Corvette debutants optimistic for Rolex 24 at Daytona

Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fassler believe the Corvette C7.Rs can beat the younger GTLM machinery at Daytona.

Corvette debutants optimistic for Rolex 24 at Daytona
Marcel Fässler and Mike Rockenfeller
Marcel Fässler
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
Mike Rockenfeller
GTLM podium: #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe
Oliver Gavin
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Simon Pagenaud, #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe

The Swiss and the German, who both mainly serve as factory drivers for Audi, have expressed optimism that they can help Corvette Racing clinch its second straight Rolex 24 victory, despite new opposition from the Ford GT, Ferrari 488 and BMW M6. 

2013 DTM champion Rockenfeller will be in the #3 C7.R, partnering Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, who won the GT Le Mans class at Daytona last year with Ryan Briscoe.

Fassler, meanwhile, is making his Daytona debut at the age of 39, sharing the #4 Corvette with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.

“This is a bit of a different Rolex 24 for me now that I am with Corvette Racing,” said 32-year-old Rockenfeller, who won the race overall in 2010 with Action Express Racing - and has for the past two years raced Spirit of Daytona’s Corvette Daytona Prototype.

“Although we may not be in the fastest class, I am sure that GTLM will be the toughest and most competitive.

“We had a very good test at the Roar [before the 24], and I feel more comfortable in the C7.R with each lap I do. Racing in an event like Daytona is a tough task but also one that we all look forward to and enjoy. Antonio, Jan and I are hopeful to deliver another Daytona win for Corvette Racing.”

Fassler, who has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times for Audi, said: “I am ready for my first Rolex 24 At Daytona, and I couldn’t pick a better group to be with than Corvette Racing. It was a pleasure to drive the Corvette C7.R at the Roar and get a feel for the track and traffic conditions ahead of this race.

“Long-distance races are nothing new to any of us on the team. There are a lot of endurance victories in the Corvette Racing camp between the team and the drivers, so everyone has the proper mindset for what it takes to win this race.

“For myself, I need to continue to gain confidence and comfort in the car and not make mistakes. If that happens, I know we will have a shot at victory.”

Last year, Corvette Racing backed up its Daytona triumph with victories at Sebring and Le Mans to clinch the classic sports car triple crown.

Oliver Gavin, who has won Le Mans and Sebring five times each but has never conquered Daytona, commented: “By and large the test was a great success. That definitely makes things easier in the lead up to the Rolex 24.

“We should be able to arrive with an established baseline and can work on fine-tuning the little things that add up to give us the greatest chance for success.”

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