For the second year in a row, Corvette Racing took victory at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course after an incredible team effort granted the No.3 Compuware Corvette C6.R a flawless race.
The win brought No. 3 Corvette drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia their first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT Class win of the 2013 season and their first since 2011. In contrast, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, drivers of the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, triumphed at the season-opening race at Sebring, but did not fare as well at the May 12th race.
At the halfway mark, Magnussen had wedged a two-second lead over the Second place car, No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, until a full-course caution fell for the No. 23 Ferrari stuck in the sand after a collision with the No. 4 C6.R. The No. 3 C6.R was brought in for tires, fuel, and a driver change. Incredibly accurate teamwork kept it in the lead.
With Garcia behind the wheel, the No. 3 Corvette would not relinquish its lead again. Despite a tight margin and no room for error, the car spent four seconds less on pit road than its Second-place competitors, which surely factored into the victory.
"It was one of the most perfect races we've had with Corvette Racing," Magnussen said after the race. "We were under pressure the whole way. We never had a big lead, we really had to work through traffic and not get stopped by the slower cars and lose too much time. It was a matter of being precise the whole race. The pit crew made perfect stops . . . we did the driver change during only a short fuel, so there wasn't a lot of time to make it. I am so happy we finally [got] a win."
It was brilliant," Garcia said of Team Corvette's performance. "Even the driver change was amazing. The Corvette crew did a great job out there. All the pit stops were under yellow and even if we were coming in bumper-to-bumper, every time we were going out of the pits [with] nobody behind us; [the competition] was further back than when we came in. You need a fast Corvette race car, but just as important is having a crew that performs like [Corvette Racing] did today. I think last year we did [a total of] five Second places, so we really deserved a win . . . I thought today, with as perfect as we've been driving, if we don't get this win, I don't know what else to do. Everything [was] right where it needed to be."
On the flipside, the No. 4 car started off on the wrong foot of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn course with a collision with the No. 23 Ferrari. An hour in, No. 4 with Gavin at the wheel got stuck in Sixth gear due to a cracked hose. The repairs managed to cost the C6.R five laps, forcing it back into 10th place at the end of the race.
Corvette Racing has claimed a stunning 79 ALMS class victories, including four in 2012, making it the most successful team in American Le Mans Series history.