IMSA Petit Le Mans preview: How Corvette Racing can win GTLM title at Road Atlanta

Corvette Racing would like nothing better than to wrap up its 20th year of racing with one more championship. And that championship could come on Saturday at the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Corvette Racing is seeking its third consecutive championship for both driver and team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. A sweep of team and driver championships on Saturday would give the outfit 13 team titles and 12 driver crowns in its 20-year history. The No. 3 of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen can clinch the title outright with a finish of fourth place or better, regardless of where the second-place Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT team of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook finishes. The No. 3 Corvette is winless in 2018, but has been a consistent finisher with eight podiums, including a current streak of seven in a row. “There’s always pressure when you go to Road Atlanta, especially when you are fighting for a championship," Garcia says. "We were in a perfect scenario last season where we only needed to start to clinch. It won’t be like that this year. I really like this track and the event itself. It’s very challenging.     

"Hopefully, we have a good chance to win the championship by scoring a good result. Road Atlanta has always been a good track for Corvette Racing, but it’s one race that I still haven’t won. So, I definitely want to fix that. Hopefully we can do that and win the championship, as well. It would be great for us to win our first race of the year to clinch the championship.” Since the start of the 2017 WeatherTech Championship season, Magnussen and Garcia have finished inside the top five in 20 of 21 races. They missed the top five with an eighth-place showing in March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. “Last year was an easy Petit Le Mans for us; we basically took the green flag and won the championship," Magnussen said. "This year for sure will be different. It’s a tough race because you race throughout the day and into the night. Road Atlanta is a very tough circuit; it’s bumpy, superfast and very old school. If you make a mistake, you’ll hit something! There’s a lot of traffic and some new drivers because so many teams use three drivers.  "The important thing is that we know what we need to. No one controls luck, but if we do the best we can and run the plan that we set out to do, we will be in good shape.”

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