New Corvette C8.R needs work to catch Porsche, say drivers
Although both Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner were reasonably happy with the qualifying laps that earned the new Corvette C8.R third and fourth on the grid for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, both feel there is more work needed to catch the heavily updated Porsche 911 RSRs.
Garcia’s best effort in the #3 Corvette, which he’ll share with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg, was a respectable 0.338sec shy of Nick Tandy’s pole-winning time for Porsche, with Milner a further quarter-second in arrears.
Before tonight’s session started, Garcia commented: “It's not bad… I'm happy with my laps. Before the rain we were still working on setup. I don't know if that is where we will end up racing. What is important is there is still 2.5 hours left of practice time. We definitely need to use that time to improve the Corvette a little bit. Porsche is still faster than us so we definitely need to work a little bit more and I'm sure there is room for improvement…
“It is a good comparison to know where we are in the field. We still have practice and we have a long race in front of us. The main thing about this race will be the actual pace.
“I'm sure this C8.R will be good but I think we will learn as we go along. We need to be prepared for that and be ready for the race."
Milner, who will be joined in the #4 Corvette by Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler, said: “Third and fourth... not bad for the Corvette C8.R’s first qualifying effort. I think we were shooting for a little bit more, but all things considered not too far off. We still have work to do for sure. We are learning every time we take this Corvette out on the track.
"This was another learning experience for us. We made some setup changes in practice and we wanted to stick with that, but we may have gone the wrong way. I'm not unhappy by any means. Third and fourth are good starting places.
“Best of all, we learned more about the car and getting ready for the race is the most important thing. We gave it a good shot in qualifying we were looking for some more but definitely not disappointed. Thankfully I can trust the guy who is starting next to me!
“As always, it is a long race so where you start doesn't matter too much. We use these opportunities whether it is a 24-hour race or a two-hour race; we use those opportunities to keep learning."
Corvette Racing’s first Rolex victory came in 2001 with the Corvette C5-R, and the team went back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 with the Corvette C7.R.
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
Rolex 24: Jarvis takes pole for Mazda, Taylor shunts Acura
Rolex 24: Cadillac goes 1-2-3 in night practice