Corvette Racing is back where it all started a quarter-century ago as the team returns to Daytona International Speedway for its two-week, season-opening event in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
First up is the Roar Before the 24 – three days of official testing that culminates in qualifying for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The Roar runs from Friday through Sunday with practice starting for the Rolex 24 on Thursday, January 26.
This season marks the second for Corvette Racing in the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO category. This year’s lineup features the two-time IMSA championship-winning pair of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor – challenging for another full-season title – and fellow Corvette Racing veteran Tommy Milner in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
While this is the first race together for the trio, one has shared the cockpit of a Corvette with the other on multiple occasions. While Garcia and Taylor are full-season teammates, Milner was a full-time Corvette driver in 2011 with Garcia as his long-distance teammate. Coincidently, they went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year.
Fast-forward to 2015 and Taylor was the third driver at Le Mans with Milner and Oliver Gavin as the trio won their class in a storybook ending for Corvette Racing.
Daytona was the site of Corvette Racing’s first event in 1999. In its 12 Rolex starts since then, the program has won the race four times – the most recent coming in 2021 when Garcia, Taylor and Nicky Catsburg led a 1-2 Corvette Racing finish in the final Rolex 24 for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category.
There are eight entries from seven manufacturers in GTD PRO for this year’s Rolex 24. Combined with the regular GTD field, Corvette Racing will be in a fight among 23 production-based cars around the 3.56-mile, eight-turn circuit that combines Daytona’s super-speedway oval with its infield road course.
“Going for the second time in GTD PRO at Daytona will be a little bit different,” said Antonio Garcia, driver of the #3 Corvette C8.R.
“We have a year of experience now. A year ago, it was hard for us and hard for IMSA to know what to expect from the performance of our car. I hope we are in a better position this time around, especially at Daytona. We were lacking a ton of performance and we were not competitive and couldn’t fight for wins. I hope things change. The team has one year of experience in this category. We know our weaknesses and where we are strong. I hope we have a chance to win.”
“For Corvette Racing, Daytona is a key part of our season. We’ve been lucky enough to win it a few times. Last year wasn’t a great year for us but I hope we have a chance to be up there, work for it and maybe win the Rolex again.”
“It’s great to have Tommy back. I was still a third driver when he joined the team and I was able to be in the car with him for a year. We won Le Mans together, so I think it’s a good moment to get together again and win all the other big races we can win. I haven’t won Daytona or Sebring with him, so this is a good chance to try for that.”
The Roar Before the 24 is set for Friday-Sunday with GTD qualifying for the Rolex 24 scheduled for 1:25 p.m. on Sunday. The session will stream live around the world on IMSA.com.