Tandy raced and received in Porsches from 2010 via 2020, and though he competed within the 919 Prototype fulltime within the WEC in 2017, and received Le Mans outright in 2015 – most of his time was spent in 911s within the GT lessons.
Driving the CORE autosport-run Porsche 911 RSRs within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Tandy racked up 13 wins over seven years, together with one Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, three Sebring 12 Hours and three Petit Le Mans – one in all which was an general victory.
His change to Corvette Racing sees Tandy change the group’s legend Oliver Gavin as fulltime associate to Tommy Milner, for the mid-engined Corvette C8.R’s second season of competitors. The group’s different entry, pushed by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, dominated the GT Le Mans championship in 2020 with 5 wins, whereas Milner/Gavin made it six victories for the C8.R in 11 races.
Following a check at Sebring final month, Tandy says the automotive compares favorable to the Porsche 911 RSR-19 he raced final season.
“The factor that happy me most is how pure the C8.R felt straightaway,” he commented. “There are, after all, many nuances and bits and items on tips on how to extract time and consistency out of the automotive and the tires on which Corvette Racing compete. It felt fairly comfy and acquainted after a day’s working. This was an enormous optimistic for me.
“There are slight variations [required in driving style]. The factor with the 911s we had was the quick wheelbase. Because the vehicles bought wider and wider, and with the group exploiting the aero, having a large automotive with a brief wheelbase does make a automotive edgy.
“This was probably the most pleasing features of entering into the C8.R. It has a barely longer wheelbase so it’s barely extra secure in lot of locations. That is simply the fundamental structure of the automotive. There are locations the place it’s a hindrance, however you have a look at the [BMW] M8 which has a good longer wheelbase nonetheless.
“There are locations the place a brief wheelbase helps – at Lengthy Seaside, for instance. Nevertheless it does make it edgy to drive generally.
“The Corvette was a breath of contemporary air in some areas, to be sincere. The consistency of how one can push the automotive is one thing I’m wanting ahead to take advantage of and never always being on the restrict and going over it.
“It’s an endurance racing machine, and it’s designed for a motive: to be constant and allow us guys as drivers to exit and push as exhausting as we will and attempt to restrict errors.”
Tandy revealed he has been working at Chevrolet’s simulator, however admitted that he’s impatient to hit the Daytona monitor in subsequent week’s Roar Earlier than the 24 check.
“Finally you possibly can’t get higher than monitor time,” he mentioned. “The great factor is that we’ve got the Roar check, which is nice. We’ve three days earlier than we get into the race week.
“One of many issues I’ve been launched to inside Corvette Racing and Chevrolet is the Driver within the Loop simulator that we’ve got in North Carolina. I’ve been there already and I’m due to return earlier than the race at Daytona. That is one thing that helps you get used to working with the race engineers, getting used to methods and dealing on getting used to various things you possibly can change throughout the automotive.
“Truly getting used to the automotive – driving it and getting comfy going 200mph at Daytona, it’s solely monitor time. The great factor is that we’ve got 5 days of testing at Daytona earlier than the 24 Hours.
“After all we’ve got the qualifying race on the finish of the Roar. Hopefully each Alexander [Sims – endurance extra driver in the #4 Corvette this year] and I can get some laps and work with Tommy to determine tips on how to get the very best out of all of all us earlier than we’ve got 24 hours of apply within the race.”
Sims, who spent two years racing for the works BMW group in IMSA GT Le Mans class earlier than switching to Method E, was equally optimistic concerning the Corvette C8.R – and IMSA generally.
“Ever since my participation in IMSA ended and going off to do Method E, it was the only championship I used to be most pushed to get again concerned with,” mentioned Sims who scored three wins in 2017 driving the M6 and two wins in 2018 driving the M8. “It completely was the highest one which I’ve been concerned in. Competitors-wise, the tracks, the format of racing, opponents – every thing about it’s simply improbable.
“The chance to drive with Corvette was one thing that took little or no time to contemplate. Having raced towards them for a few years, you see the extent at which they work as a group, the success they’ve had through the years. To affix this system and be part of that could be a large honor…
“Doing the primary couple of laps at Sebring, the automotive began making sense fairly shortly to me. By Day 32and happening one other couple of runs, it was actually spectacular how good the automotive was in so many alternative phases of the nook.
“It takes somewhat little bit of adjusting to it, as all race vehicles do. It wasn’t a shock as a result of the automotive received a lot final yr, however to confirm my feeling of the automotive was good.”
Milner, coming into his 10th yr with Corvette, welcomed his new teammates and noticed that “from a tempo perspective and a teammate perspective, each these guys have been nice up to now.” Nevertheless, he additionally acknowledged that he and engineer Chuck Houghton had been concentrating on an enchancment in tempo firstly of a race, based mostly off what they noticed from the #three Corvette in 2020.
“Final yr, each Jordan and Antonio have been very constant,” mentioned the 34-year-old who has twice received the Le Mans 24 Hours, twice received the IMSA GT championship, and has a Rolex 24 Hours win to his title. “We noticed a few instances firstly of races they have been fairly fast. So we’re studying classes from final yr and dealing with our engineer to know why that was.
“So now with Nick and the 2 of us collectively – plus Alex for the lengthy races – we’re attempting to know what these deficiencies have been in some locations, what they have been doing in another way and looking for our personal manner with a couple of methods and secrets and techniques right here and there.”
Milner additionally paid beneficiant tribute to Corvette Racing’s legendary program supervisor Doug Fehan who retired within the offseason, however identified that to Fehan’s credit score, the group will be anticipated to proceed to carry out strongly.
“There have been some modifications throughout the group, however from our facet and what we’ve seen, the distinction has been none,” mentioned Milner. “After all, Doug ought to be talked about for certain. He’s been with this program from the start and is a man who had an enormous function inside Corvette Racing. His management and his function throughout the group have been very evident for a protracted, very long time.
“The group and Chevrolet have shifted somewhat bit their packages and restructured them in some methods to embody the racing facet extra underneath the engineering department. There are many nice individuals which are concerned from the Corvette Racing facet, the Chevrolet facet and the Pratt Miller facet. That hasn’t modified.
“There are many individuals who embody Corvette Racing, and clearly Doug was an enormous a part of that for a protracted, very long time. He’s left his mark in some ways. His expertise and who he’s as an individual will certainly be missed on the monitor. However he’s left a fantastic legacy, and we will proceed to push ahead with the success that this group has been constructed on and proceed that down the street.”