Milner optimistic about Corvette's Sebring prospects

Tommy Milner, who along with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler won GTLM in last year’s Sebring 12 Hours, is hopeful that rising temperatures will play into the hands of his Corvette C7.R despite having to start from the back of the grid.

Milner optimistic about Corvette's Sebring prospects
Tommy Milner, Corvette Racing
#4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fässler
Tommy Milner, Corvette Racing
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller
Antonio Garcia, Corvette Racing
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller

Corvette Racing, which has won the Sebring 12 Hours ten times, qualified third and fifth fastest for tomorrow’s second round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and Milner’s best in the #4 C7.R was just 0.31sec slower than Ryan Briscoe’s pole time in the Ford GT.

However, the car's ride-height was found to be illegal in post-qualifying inspection, and the #4 will have to start last in the GT category behind all GTLM and GT Daytona cars.

The American is hoping that yet warmer conditions at the 17-turn, 3.74-mile airport course will further favor the Corvettes on Saturday.

Milner said: “It seems that as the temperatures go up, we seem to rise to the top. Hopefully that is an indicator of our car in these conditions. That would be good for the race tomorrow [when] it seems like it will be warmer again. We will go look at some data and see where we can improve in some places.”

Regarding his flying lap that disrupted GTLM’s Ford/Porsche-dominated lead battle of the first four practice sessions, Milner explained: “That was definitely better than expected. The Corvette in practice was good yesterday, and I was feeling pretty confident.

“Then this morning when we looked at the lap times, I wasn’t quite as confident.

“We tried a little bit of a Hail Mary with a setup change and it definitely worked. It was something the No. 3 car had tried earlier and they were pretty happy with.

“The track was definitely a little bit sketchy in qualifying, but it is the same for everyone. I’m just really happy to get that good lap in there. With the way this class is, you have to have a perfect session to be toward the top.”

On discovery that his best efforts had been rendered meaningless, Milner tweeted: "P3 in quali... until tech. So we'll start from the back. Not ideal but the way it goes sometimes. Car is good!"

Antonio Garcia’s best put the #3 Corvette two places but only 0.12 behind its sister car. He commented: “This is not an hour-long race so we cannot be too disappointed. I think ahead of the race we are probably in a pretty decent spot.

“As we saw, the pole-winning car really hit it right. We definitely couldn’t do that lap for sure.

“According to what we have been in practice and everything, I think we have a very good starting car. Let’s see if that is enough to keep the pace with those guys and see what we have toward the end of the race.”

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