# 3 & # 4 Corvettes qualify 7th & 9th; finish 8th & 6th before a packed house at Sebring
Salvaging 6th place was the best the # 4 Corvette of Gavin, Milner & Fassler could do under perfect weather conditions during the 66th running of the Sebring 12 Hour race.
The entire 9 car GTLM field consisting of Corvette, Ford, Ferrari, Porsche and BMW qualified within seven-tenths of a second.
Final results suggest the # 4 could have been better set up to contend in the final 3 hours as the bumpy asphalt/concrete surface transitions from hot and greasy to cooler and grippier. Known for their expertise, the Corvette guys do not often miss as they seemed to on this occasion.
Problems plagued the # 3 of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller from the outset. First a stop to replace a cut left rear tire. Then 2 trips to the paddock to replace a faulty water pump that caused overheating (or was it to fix a power steering problem?) and/or other things depending on accounts we are trying to verify.
Lost track time put the # 3 car 45 laps behind the winning # 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy & Patrick Pilet, even though the Corvette showed good pace at the end.
The Porsche 911 RSR was 1st and 3rd; and the new BMW M8 2nd recon to be forces.
Sebring is the Crucible of Corvette Racing. In 1956 with sales flagging and time running short, Ed Cole, President of Chevrolet summoned America’s # 1 sportscar racer John Fitch to prepare Corvettes to show prospective customers that a sporty car made in America could compete against the top European marques.
GM returned to Sebring in 1999 to begin the “modern era”, now its 20th season with the official Corvette Racing team that has outperformed every other GT marque during that span. A remarkable feat.
Privateer Corvettes spearheaded by John Greenwood and in his wake populated the grids in the intervening years.
The team travels to Long Beach where the IMSA Weather Tech Series plays part of the Indy Car spectacular on April 14.