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Fourth-place finish in team’s 25th race on Monterey Peninsula

Fourth-place finish in team’s 25th race on Monterey Peninsula

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 14, 2023) – Corvette Racing’s 25th start at
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca didn’t end the way the team had hoped as the
No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R finished fourth in GTD PRO in
Sunday’s MOTUL Course de Monterey.

Both Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia led in class during the fourth round
of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but a costly late-race
penalty ended any chances of the team’s ninth class victory at Laguna Seca.

As it did a year ago when it led early, Corvette Racing played to its
strength Sunday with a pit stop near the 30-minute mark under full-course
yellow. Taylor had moved up to fourth in class at the start and brought the
C8.R to the pit lane for four tires and fuel. A quick stop gained Taylor two
spots to second, which became three to first when the then-leading No. 9
Porsche was penalized for leaving pitlane with pit exit closed.

Taylor continued to lead to the one-hour mark when Corvette Racing engineers
brought him in again under another full-course yellow for fuel, tires and a
driver change to Garcia. Another quick stop got Garcia out second in class –
only because the No. 23 Aston Martin took less fuel and no tires to leave
the pitlane first.

The order remained unchanged when the final scheduled GTD PRO stops began
with 67 minutes to go. The No. 3 was the next-to-last car to pit for fuel
and four more tires as Garcia rejoined second and 3.8 seconds behind the
Aston Martin.

Disaster struck during the race’s final full-course yellow inside the final
hour when Garcia inadvertently followed the GTD PRO leader around the safety
car, which resulted in the penalty.

Corvette Racing’s next event in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, June 25 from Watkins Glen

FOURTH IN GTD PRO: “It’s a situation where when it’s green, you’re fighting
all the GTDs. But when it comes to the safety car, we aren’t the same
category. So we need to figure that out. The safety car split the GTD field.
The GTD leader was the real GT leader, so that’s why everyone behind us
moved to the right to get a pass-around, and the 23 moved to the right, as
well. But because we were the GTD PRO leaders, we should have stayed where
we were. But that’s the way the rules are. I just made a mistake and went to
follow the 23 when they were wrong. I had a big queue of GTDs behind me, and
all I could see behind me were GT cars moving to the right. So that’s what
confused me. If I could have seen the Mercedes or Lexus GTD PRO cars behind
me staying to the left, I would have figured it out. But there were a ton of
cars between us. It’s a mistake that shouldn’t happen. On race pace, we had
a car to win. We did everything right on strategy to be in the lead. As we
showed at the end, I think we had a little more on tire degradation. We’ll
review what happened, do a full analysis of the situation, and I know this
won’t happen again.”

FOURTH IN GTD PRO: “With how the weekend started, we were definitely behind
the eight-ball with our issues in practice. It was a good bounce-back to be
closer to the front in qualifying than a year ago, and our race pace today
seemed pretty strong. We were able to get to the lead with a great pit stop
after the second yellow. Once we were in clean air, the car was strong and
we could kind of control the race. We definitely didn’t have the fastest
car. But we had track position, and around here that’s so important. The
guys did a good job. All our stops were smooth and clean. It’s one of those
things where one little thing where can really impact a race. It’s one of
those things that happen, and I can guarantee you it won’t happen again.
This will be a big learning lesson.”

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick
Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle
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