- June 05, 1980
- Imsa Sportscar Championship
- Corvette Racing
Antonio Garcia is a Spanish racing driver who has an impressive record in sports car racing, with three victories at Le Mans 24 Hours, two wins at Daytona 24 Hours, three wins at Sebring 12 Hours and three GT racing championship titles on his account. He currently drives for Corvette Racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, joining the team in 2009.
Earlier in a career, he gained some success in open-wheel racing and touring car championships.
Euro Open by Nissan Series champion early in a career
Born in June 1980 in Madrid, Antonio Garcia Navarro spent his teenage years in karting competitions, then moving up to the French Formula Renault Campus in 1997. He scored three wins in his rookie season, ending a season third in the points.
In 1998, Garcia participated in the inaugural season of the Euro Open by Nissan Series with Adrian Campos Motorsport, winning two races and finishing fifth in the points. He stayed in the series for two more years, scoring one victory in 1999 to finish sixth in the points, and then taking the championship title in 2000 with four wins in sixteen races.
Formula 3000 and FIA GT Championship in 2001
In 2001, Garcia spent part of the season in the International Formula 3000 Championship, driving in four rounds for Helmut Marko's Red Bull Junior Team and in three rounds for Durango. He scored no points.
In 2001, Garcia also made a debut in sports car racing, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RS for RWS Motorsport in three rounds of the FIA GT Championship. He was fifth overall and N-GT class winner at Spa 24 Hours, sharing the #77 Porsche with Luca Riccitelli, Norman Simon and Dieter Quester.
Test driver for Minardi F1 Team in 2002
In 2002, Garcia returned full time to World Series by Nissan, driving for Campos Motorsport and scoring two podiums to finish fifth in the points. He also continued to race with RWS Motorsport in the FIA GT Championship. He also had a job as a test driver for Minardi F1 Team.
In 2003, Garcia recorded two last starts in the World Series by Nissan with Campos Motorsport, moving his career to touring car racing.
Three touring car seasons with Roberto Ravaglia's team
In 2003, Garcia's main competition was the European Touring Car Championship with Ravaglia Motorsport. Driving the #2 BMW 320i, he scored four podiums to finish eighth in the points, one position ahead of his teammate Fabrizio Giovanardi.
In 2004 ETCC season, Garcia was driving the #5 BMW 320i for BMW Team Italy-Spain, next to Alex Zanardi in the #4 car. Garcia was on a podium three times, finishing 7th in the points. In 2005, the championship has been upgraded to World Touring Car Championship. Garcia spent one more season in the #5 BMW 320i, finishing 9th in the points with three podiums.
In 2005, Garcia made a one-off appearance in the FIA GT Championship with Russian Age Racing, winning the season-closing race at Bahrain in the #17 Aston Martin DBR9. His co-driver was Christophe Bouchut.
Le Mans 24 Hours debut in 2006
In 2006, Garcia switched completely to GT racing, driving an Aston Martin DBR9 in the Le Mans Series for Cirtek Motorsport and Team Modena. He won a race at Donington Park, sharing the #63 Aston Martin with Peter Hardman. Garcia finished fifth in the final classification of GT1 class.
In June 2006, Garcia made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving the #62 Aston Martin DBR9 for Russian Age Racing/Team Modena and finishing fourth in GT1 class. His partners were David Brabham and Nelson Piquet Jr.
First Le Mans victory in 2008 with Aston Martin DBR9
In 2007, Garcia stayed with Team Modena in the Le Mans Series but also joined Cheever Racing in selected races of the Grand American Rolex Series, driving a Pontiac Fabcar. At Le Mans 24h, he finished 10th in GT1 class, sharing Team Modena's Aston Martin with Jos Menten and Christian Fittipaldi.
In 2008, Garcia spent a full season with Cheever Racing in the Rolex Series and continued to race with Team Modena in the Le Mans Series. At 24 Hours of Le Mans, he was a member of Aston Martin Racing's #009 crew, together with David Brabham and Darren Turner, taking the GT1 class victory. They defeated Corvette Racing's trio, who became Garcia's teammates in 2009.
Victories at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in the same year
In 2009, Garcia stayed with Team Modena in the Le Mans Series, switching from Aston Martin to Ferrari F430 GT and finishing third in GT2 class standings. He was also driving for Brumos Racing in the Rolex Sports Car Series, winning Daytona 24 Hours in the #58 Riley-Porsche, together with Darren Law, David Donohue and Buddy Rice.
In 2009, Garcia also joined his former rivals in Corvette Racing and scored two great wins in the first year with the team, sharing a Chevrolet Corvette C6.R with Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell. First, they won GT1 class at Sebring 12 Hours and then triumphed in GT1 class at Le Mans.
Third victory at Le Mans 24h in 2011
In 2010, Garcia raced with Spirit of Daytona Racing's Coyote-Porsche prototype in the Rolex Sports Car Series, also joining Corvette Racing in selected races of the American Le Mans Series and at Le Mans 24h.
He had the same programme with two teams in 2011, when the highlight of the season was his third class victory at Le Mans 24 Hours. He was GTE Pro class winner together with Olivier Beretta and Tommy Milner in the #73 Corvette C6.R.
American Le Mans Series GT champion in 2013
Garcia continued with a double programme in 2012, scoring two Rolex Series wins with Spirit of Daytona Racing and expanding his commitments with Corvette Racing to full season in the American Le Mans Series. He finished third in GT class standings. At Le Mans, he was fifth in GTE Pro class.
In 2013, Garcia became GT class champion in the American Le Mans Series, together with teammate Jan Magnussen, after scoring three wins in ten races. Outside ALMS, he finished fourth in GTE Pro class at Le Mans 24h and joined Spirit of Daytona Racing in just two Rolex Series races.
Four IMSA wins and Le Mans podium in 2014
In 2014, Rolex Series and American Le Mans Series merged into IMSA United SportsCar Championship. Garcia scored four wins in the GTLM class of a new championship, all four together with Jan Magnussen, finishing third in the points.
At Le Mans 24 Hours, he was on a podium together with Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor in a Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, finishing second in GTE Pro class.
Two starts in the inaugural Formula E season
Parallel to his commitments with Corvette Racing, Garcia participated in two races of the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship.
He raced with China Racing in the third round in Uruguay in December 2014 and then in the ninth round in Moscow in June 2015. He was 11th in Uruguay and 19th in Moscow, not scoring points.
GTLM class victories at Daytona and Sebring in 2015
In the 2015 IMSA SportsCar Championship, he finished third in GTLM class with two wins in two greatest races - Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours. In both races, he was sharing the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe.
Outside IMSA Championship, he was supposed to race at Le Mans but his teammate Jan Magnussen crashed out during qualifying and they didn't start the race.
One more Daytona podium for Garcia and Magnussen in 2016
The 2016 IMSA season started with second place at Daytona 24 Hours. Later in the season, he and Jan Magnussen won at Virginia International Raceway and finished third in final standings of GTLM class. At Le Mans, they finished just seventh in GTE Pro class, with Ricky Taylor as the third driver.
Besides with Corvette Racing, Garcia raced in 2016 with Team WRT in three races of the Blancpain Endurance Series but without notable results.
IMSA GTLM champion with Corvette Racing in 2017
In 2017, Antonio Garcia added one more championship title on his account, winning the GTLM class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. His full-time partner in the #3 Chevrolet CorvetteC7.R was Jan Magnussen. They were fourth at Daytona and won at Sebring 12 Hours. Later in the season, they added two more wins at Austin and Virginia.
Outside IMSA Championship, Garcia reached a podium at Le Mans for the fifth time in a career, finishing third in GTE Pro class together with Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor. He was also on a podium at 1000 km of Paul Ricard, the round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, driving an Audi R8 LMS for Team WRT.
Garcia and Magnussen defended IMSA GTLM title in 2018
In 2018, the long-standing partnership between Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen continues to live on in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. They were sharing the #3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. They started a season with third place at Daytona 24 Hours. It was the first of eight podiums they scored in 2018. Without wins, they manage to defend their IMSA GTLM title.
Photos: Antonio Garcia, motorsport.com,