Racing is a lot like budgeting, things get much more serious the closer they get to the bottom line. With only two more races on the 2021 schedule for Corvette Racing, the focus turns from podium finishes to overall class victory celebrations for the year’s efforts.
Echoing the widely-used phrase from any financial prospectus worth the paper it is written upon, “past results is not indicative of future performance,” the C8.Rs of Corvette Racing have enjoyed a season of pole positions and podium finishes throughout the 2021 racing season. But there’s a reason why that phrase is still pertinent today for the C8.Rs.
Tommy Milner, a Virginia native, and Nick Tandy arrive at Virginia on the heels of consecutive GT Le Mans (GTLM) wins in the No. 4 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R – at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and the Long Beach street circuit.
Going into this weekend’s race at the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), a race only for GT entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, Team Corvette should be quite pleased with its points standing. The C8.Rs have racked up a significant lead in the Driver’s, Team, and Manufacturer’s Championship standings. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor lead the GTLM class with 2,917 points with teammates Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy close behind with 2,757 points so far. The next nearest competitor not of Corvette Racing is Cooper MacNeil earning 2,644 points in the No. 79 Weathertech Racing Porsche 911 RSR. As a team, Corvette Racing holds a similar lead, with MacNeil looking to narrow the gap this weekend.
The WeatherTech Championship points structure changed this season, with each race-finishing position earning 10 times the points awarded a year ago. Last year, a class winner took home 35 points, but this year, the reward is now 350 points. Second place now earns 320 points. The lowest step still brings home 300. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, making those “jockeying for position” runs even more important earlier in the season.
As it stands, Corvette Racing’s only competitor in the GTLM series is Cooper MacNeil and his co-driver Kevin Estre in the No. 79 Porsche. That means, so long as Corvette Racing can keep their C8.Rs running throughout the entire race, they are all but guaranteed a podium finish. The only question remaining is how to divide out those precious points.
Corvette Racing drivers have expressed they are out there to win and racing among teammates is allowed, so long as they don’t mess around with the team’s ability to reel in more of those precious championship points. The C8.R Corvettes are favored to win in this weekend’s event and with only a 50-point spread between the top and bottom of the podium, it is safe to assume Antonio and Jordan will continue to enjoy their lead in the Driver’s Championship. With over a 100-point lead of the Porsche, the two-car Corvette Racing team is secure against the single-entry WetherTech Racing Porsche. Likewise, Chevrolet leads Porsche by almost 200 points, so no drastic change in the Manufacturer’s Championship race is anticipated.
Cinching championships are essential to both manufacturers and drivers, but keep in mind that RACES dictate who gets the title at the end of the season. With the weather for this weekend’s race
The VIR event serves as the next-to-last event on the schedule for GTLM and GTD classes. The final race (Motul Petit Le Mans) of the season will be held on November 13, 2021, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. This weekend, the two-hour, 40-minute WeatherTech Championship race, featuring the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, airs live at noon ET Saturday on NBC, NBC Sports Gold, and Trackpass. Results and post-race videos will be available on IMSA.com and IMSA.com/TV.