Corvette 1-2 (again!) in Sebring GTLM, Lexus holds on to win GTD

Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Corvette 1-2 (again!) in Sebring GTLM, Lexus holds on to win GTD

IMSA

Corvette 1-2 (again!) in Sebring GTLM, Lexus holds on to win GTD

By

It took more than two years for Corvette Racing’s IMSA win total to go from 99 to 100 and just two weeks to make it 101.

Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner scored the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring victory in the GT Le Mans class aboard the silver No. 4 Corvette C8.R, leading a 1-2 sweep for the Michigan-based squad. Milner held off a charging Antonio Garcia by a scant 0.480 seconds ahead to score his and Gavin’s first victory since the 2018 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“It was close there at the end,” Milner said. “Olly did a great job of saving fuel and that allowed us to get out ahead of the (No.) 3 car. It was a great strategy from Chuck (Houghton, race engineer) and great pit stops from Brian (Hoye, car chief) and the whole crew. To have these Corvette C8.Rs in as good as shape as they were after the long break is a testament to everyone on this team.”

It was Gavin’s 49th IMSA premier series victory, moving him into a three-way tie for fourth on the all-time IMSA win list with the legendary Al Holbert and Butch Leitzinger. It was Milner’s 17th IMSA win and his and Gavin’s seventh win in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

“It’s been an amazing day,” Gavin said. “Thanks to Corvette Racing and Tommy for doing a wonderful job to bring the car home at the end. It was the strategy and pit stops that made the difference. Our guys did an outstanding job throughout the race.

“Our Corvette C8.R has really come alive in the last two races. It was a great result for the No. 3 Corvette to get the 100th victory in IMSA for Corvette Racing at Daytona. For us to get No. 101 and my 49th in IMSA is fantastic. A great day.”

Hawksworth was quick to credit team strategy and a key final pit stop for the Sebring GTD class win. Image by Levitt/Motorsport Images

In GT Daytona, meanwhile, co-drivers Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth backed up a dominant performance in the Fourth of July WeatherTech 240 At Daytona with their second straight class win.

Telitz in the No. 14 started second after qualifying just .067s behind teammate Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 12 Lexus. However, the Wisconsinite quickly found his way to the front, taking the class lead on Lap 12 of the 3.74-mile circuit.

It was a crucial final pit stop that put the team in prime position to collect its second victory of 2020. Hawksworth got out in front of the GTD field, just a few car lengths in front of Bill Auberlen who was hunting down his 61st IMSA victory in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

The Brit slowly opened a gap and sailed away to the win.

“The car was brilliant today and, to be honest, the strategy was perfect,” said Hawksworth. “The decisions on pit lane — the decision to take four tires at the first stop; put full fuel in for the second; and short fill the last — made all the difference. So yeah, the championship is on the line for sure.”

“I mean honestly could it get any better than this at all?” said Telitz, who was named as the car’s second full-time driver just last month. “Two race wins, first two races full time. Obviously, our Lexus RC F GTD car was just incredible today. We had to go through the field once there after the first round of pit stops, and then handed it off to Jack and he did an awesome job bringing it home.”

Auberlen’s quest to become the winningest driver in IMSA wasn’t achieved today, but he and co-driver Robby Foley held on for a third-place result.

More RACER
Home