By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin — Tommy Milner’s return to racing after injuring his left hand at Watkins Glen was, by all accounts, a success despite finishing sixth with co-driver Oliver Gavin.
Milner’s car started on pole position and ran second in the closing stages of Sunday’s IMSA Road Race Showcase but the No. 4 Corvette C7.R had to stop for fuel in the final five minutes of the race.
“We had a good car today for sure, the Corvette was fast,” said Milner. “We had to pit a little early in that first stint, we had used the tires up a little bit too much so that kind of made our bed there with that first stint there. We were going to have to play catchup no matter what. So it looked good, obviously starting from pole was nice, yeah, just didn’t quite kind of put it all together today so a little bit frustrating but for me personally it was good to get back in the car.”
Milner’s hand didn’t affect his driving but did suffer a bit of a jolt with a little over 32 minutes left to go after contact with Colin Braun in the No. 54 CORE Autosport Nissan DPi in Turn 14. Milner kept going but Braun eventually retired from the race.
For Milner, though, it was important to get back in the car after Corvette Racing endurance driver Marcel Fassler was called up to stand in for Milner. It frustrated Milner being on the sidelines but knew he had to step aside for the car.
“This place kind of threw everything at me and my hand and [it] took it well,” said Milner. “It was hard to sit there and watch for two races, it certainly seems like the right thing to do for my recovery and still a little ways to go but I think we’ve got three weeks until the next race so I feel pretty good.
“At the end of the day, this is one of the best jobs in the world, definitely lucky to be driving and like I said it was definitely tough to watch but we had a great co-driver in Marcel. He was there to fill in, did an awesome job.”
Milner’s next race is the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on August 25th. Milner last won there in 2012 but since then his best finish at VIR was a fifth in 2017.