MONTEREY, Ca. (May 4, 2014) – Corvette Racing and drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia used their MICHELIN® tires to perfection to back up their recent victory at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with a second consecutive 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class win.
The victory, on a track notorious for its low grip surface and tire killing off-line sand, was the second for the new C7.R Corvette and third consecutive win at Monterey for Corvette Racing. The Michigan-based team has now scored 11wins in the past 23 races
Taking the overall race victory and the first win for a P2 class car in the inaugural season of the merged TUDOR United SportsCar Championship was the Patron Honda Prototype of Extreme Speed Motorsports driven by Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown. Claiming their third runner-up finish in four races was the Wayne Taylor Racing Daytona Prototype driven by brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor.
Michelin technical partner teams dominated the GT Le Mans class, the only class featuring open tire competition, by sweeping the podium in an aggressive two-hour race on the hilly 2.238 mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit. Finishing second was the #55 BMW Z4 GTE from BMW Team RLL driven by championship leaders Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx. The team’s two stop-strategy to gain fresher tires led to a furious closing charge by Auberlen.
Making a strong step back to the front ranks was the Risi Competizione Ferrari of former F1 ace Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer which led into the final 30 minutes before dropping to finish third. It was the first podium of the season for the Houston-based Ferrari F458 Italia team after a highly difficult opening two races.
Michelin technical partner teams from Corvette Racing, Porsche North America, BMW Team RLL and Risi Competizione Ferrari all led at various stages of the caution free race as both one stop and two stop pit strategies proved viable.
“With all the factory teams, the GTLM competition is so tight that missing an entry point by a foot or two or being just a fraction wide on a corner opens the door for a pass so some teams opted for a two stop strategy,” said Ken Payne, motorsports technical director for Michelin North America.
“Seven different GT cars had faster race laps than the winning Corvette, but the winners were able to make a one stop strategy work by being consistent in using tires for their entire stint,” said Payne.
Michelin teams from around the world, including Corvette Racing, will now head to France for the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 14-15.
The next TUDOR Championship event for the GTLM class will be the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen, New York on June 28-29.
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EMC Strategic Communications Michelin North America
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