Antonio Garcia says that he thought that the diffuser problem that struck the his Corvette C8.R in the closing stages of the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR was race-ending.
Garcia inherited the race lead from the Porsche of Nick Tandy when, in the final minutes of the race, the diffuser underneath the #3 Corvette C8.R broke an began vibrating.
The Spaniard said the car began to shake, but that it took him some time to figure out what was wrong with his car.
“It took me a little bit, but the whole car was shaking a lot,” Garcia said. “About 200 kph, the whole car was shaking a lot. It was coming from the rear.”
Garcia added that the severity of the vibrations initially made him believe the issue was terminal.
“I thought it was terminal because it was vibrating really bad,” the Madrid native explained “But once I got used to it and knew it wasn’t interfering with the performance, I knew I could handle it. With the gap I could manage to the BMW. It was stressful not knowing what would happen if the rear diffuser would have fallen off, but the C8.R held on.”
The Corvette’s diffuser problem occurred at almost the exact moment Nick Tandy pulled the #911 Porsche 911 RSR-19 into the pits with a damaged left rear tyre.
“I saw him pull in the pits and I went by the front straight the whole thing started to shake a lot,” Garcia concluded. “So, the C8.R is also good with almost no rear diffuser or rear splitter.
I’m very proud of that. Very proud that everything stayed in one piece even though it was very challenging to drive there at the end.”