Corvette Expands Endurance Roster
DETROIT – Corvette Racing will field eight drivers across 12 races around the globe in the new Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the United States.
The cornerstones of this year’s program are the four full-season drivers that are unchanged from a year ago. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen – last year’s GT champions in the American Le Mans Series – are back together after leading the category with three victories. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – third in the ALMS GT championship in 2013 with two wins after taking the class title in 2012 – will drive the other Corvette.
The endurance roster for 2014 sees a mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the Corvette Racing program. Robin Liddell and Ryan Briscoe join Corvette Racing for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring as part of the GT Le Mans category. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, Jordan Taylor and Richard Westbrook return for the team in the GTE Pro class.
“The 2014 season will be thrilling for Corvette Racing enthusiasts with the debut of the new Corvette C7.R,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The C7.R will debut with a roster of drivers who bring high levels of experience and a team-first mentality that can help Corvette Racing succeed in the world’s most challenging endurance events.”
Briscoe will partner with Garcia and Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R for his first taste of GT-spec racing. The Aussie is a star in both prototype sports cars and open-wheel formulas. Last week, he was named as a full-time driver for Chip Ganassi Racing in the IndyCar Series. In addition to seven IndyCar victories, Briscoe won nine times in ALMS prototype competition for such prestigious operations such as Penske Racing and Level 5 Motorsports. His first time in the C7.R will be at the Roar Before the 24 on Jan. 3-5.
“It’s an honor to get the opportunity to run Daytona and Sebring with Corvette Racing,” said Briscoe. “I’ve often been pitted alongside the Corvette team (in the ALMS), and I’ve long idolized them. It’s an amazing group of guys that run two amazing cars. I was always a little envious of the guys driving them, and now I get a shot to. So I’m really excited about it.”
Liddell is no stranger to the Chevrolet ranks. He drove for Stevenson Motorsports in a Camaro GT.R as part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series the past six seasons. He won 18 times with a highest finish of second three times in the Rolex Series GT championship. In the ALMS, Liddell won seven times driving both prototype and GT cars.
“I’m delighted to join the team. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me – the best I’ve had in my career. To be asked to drive this car for Chevrolet and with Pratt & Miller involved, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Liddell said. “The new C7.R is a great car, and a real head-turner too. We’re all very much looking forward to the first two races of the year at Daytona and Sebring. All the pieces are there to do a fantastic job and achieve great results.”
While full-season duties in the TUDOR Championship’s prototype class precludes them from competing for Corvette Racing in the U.S., the familiarity of Taylor and Westbrook with the program at Le Mans is a boost for a team seeking its eighth class win there since 2001. Westbrook will race for fourth time at Le Mans with Corvette Racing and Taylor his third.
“We feel this roster will be extremely competitive,” said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing. “This is a program that embraces continuity and teamwork in all areas. It is a key to success in motorsports – evidenced by the roster of drivers who will compete at Le Mans against the most challenging competition in endurance racing. We also welcome championship talents Ryan Briscoe and Robin Liddell to the Corvette Racing program for the opening two races of an exciting new chapter in sports car racing.”