Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen scored their fourth podium finish in five American Le Mans Series races in the July 22, 2012, Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. Their No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R started on the GT pole after setting a qualifying record Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Garcia led the opening 47 minutes in his first race at Mosport, and Magnussen was in contention for the victory on the final lap.
The No. 45 Porsche of Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long finished first on the track, but was subsequently excluded from the results for a technical infraction following a post-race inspection. The No. 01 Ferrari of Scott Sharp and Johannes van Overbeek was declared the winner, and the No. 3 Corvette, third across the stripe, was promoted to second. Garcia and Magnussen's runner-up finish vaulted them into the lead in the GT driver standings ahead of teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, who finished 10th after the Corvette crew changed a malfunctioning transmission in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R.
The closing laps of the two-hour, 45-minute race featured a Porsche-Corvette-Ferrari freight train as the three cars raced nose-to-tail. Magnussen kept the pressure on the class-leading Porsche for nearly an hour. Van Overbeek joined the fray as the frontrunners encountered traffic, and pulled off a pass on Magnussen coming out of Moss Corner on the last lap.
"I'm sure we had a better car than Joerg, but he was fast in some crucial places that made it impossible to pass," Magnussen said. "I knew I was risking my position, but I had to have a go at Joerg. We got together a little, I lost momentum, and Van Overbeek just went up the inside – it was a fair pass, he saw a gap and went for it."
Garcia drove a strong opening stint in his debut at the fast Canadian circuit. He started from the GT pole, and led the first 30 laps. After pitting under the second of three full-course cautions, the Spaniard emerged ninth in the GT category. He methodically drove back through the field to P2 before handing off to Magnussen at 1:44 into the race.
"My first race at Mosport had a bit of everything," Garcia said. "At the start of the race, Tommy and I had a really clear run, and we could make a safe gap to the BMW and Porsche. When the yellow flags came, things started to turn for us, with the No. 4 Corvette having a problem and then the restarts. I was held up behind a prototype coming into the pits, and the run into our pit box was partially blocked so we lost some spots. I was behind cars that hadn't pitted so traffic was difficult, but step-by-step I was able to gain positions. I think our tires were better, and I could pass cars and close the gap to the Porsche."
The race's first full-course caution came 15 minutes after the start when the No. 4 Corvette stopped on the back straight with no drive to the rear wheels. The car was towed to the paddock, where the team performed a 20-minute gearbox change. Milner returned to the race 20 laps down to the leaders.
"I was coming out of Turn 5, putting the power down and suddenly lost drive going from second to third gear," Milner reported.
Oliver Gavin took over the No. 4 Corvette at the 1:47 mark and drove to the finish. "It's never nice to have days like this, but you know that at some point in the season you're going to have a bad weekend – and I hope this was it," Gavin said. "We're still not sure what happened with the transmission, but the guys did a fantastic job of replacing it and getting us back in the race. This race had so much promise after qualifying; now we've just got to pick ourselves up, move on, and get ready for Mid-Ohio."
Corvette Racing's next event is the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on Saturday, August 4.