Corvette C6.R racecars at 2011 Petit Le Mans - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Corvette Racing intends to balance their driver lineup for the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season and for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The new Compuware Corvette C6.R makes its debut at the season-opening 60th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring after several rounds of pre-season testing.
The team is pairing Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia as full-season drivers in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, with Jordan Taylor joining as the third driver for the three endurance contests--Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner are assigned to co-drive the No. 4 race car, with Richard Westbrook joining them as third driver for the endurance races.
"As part of our comprehensive review of Corvette Racing, we considered every element of the program--from the chassis and engine to the driver pairings," said Mark Kent, GM Racing director. "Preseason testing and data analysis suggested that a revised driver alignment could improve the team's performance.
"Certainly, physical size is a factor in minimizing the time required for driver changes during pit stops," and the two cars have similar-size drivers assigned to them, "but we also evaluated the drivers' individual styles and their preferences on chassis setups. With these pairings, we can minimize compromises and maximize driver confidence," Kent stated.
"This new alignment also combines experienced and younger drivers," he added. "We expect the veteran drivers to mentor the younger drivers, accelerating the process of learning and development."
With this realignment of driving duties, Magnussen returns to the No. 3 Corvette; he piloted this race car from March 2007 through August 2010. The Dane, 38, co-drives with Garcia, 31, who moves from the third-driver role he began in 2009 to a full-season assignment. The team's newest member, Jordan Taylor, 2-, joins Magnussen and Garcia as third driver in the No. 3 Corvette.
Both Tommy Milner, 25, who joined Corvette Racing in 2011 as a full-season driver and Oliver Gavin, 39, are quite tall, making their pairing in the No. 4 Corvette a natural. The young American, from Lake Mary, FL and the Briton have a second Brit to work with in Richard Westbrook, 36, marking his second consecutive year as the third driver on the No. 4 Corvette C6.R.
Corvette Racing's new driver pairings make their official appearances during the ALMS' annal Sebring Winter Test on February 8-9 as they prepare for the 60th annual Sebring half-day endure on March 17.