Twice is nice: Corvette goes back-to-back, wins Grand Prix of Sebring

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It took more than two years for Corvette Racing’s IMSA win total to go from 99 to 100 and just two weeks to make it 101.

Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner scored the Grand Prix of Sebring victory in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class aboard the silver No. 4 Corvette C8.R, leading a 1-2 sweep for the Michigan-based squad.
Milner held off a charging Antonio Garcia by a scant 0.480 seconds ahead to score his and Gavin’s first victory since the 2018 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"It was close there at the end,” Milner said. “Olly did a great job of saving fuel and that allowed us to get out ahead of the (No.) 3 car. It was a great strategy from Chuck (Houghton, race engineer) and great pit stops from Brian (Hoye, car chief) and the whole crew. To have these Corvette C8.Rs in as good as shape as they were after the long break is a testament to everyone on this team."

It was Gavin’s 49th IMSA premier series victory, moving him into a three-way tie for fourth on the all-time IMSA win list with the legendary Al Holbert and Butch Leitzinger. It was Milner’s 17th IMSA win and his and Gavin’s seventh win in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

"It's been an amazing day,” Gavin said. “Thanks to Corvette Racing and Tommy for doing a wonderful job to bring the car home at the end. It was the strategy and pit stops that made the difference. Our guys did an outstanding job throughout the race.

“Our Corvette C8.R has really come alive in the last two races. It was a great result for the No. 3 Corvette to get the 100th victory in IMSA for Corvette Racing at Daytona. For us to get No. 101 and my 49th in IMSA is fantastic. A great day.”

For the first two hours of the two-hour, 40-minute race, it looked like Jordan Taylor, who qualified on pole earlier Saturday afternoon, and Garcia would score their second win in as many races. Taylor kept Gavin in his mirrors before giving way to Garcia just before the two-hour mark but the No. 4 leapfrogged their No. 3 teammates, which took just a bit more time on pit lane.

Nevertheless, the runner-up result moved the Garcia and Taylor to the top of the WeatherTech Championship GTLM standings with three races now in the books.

A pit-lane kerfuffle with just over two hours remaining effectively removed both Porsche GT Team entries from victory contention. Nick Tandy’s No. 911 Porsche was sandwiched between Gavin and Laurens Vanthoor’s No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19, leaving Vanthoor without nose bodywork and Tandy with an eventual cut tire. However, Vanthoor and co-driver Earl Bamber recovered to finish third.

Next up for the WeatherTech Championship is the annual visit to Road America for a two-hour, 40-minute battle on Saturday.