VIR race winner Nick Tandy reckons that ‘karma’ caught up with WeatherTech Racing’s Kevin Estre after the Frenchman made contact with team-mate Antonio Garcia to take the lead of the race.
Tandy and Milner won a dramatic race at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday. Tandy took the lead with a bold overtake on Estre at Oak Tree, which saw the two cars make side-by-side contact and ended up with Estre off the circuit.
Earlier on the lap, Estre had taken the lead of the race from the other Corvette of Antonio Garcia with a contact-heavy pass.
After the race, which was Tandy’s third consecutive victory, the Briton questioned the tactics of his former fellow Porsche factory driver.
“It was an interesting one,” said Tandy. “There was about an hour-and-15 minutes to go with the three GTLM cars in a line. I especially know how fast that RSR should be around this circuit because I sat in it last year. If there’s a circuit you want to take that car to, it’s this place. With the change in the BoP from last year, we knew they could have walked away with this race.
“Kevin is a good friend of mine. I respect him a lot and he’s a great driver. When you start smashing into cars in front of you when you have no real room or right to put your car where he did… I think what happened was karma or what-not.
“It was a good race but it’s always great to win the races when you really shouldn’t. It was fun out there. I always enjoy a good fight.”
Tandy admitted that the side-by-side contact with Estre’s Porsche had him concerned about the prospect of a potential puncture.
“The first real contact was a big hit on the wheel,” he said. “I checked the steering but it was straight. You never know if you’re going to get a puncture or knock off the splitter.”
“I saw where we lost some aero parts at the front. You never really know so you just hope. But what I do know is how strong are these Corvette Racing C8.Rs – from experience in the past! It was nerve-wracking but that is IMSA GTLM racing.”
The former overall Le Mans winner rates the victory in Virginia highly, thanks to the gap in pace between the Porsche and the Corvette.
“Personally, it was probably one of the best because we had such a performance deficit. The Porsche couldn’t stretch its legs because it was stuck behind the Corvettes. We just managed to keep him there.
“We’ve said before that it only takes two cars to make a good race. So when you have three out there at the front fighting for the overall win… for us it makes no difference whether we’re fighting for second or third in a class with eight cars in the class or whether it’s the Corvette and Corvette in the third-fastest class.”
“I hope the interest in this race and the interest in GT racing around this weekend made it a good show.”