Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia take Corvette to victory at VIR

BY foxsports • August 28, 2016

Corvette Racing scored its third consecutive GT Le Mans class victory, but this time with a dominant run for Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, who claimed top honors in Sunday's Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.

Garcia took the No. 3 Corvette C7.R to a 0.802-second win over the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand in the GT-only race, which ended with a one-lap shootout following a late-race yellow.

After a sweep of the front row in qualifying, the Pratt & Miller squad had the field covered, virtually all race, despite strong challenges from the No. 66 Ford and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.

It was Magnussen and Garcia's first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season and the fifth of the year for Corvette, which extends its lead in the GTLM manufacturers' championship.

Giancarlo Fisichella looked to be en route to a third place result but was spun by the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber on the final lap. He and Toni Vilander came home in seventh.

No further action was taken by IMSA for the contact.

The No. 912 Porsche of Bamber and Fred Makowiecki was one of many cars to fall back with off-course excursions during the two-hour and 40-minute race.

Championship leaders Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner had a miserable race, ending in retirement after an accident by Gavin with seven minutes to go, which brought out the race's one-and-only yellow.

Gavin limped the No. 4 Corvette C7.R back to the pits but was classified 18th overall, adding to he and Milner's misfortunes, which included an early off-course excursion and pit lane penalty.

Title rivals Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford made the most of the No. 4 car's misfortunes to finish fourth, after starting from the rear of the field due to electing to change tires.

They have closed to within seven points of the Corvette duo heading into next month's penultimate round of the season at Circuit of The Americas.

Lamborghini has claimed its maiden victory in GT Daytona competition, following a dominant flag-to-flag run by Paul Miller Racing in Sunday's Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.

Bryan Sellers took the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 across the line 1.471 seconds ahead of the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Lawson Aschenbach, following a late challenge by the Audi.

Sellers' 26-second lead following an impressive opening double stint from co-driver Madison Snow was cut in half when Sellers suffered an off-course excursion, but managed to maintain the gap to Aschenbach prior to the late-race yellow.

It was Sellers' first GTD class victory and Snow's third in top-level IMSA competition, as well as the first for the Italian manufacturer, coming after a perfect weekend for the Paul Miller crew.

Aschenbach and co-driver Matt Bell scored their first class podium finish of the year in second, followed by the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi of Andy Lally and John Potter, who closed the GTD title fight to just eight points.

However, The No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Andy Lally and John Potter, which initially finished third, was excluded post-race for a ride height infringement. 

It promoted the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Audi of Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis to third, giving the John Stevenson-owned team a double podium finish in class.

The No. 6 Stevenson Audi had initially finished fourth in class on Sunday after serving a pit lane penalty, while the No. 23 The Heart of Racing/AJR Porsche 911 GT3 R had completed the top-five after electing for a three-stop strategy.

GTD championship leaders Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan had another challenging race, finishing 8th after an off-course excursion, left-rear tire puncture and overboost penalty.