Third-place finish for Fittipaldi, Barbosa; Corvette Racing comes up short in COTA repeat attempt
Action Express Racing’s Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi led the Corvette Daytona Prototype effort Saturday with a 3rd-place finish in the Lone Star Le Mans event at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The No. 5 Corvette DP finished on the podium for the third consecutive event as Chevrolet maintained its lead in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Engine Manufacturer standings for Prototypes.
Fittipaldi and Barbosa lead three times for 23 laps in the 2-hour, 45-minute race at COTA. The pair lead the class Driver’s championship standings by 22 points heading into the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans (the final race of the year in two weeks at Road Atlanta).
Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook were the second-best Corvette DP pairing with a 6th-place finish in the No. 90.
Following contact and a flat tire on the opening race lap – which resulted in a flat left-rear tire – Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor placed 7th in their No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP. Eric Curran and Boris Said were eighth in class for Marsh Racing in the No. 31 Corvette DP.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas were the overall race winners in their Ford-Riley.
Corvette Racing: A Difficult Day
Returning to the site of a victory in last year’s American Le Mans Series race, Corvette Racing aimed for a return to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) podium in the TUDOR Championship. An early charge by Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R at the start of the race raised hopes as the Spaniard moved from seventh to 5th in the opening laps.
The momentum couldn’t continue, however, for the team’s two Corvette C7.Rs. Garcia and Jan Magnussen finished 9th in GTLM, followed by the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in 10th place.
Garcia drove a double-stint to open the race and handed off to Magnussen with 52 minutes left. Magnussen rejoined the race 7th but experienced braking issues that hindered his run.
In the No. 4 Corvette, Milner drove a single stint to open and was part of a 5-car battle in the early stages. He handed off to Gavin, who drove with elevated tire pressure as the sun came out and the track warmed.
Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer were GTLM class winners.