Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing
Garcia takes fifth in GTD PRO ahead of 10-hour Petit Le Mans finale
BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 30, 2022) – Antonio Garcia and Corvette Racing will start on the third row of the GT Daytona (GTD) category and fifth in GTD PRO on Saturday for the 10-hour Petit Le Mans – the final race of this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Garcia set a best lap of 1:19.444 (115.099 mph) around Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. He will team with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg as the race goes green at 12:10 p.m. ET (NBC, Peacock, XM 207).
Garcia was 0.609 seconds off Jack Hawksworth’s pole-winning time in GTD PRO. However, there is only a 0.165-second margin from third to fifth.
As has been the case at every IMSA round this season, it’s the first event for Corvette Racing at Road Atlanta in the GTD category after eight years in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. Compared to previous years, the GTD-spec Corvette runs with more weight, less power, an anti-lock braking system and a spec Michelin tire.
This year’s Petit Le Mans is the 25th running of the endurance classic with Corvette Racing looking for its ninth class victory since its first race there in 1999… but first since 2010. That long-awaited victory would help Garcia and Taylor secure second place in the GTD PRO Drivers Championship and also go a long way toward winning the Michelin Endurance Cup – a collection of the four premier long-distance races for the WeatherTech Championship.
The season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and Petit Le Mans bookend the Endurance Cup, which sees Chevrolet second in the Manufacturers standings entering Road Atlanta. Garcia, Taylor and Catsburg won the Endurance Cup’s second round – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – in March to move into contention.
The 10-hour Petit Le Mans is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 1. The race will air live on NBC from noon-3 p.m. ET and from 7-10:30 p.m. ET on USA. Peacock will have live flag-to-flag streaming from noon-10:30 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio will provide live audio coverage Saturday on IMSA.com, XM 207 and SiriusXM Online 992.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED FIFTH IN GTD PRO:
“I wouldn’t consider that decent. My lap was probably decent but I feel like I had a tiny bit more. It was difficult to put together with how the car behaved and how bad traffic was. Traffic interaction wasn’t great, and that killed a little momentum. That’s the same for everyone.
“When you come to these kind of races where the car count is big and Road Atlanta is only an 80-second lap, your chances of getting in the way of someone or someone getting in your way are higher. It’s difficult to really gauge when you have to push and when do you have your time to go and try for a quick one. When I decided to go, it wasn’t a great moment. I had two cars coming out of the pits and because of that it snowballs into bigger problems. It’s never easy and never easy here. We’re up there (in the GTD order). It’s still a 10-hour race, which is a long way so qualifying doesn’t mean a lot. For sure we have some extra feedback on how the car behaves and I’m sure we’ll have a better Corvette tomorrow.”
Corvette Racing at Road Atlanta: Just Win It
[VIDEO] Behind the Scenes at VIR with Jordan Taylor
Corvette Racing at Fuji: No Monza Repeat in Japanese Debut
Corvette Racing at Fuji: Trying to Close the Gap