Antonio Garcia examined constructive Sunday for COVID-19 through the Rolex 24 at Daytona and was pulled from the profitable Corvette Racing workforce with seven hours remaining within the twice-round-the-clock endurance race.
Basic Motors waited till the race concluded at Daytona Worldwide Speedway to announce the Spaniard had examined constructive. GM didn’t say when Garcia was examined, solely that he did so to be cleared to return to Spain after the race as a part of IMSA’s protocols for worldwide members.
Garcia stated in a press release he had COVID in late December with signs, however remoted and cleared each Spanish and CDC protocols to journey to the USA.
He was examined earlier than he arrived at Daytona greater than per week in the past to start preparations for the race. Garcia spent practically eight hours driving within the 24-hour race and was final within the automotive Sunday morning. He had a quick media availability Sunday morning, presumably earlier than he discovered he’d examined constructive.
GM stated Garcia didn’t have signs Sunday however the driver needed to go away the monitor as a part of IMSA protocols. IMSA allowed the workforce to proceed the race with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg and the 2 closed out the GT Le Mans class victory and a 1-2 end for Corvette.
“That is each among the finest days of my profession but additionally one of the vital irritating and disappointing,” Garcia stated in a press release distributed by Corvette Racing. “It’s painful not to have the ability to have a good time with Jordan, Nicky and the remainder of the workforce. We labored so laborious over the previous months and weeks to attain an endurance win just like the Rolex 24.”
Garcia, who’s 40, has three class wins within the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a longtime Corvette manufacturing unit driver. The Rolex win Sunday was the third of his profession, and he and Taylor are the reigning GT Le Mans class champions.
“It was bittersweet to finish the day like we did with Antonio having to go away the monitor,” Taylor stated. “I used to be tremendous upset and upset for him once I received out of the automotive after what I assumed was my final stint and was advised he couldn’t get again within the automotive. He lives for these occasions, particularly this one.”
IMSA is owned by NASCAR, which doesn’t conduct COVID-19 assessments for its members however operates in a bubble of kinds on the race monitor. Worldwide drivers got entry to a testing service to help of their journey to and from the occasion and Garcia was cleared to journey to Daytona and take part in two full weekends on monitor.
Catsburg stated he examined unfavourable Saturday however will probably be examined once more earlier than he returns to Europe.
“I really feel protected and I by no means felt beneath any risk from his constructive outcomes,” stated Catsburg.
Garcia was the second driver to check constructive for COVID-19 through the Rolex weekend. Alegra Motorsports pulled Michael de Quesada from its entry Saturday morning earlier than the race.
Mathieu Jaminet was changed by RWR Eurasia final week when he examined constructive, and Black Swan Racing withdrew when proprietor/driver Tim Pappas examined constructive. Each Jaminet and Pappas presumed that they had been uncovered on the 24 Hours of Dubai earlier than touring to Daytona two weeks in the past.
Renger van der Zande needed to quarantine throughout Chip Ganassi Racing’s take a look at session in Sebring, Florida, earlier this month resulting from contact tracing.
Taylor stated there was virtually no interplay between drivers past passing the automotive off between them through the race.
“The protocols we’ve are tremendous critical, the drivers do not actually get to work together even in a 24-hour,” Taylor stated. “Antonio, I noticed him earlier than the race and that was the final time, and even then, we’re at all times social distancing, we’re at all times taking the right protocols.
“Floor-to-surface, we’re sporting gloves, we’re sporting balaclavas and helmets within the automotive, so nothing within the automotive could possibly be a threat for us.”
Wayne Taylor Racing received the general Rolex 24 title with a lineup that included Ricky Taylor, however Jordan Taylor stated Garcia’s constructive take a look at would spoil the household celebration along with his father and older brother.
“I am fantastic to go sit in my home on my own for so long as it takes and simply caress my Rolex for some time,” stated the Florida native.
The Rolex 24 is the opening occasion of the North American motorsports season and NASCAR and IMSA held it with restricted spectators at Daytona. It was a take a look at run for the Daytona 500, which opens NASCAR’s season Feb. 14.
Occasions main in to the five hundred start Feb. 9.
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