Michelin Teams In Wild Finish at Road America
A race that could have gone in several different directions seemingly went in all of them at once.
A wild restart saw the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship GTLM class leading Corvette Racing C7.R of Tommy Milner vault from fifth place to first in the final five minutes of the 2 Hour, 40-minute race at the 4.048 mile Road America circuit.
“We were in fifth position when the race restarted. We were hoping we could get third or fourth, but we got two positions when other cars spun and made two passes on our own to end up with the win,” said Milner. “Everybody on our Corvette team was in disbelief at the way it worked out.”
Milner’s dramatic swing in position at the finish was due to a big set-up change directed by his race engineer Chuck Houghton on the team’s second and final pit stop.
“At first I thought that maybe we had gone too far on the change, but as soon as the tire pressures came up the car was on rails and I could tell that we had a quick car at the end, the best it’s been all week,” said Milner.
“The car was very loose on my (opening) stint, but it really came alive after our second pit stop to give Tommy what he needed to fight and he was brilliant,” said his Corvette Racing co-driver Oliver Gavin. “Our thanks to Chevrolet, our team and Michelin. This is a massive win for us in the WeatherTech Championship.”
The victory made Chevrolet Corvette the fifth different Michelin technical partner manufacturer team to take the GTLM win at Road America in the past five years.
“We are very pleased to see all of our technical partner teams run well at a very fast, demanding circuit,” said Ken Payne, technical director motorsports, Michelin North America. “Our teams took full advantage of our range of tire options to optimize their performance and they were all in the fight.
“This was anyone’s race; Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Corvette were all fighting for the win. Corvette was in fifth place with five minutes to go and three minutes later he was in the lead.
“The way that everyone ran today, we can’t wait until the next WeatherTech Championship race at Virginia International Raceway (August 28)” to see all of the GTLM cars fight for the overall race win in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.”