Corvette C7.Rs Finish 1-2 For Closest Class Finish In Rolex 24 History

Gavin Edges Garcia To Win GTLM By Only 0.034 Seconds

For Corvette Racing, the question entering the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona was simple: How do you top 2015?

Last year, the team’s pair of Corvette C7.Rs won the Rolex 24, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class and then the team won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The answer was delivered Sunday in an epic 1-2 finish, with the 2015 Le Mans-winning No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin edging the 2015 Daytona and Sebring-winning No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia to the line by 0.034 seconds, the closest class finish in the history of the Rolex 24.

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Derani Wins For Tequila Patrón Honda In 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona

Driving like a seasoned veteran, 22-year-old Pipo Derani took the lead with one-hour, 17-minutes remaining and pulled away down the stretch to lead Tequila Patrón ESM to victory in the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona, capping off a sensational race in the opening round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

Derani was joined by Johannes van Overbeek and car owners Ed Brown and Scott Sharp in the No. 2 Honda Ligier JS P2. It was the first overall triumph for both Honda and Ligier in the event, and the second overall victory for Sharp, who teamed with rival car owner Wayne Taylor in 1996.

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Porsche Shocks The Field With Petit Le Mans Overall Victory

Pilet Earns Driver Title, Clinches GTLM Manufacturer Title

From winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall in a prototype to winning the Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda overall in a GT Le Mans (GTLM) car, something about “Le Mans” style endurance races suits Porsche North America driver Nick Tandy.

With Tandy’s win at a rain-soaked Road Atlanta, the No. 911 Porsche North America team earned its fourth GTLM victory of the season, winning the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship team title. It also propelled his co-driver Patrick Pilet to the GTLM driver title, beating out No. 25 BMW Team RLL drivers Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner by 10 points in the standings, 315-305. Tandy did not win the driver championship alongside his teammate because of three races missed due to overseas commitments.

John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann finished second in the 10-hour race in the No. 24 BMW/IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTLM. Like the No. 911 Porsche, Klingmann finished ahead of the Prototype category, second overall.

The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and IndyCar regular, Ryan Briscoe, earned its first TUDOR Championship podium since January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona where Corvette Racing regulars finished third. Milner and Gavin’s most recent podium came in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans when they won the GTE Pro class overall with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor in that very same Corvette. Their Corvette Racing teammates in the No. 3 entry, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, finished sixth in today’s race and third in the GTLM points standings.

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Earl Bamber Wins Petit Le Mans GTLM Pole At Road Atlanta

To say today’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying session was unusual would be an understatement. The 15-minute session for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta saw multiple on-track incidents, penalties and failed post-session inspections.

While Earl Bamber posted the fastest time of the qualifying session, he lost control of his No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR with a few minutes remaining, going off course in Turn 5 and bringing out the red flag to stop the session. Per IMSA rules, the red flag wiped away his fastest time of 1:30.074. Thankfully for Bamber, his second fastest time of 1:30.304 (101.258 mph) was enough to keep him on the pole. However, due to chassis damage sustained in the incident, the team went to a backup car, and the new No. 912 Porsche also co-driven by Joerg Bergmeister and Frederic Makowiecki will start at the back of the GT grid.

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Petit Fast Facts

  • 10 hours of racing
  • First run on October 10, 1998
  • Class winners of this event receive an automatic invitation to the following year's 24 Hours of Le Mans

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