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


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