Garcia And Corvette Off To A Solid Start at VIR

by Jean-Paul Hackett
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen

Antonio Garcia was at it again on Friday at VIRginia International Raceway.

After winning the Michelin GT Challenge each of the past two years with #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R co-driver Jan Magnussen, Garcia posted the fastest time in Friday practice for the two-hour, 40-minute race on Sunday. Garcia’s best time was 1m:41.743s (115.702 mph).

However, while Garcia was pleased with the team’s effort and the lap time, he was reluctant to place too much stock in the early pace.

“I don’t know,” Garcia said. “We saw that already last year where we were fastest in P2 and everybody went super-fast in last practice and qualifying, so I don’t think that means a lot. For sure, I think it’s a quick lap, definitely, but yeah, as we saw last year, people went super-fast around here.

“We are definitely on different programs. We’ll see. I don’t know. I just know what our plan is, but we’ll see what the others are. We’ll just focus on both qualifying and the race and let’s see where we are.”

Garcia’s lap was more than half a second faster than current GT Le Mans (GTLM) class points co-leader Ryan Briscoe, who turned in a 1m:42.262s (115.115 mph) in the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT he shares with Richard Westbrook.

The #67 duo, which won two weeks ago at Road America, is looking to extend Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s WeatherTech Championship win streak to five consecutive races this weekend. Briscoe and Westbrook own two of those victories with a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park three races ago in addition to the Road America win.

The other two Ganassi wins came from Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller in the #66 Ford GT at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock Park. Mueller was fourth quickest in Friday practice, one spot behind Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette.

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