Corvette announces 2011 driver lineup
Corvette Racing will have two new drivers in its lineup for the 2011 American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (pending official invitation). Tommy Milner will join Olivier Beretta in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R for the full season, with Antonio Garcia continuing as third driver in the Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans endurance races. Richard Westbrook will be teamed with Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R in the three long-distance events.
"At the conclusion of every season, we review and evaluate all aspects of the Corvette Racing program," said GM Racing director Mark Kent. "The level of competition in the GT class is extremely high, and our goal is to make the team as competitive as possible. We are pleased to welcome Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook to Corvette Racing, and we believe that they will help us to reach our objective."
The new members of Corvette Racing's driver roster have extensive experience in world-class GT competition. Milner (LEFT), 24, of Lake Mary, Fla., is a second-generation racer who has competed in formula and sports car series with distinction. Milner has driven for factory-affiliated teams representing Panoz, Porsche, and BMW, and has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He finished third in the ALMS GT standings in 2010.
Westbrook (LEFT), 35, of London, England, won the FIA GT2 championship in 2009, and scored podium finishes in 24-hour races at Le Mans (third in GT2) and Daytona (third overall) in 2010. A two-time Porsche Supercup champion, Westbrook notched an ALMS GT2 victory at Road America in 2008. He has competed in the Spa and Nurburgring endurance races, selected ALMS and Grand Am events in the U.S., and the FIA GT1 championship.
"We look at our competition continuously and intensely, and it became very clear that Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook have the qualities we value at Corvette Racing," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "They are quick, intelligent, team-oriented, and disciplined in their approach. They will connect with Corvette fans and represent Chevrolet as a global brand. We are very excited to have these two talented young drivers join America's most successful production sports car team, and we look forward to long and rewarding relationships with both of them."
Milner and Westbrook will become the 21st and 22nd drivers to race with Corvette Racing since the team's debut in 1999. Both have driven the Corvette C6.Rs in private tests, and will participate in the ALMS Winter Test in Sebring, Fla., on February 9-10, in preparation for the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
"When you look at sports car racing over the last 10 years, the biggest name in GT racing has to be Corvette," Milner said. "With all of the team's victories in Le Mans and the success they've had here in America, Corvette Racing has a history of winning. To have the opportunity to be a part of the Corvette program at this point in my career is very exciting. I'm looking forward to working with the engineers, the crew, and the other drivers to make Corvette the powerhouse in endurance racing."
"I've raced against the Corvette enough times to know it's better to be driving one than racing against one," Westbrook said. "I'm absolutely delighted to be joining the Corvette Racing program for 2011. The Corvette C6.R is an amazing piece of machinery, very well engineered, and it's just an honor to drive one. Everyone on the team is hungry for success and expectations are high, so we have to deliver."
It was announced last month that longtime Corvette Racing driver Johnny O'Connell was moving to the revived Cadillac World Challenge team for 2011.