Today in the middle of Florida, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring kicks off and Corvette Racing will continue its 2021 season with sleek new suits. Both Corvette Racing entries are sheathed in what I’m hereby dubbing Millennial Silver; the livery is designed to match the silver-gray bottles of Mobil 1 for the first time since 1999.
The motor oil company has been the team’s partner and benefactor for the last 25 years, racking up more than 100 wins together. Corvette Racing has not visited Victory Lane of the Sebring 12-hour race since 2017, but the team has won 11 times since 2002, more than any other team. That seems reason enough to celebrate with new paint.
Chevy’s mid-engine C8.R was developed at the same time as the C8 Stingray, and the two share quite a few parts. No. 3 driver Antonio Garcia has already claimed the GT Le Mans pole position in his C8.R, setting a record for the GTLM at 1:54.910 on Friday. Garcia averaged a little more than 117 miles per hour on the 3.74-mile track, definitively carving out the 17-turn road course. And teammate Tommy Milner was just a shade behind him at 1:54.944 in the No. 4 car.
After a messed-up 2020 racing season, drivers and fans have returned (with covid-19 guidelines in place) to Sebring, Florida for the enduro event. It’s the 69th running of this race, which starts at 10:30 AM ET today and continues on for 12 ticks of the short hand around the clock. The track, which is built on the site of a WWII airfield, is rough, pitted, and bumpy, making for a punishing ride no matter what color your car is. Jalopnik’s Bradley Brownell makes a good case to repave Sebring, and to me it seems prudent to smooth out some of the most dangerous turns, if nothing else.
I’ll be watching these silver C8.Rs to see if they can notch another win in the new livery; heck, I’m just excited to see the season back on track.
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