Unfortunately for Corvette Racing, Antonio Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 at the worst possible time—in the middle of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Garcia was sharing driving duties of the race-winning No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R until the 17th hour when results from a routine travel test came back positive.
This left Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg as a tandem for the final seven hours of the race. “It wasn’t great news, to be honest,” said Taylor in a statement released by Corvette Racing.
“I had finished my triple stint in the morning or whenever it was. I got out and was supposed to be done, go have a massage, relax and watch Nicky and Antonio go race. I was so excited to go just relax and then they said Antonio can’t get back in the car. To be honest, I was in shock. I was like, there is no way. Antonio is our guy and our finisher.”
Garcia was immediately pulled from the car and separated from all Corvette Racing crew members to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. IMSA has determined that Corvette Racing met all conditions under the IMSA event protocols that allowed it to compete in a safe and responsible manner.
Corvette Racing team members and others who had contact with Garcia will comply with testing protocols as per CDC guidelines. Garcia had tested positive for COVID-19 back in December but was cleared to compete by the time January rolled around.
“I did have COVID in late December with some symptoms. I isolated until I fully recovered, and followed all Spanish and CDC protocols to be cleared for travel. It’s frustrating but there are protocols that are in place for this,” said Garcia in a post-race statement.
“It’s painful not to be able to celebrate with Jordan, Nicky, and the rest of the team. We worked so hard over the past months and weeks to achieve an endurance win like the Rolex 24. We didn’t make mistakes, we had good pace with the Corvette. After winning the championship a year ago, this was the type or result we all wanted for the start of a new season.”