The achievement of the #3 Corvette Racing crew in taking the GTLM class win at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is all the more impressive after the team revealed post-race that Antonio Garcia was relieved of driving duties after the 17 hour mark after the COVID-19 test he took in preparation to leave the USA for home in Spain returned a positive result.
That left team-mates Jordan Taylor and Nick Catsburg to complete the race. Garcia, as with all international competitors entering the USA had provided a negative PCR test result at point of entry.
Antonoio became the second driver to provide a positive test at Daytona after Alegra Motorsport driver Michael de Quesada was withdrawn from the #28 AMG effort in the immediate lead-up to the race with Mike Skeen stepping in as a (very) late replacement.
A statement from Corvette Racing reds:
“As part of international COVID travel protocols, all drivers and team members traveling in and out of the US are required to take a COVID test before and after any race activities. While Antonio Garcia tested negative in preparation for his arrival for the Rolex 24, we have received notice that he has now tested positive in preparation to depart the country. He was immediately pulled from competition upon notification of the positive test result and, although he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, will no longer participate in any additional race activities at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“Upon consulting with IMSA and its Event Operations Protocols, the series determined Corvette Racing met all conditions under the IMSA event protocols that allowed it to compete in a safe and responsible manner. We have notified crew members and others who had contact with Antonio and will conduct testing with racing team members after 72 hours, per CDC guidelines.”