Tandy raced and gained in Porsches from 2010 by way of 2020, and though he competed within the 919 Prototype fulltime within the WEC in 2017, and gained Le Mans outright in 2015 – most of his time was spent in 911s within the GT courses.
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 crew’s legend Oliver Gavin as fulltime accomplice to Tommy Milner, for the mid-engined Corvette C8.R’s second season of competitors. The crew’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 the best way 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 operating. This was an enormous constructive for me.
“There are slight variations [required in driving style]. The factor with the 911s we had was the quick wheelbase. Because the automobiles obtained wider and wider, and with the crew exploiting the aero, having a large automotive with a brief wheelbase does make a automotive edgy.
“This was one of the crucial pleasing facets of stepping 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 take 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. But it surely does make it edgy to drive generally.
“The Corvette was a breath of contemporary air in some areas, to be trustworthy. The consistency of how one can push the automotive is one thing I’m trying ahead to use and never continuously being on the restrict and going over it.
“It’s an endurance racing machine, and it’s designed for a cause: to be constant and allow us guys as drivers to exit and push as onerous as we are able to 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 observe in subsequent week’s Roar Earlier than the 24 check.
“In the end you may’t get higher than observe time,” he stated. “The nice factor is that we have now 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 have now 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 may change inside the automotive.
“Truly getting used to the automotive – driving it and getting comfy going 200mph at Daytona, it’s solely observe time. The nice factor is that we have now 5 days of testing at Daytona earlier than the 24 Hours.
“After all we have now 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 the best way to get the very best out of all of all us earlier than we have now 24 hours of observe within the race.”
Sims, who spent two years racing for the works BMW crew in IMSA GT Le Mans class earlier than switching to Method E, was equally constructive in regards to the Corvette C8.R – and IMSA typically.
“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,” stated 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, rivals – all the things about it’s simply implausible.
“The chance to drive with Corvette was one thing that took little or no time to contemplate. Having raced in opposition to them for a few years, you see the extent at which they work as a crew, the success they’ve had through the years. To affix this system and be part of that may be a big 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 various phases of the nook.
“It takes a bit little bit of adjusting to it, as all race automobiles do. It wasn’t a shock as a result of the automotive gained a lot final 12 months, however to confirm my feeling of the automotive was good.”
Milner, coming into his 10th 12 months with Corvette, welcomed his new teammates and noticed that “from a tempo perspective and a teammate perspective, each these guys have been nice thus far.” Nonetheless, he additionally said that he and engineer Chuck Houghton had been focusing on an enchancment in tempo at first of a race, primarily based off what they noticed from the #3 Corvette in 2020.
“Final 12 months, each Jordan and Antonio have been very constant,” stated the 34-year-old who has twice gained the Le Mans 24 Hours, twice gained the IMSA GT championship, and has a Rolex 24 Hours win to his title. “We noticed a few instances at first of races they have been fairly fast. So we’re studying classes from final 12 months and dealing with our engineer to grasp why that was.
“So now with Nick and the 2 of us collectively – plus Alex for the lengthy races – we’re making an attempt to grasp what these deficiencies have been in some locations, what they have been doing in another way and looking for our personal manner with a number of tips 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 crew might be anticipated to proceed to carry out strongly.
“There have been some modifications inside the crew, however from our aspect and what we’ve seen, the distinction has been none,” stated Milner. “After all, Doug must be talked about for positive. 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 inside the crew have been very evident for an extended, very long time.
“The crew and Chevrolet have shifted a bit bit their applications and restructured them in some methods to embody the racing aspect extra below the engineering department. There are many nice folks which can be concerned from the Corvette Racing aspect, the Chevrolet aspect and the Pratt Miller aspect. That hasn’t modified.
“There are many individuals who embody Corvette Racing, and clearly Doug was an enormous a part of that for an extended, 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 observe. However he’s left an amazing legacy, and we are able to proceed to push ahead with the success that this crew has been constructed on and proceed that down the street.”