- January 28, 1986
- United States
- Imsa Sportscar Championship
- Corvette Racing
Tommy Milner is an American racing driver who competes in the sports car races as GM factory driver for the Corvette Racing team. Milner joined Corvette Racing in 2011 and became one of the best sports car racers in the world since then. He scored two GT class wins at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011 and 2015.
In the American sports car competitions, he was the 2012 American Le Mans Series GT champion and 2016 IMSA SportsCar Champion in GTLM class, both times sharing the Chevrolet Corvette with Oliver Gavin.
Starting a career in Formula BMW
Tom 'Tommy' Milner was born on January 28, 1986, in Washington, D.C., United States. When he was 14 years old, he started his racing career in karting races, switching to bigger cars in 2003, entering some events of the Panoz Racing Series. In 2004, he spent a full season with PTG Motorsport in the Formula BMW USA, finishing 8th in the points, but he also started his career in sports car racing with the same team.
The first GT win in the third race with BMW M3
In October 2004, he debuted in the PTG's BMW M3 E46 GTR at Virginia 400 kilometers, the round of the Rolex Sports Car Series. He was sharing the car with Gunnar Jeannette, but he didn't reach the finish line. In his third event with Prototype Technology Group's BMW, at Fontana, Milner won the race, sharing the car with Kelly Collins.
2005 – first Rolex Sports Series full season with BMW
BMW Team PTG hired Milner for the full season in 2005. In February 2005, he debuted at 24 hours of Daytona, but his #22 BMW M3 didn't reach the finish. Later in the season, Tommy scored four GT class wins (Laguna Seca, Daytona 250 Miles, Mid-Ohio). His co-drivers were Justin Marks, Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand and Kelly Collins. At the end of the season, Milner was 6th in GT classification of Rolex Series.
2006 – ALMS switch and Le Mans debut with Multimatic Panoz
In 2006, Milner started a season with Sigalsport's BMW at Daytona 24h but later he switched to the American Le Mans Series for the full season with Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz. His full-season co-driver in the #51 Panoz Esperante GTLM was Gunnar Jeannette. Without wins, they finished 11th in the points of the ALMS GT2 class.
In June 2006, Milner debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans. His co-drivers in the #77 Panoz were Gunnar Jeannette and Scott Maxwell. They retired after just 34 laps.
2007 ALMS season with RLL Porsche
For the 2007 ALMS season, Milner again changed a manufacturer. He was competing full season with #18 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR for Rahal Letterman Racing. He was sharing the cockpit with Ralf Kelleners. With no wins, they scored five podiums and finished sixth in the final GT2 classification.
One more disappointing attempt at Le Mans
In May 2007, Milner participated at 1000 km Valencia for Team LNT, driving the Panoz Esperante GTLM as a preparation for his return to Le Mans. At 24h Le Mans, he was sharing the #81 Panoz with Tom Kimber-Smith and Danny Watts. The result was similar as the year before, the team retired after just 60 laps.
Not so successful 2008 ALMS season with PTG's Panoz
In 2008 ALMS season, Milner reunited with PTG team, that was running the Panoz Esperante GTLM. Milner's full-season partner was Tom Sutherland. Results weren't good, with just one podium Milner was 10th in GT2 classification. During the season, Milner stayed linked with Rahal Letterman Racing and participated in several races of the Speed World Challenge with Aston Martin DB9.
Two ALMS seasons with BMW Team RLL
For the 2009 ALMS season, he returned to Rahal Letterman Racing as a full-time driver. The team was running BMW M3 E92 in GT2 class. Tommy Milner and his new teammate Dirk Muller scored five podiums with #92 BMW and finished fourth in the final classification. Milner's only win of the season was during the guest appearance in the Asian Le Mans Series, at the Japanese Okayama circuit.
Milner had a promising start of the 2010 ALMS season, with the second place at Sebring 12h, together with Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen in the #92 BMW M3. With six podiums until the end of the season, Auberlen and Milner finished third in the points.
Milner moved to Corvette Racing in 2011
And then, in 2011, the most important change in Milner's career happened. He joined Corvette Racing to drive #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R ZR1 in the American Le Mans Series with Olivier Beretta as a full-time co-driver.
In the first race, the Sebring 12h, they were joined by Antonio Garcia, finishing third in GT class. It remained only ALMS podium for Beretta and Milner and they finished 9th in the points.
Class victory at 2011 Le Mans 24h
The highlight of the season was Le Mans 24-hour race. Milner was in the #73 Corvette C6.R with Beretta and Garcia. After 24 hours of racing, they finished 11th overall and the best in GTE Pro class, ahead of AF Corse's Ferrari 458 Italia and factory entered BMW M3 GT2.
It wasn't Milner's only 24-hour race that year, as he participated with Team Schubert at 24h Dubai and 24h Nurburgring, driving the BMW Z4 GT3 in both races. In Dubai, he won the race, together with Augusto Farfus, Claudia Hurtgen and Edward Sandstrom.
Tommy was the 2012 American Le Mans Series GT champion
The season of 2012 started with Milner's guest appearance at 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona, which was a part of the Rolex Sports Car Series. Together with Jordan Taylor, Paul Edwards and Matthew Marsh, he was driving Chevrolet Camaro GT.R for Autohaus Motorsports. They finished 20th overall and 9th in GT class.
Milner's main job for 2012 was in the cockpit of #4 Corvette C6.R, for the first time with Oliver Gavin. With four wins (Long Beach, Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Virginia), they became the GT class champions. Gavin and Milner, plus Richard Westbrook as the third driver, competed at 24h Le Mans but they were not classified, as they made the insufficient number of laps.
Maiden Sebring 12h victory for Milner in 2013
In 2013, Milner had a similar schedule as the year before – driving Camaro at Daytona 24h and driving Corvette full season in the American Le Mans Series plus Le Mans. The highlight of the season was the class victory at Sebring 12h, together with Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook in the #4 Corvette.
With one more victory (Mosport), Gavin/Milner finished third in the points. The champions were the teammates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. At Le Mans 24-hour race, Gavin/Westbrook/Miler finished 7th in GTE Pro class.
Only 10th place in the 2014 IMSA United SportsCar Championship
Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series merged into the IMSA United SportsCar Championship in 2014, so Milner and his Corvette Racing teammates had both American endurance classics on the calendar. At Daytona, Gavin, Milner and Robin Liddell finished fifth in GTLM class. At Sebring, they were sixth. With only one podium (Long Beach), Milner and Gavin finished 10th in the points.
At 2014 Le Mans, Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook nearly missed the podium, finishing fourth in GTE Pro class with #74 Corvette. Their teammates in the #73 car finished second.
2015 Le Mans victory for Tommy Milner
The 2015 IMSA season wasn't much better for Milner and Gavin, as they scored only two podiums (Daytona 24h and Petit Le Mans), finishing 8th in the final classification of GTLM class after ten races.
However, it was one of the most successful seasons in Tommy's career because he clinched one more Le Mans victory. His partners in the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R were Oliver Gavin and Jordan Taylor. They won dominantly, with a 5-lap advantage over second-placed AF Corse Ferrari.
2016 IMSA GTLM championship title for Milner and Gavin
In 2016, a wheel of fortune made a 360-degree turn, so Milner and Gavin had no luck at Le Mans but they won the championship in America. They started the season with two great wins at Daytona and Sebring, together with Marcel Fassler as the third driver.
In the second part of the season, they added two more wins at Lime Rock and Road America, winning the title ahead of Ford Chip Ganassi's Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. Gavin and Milner had an opportunity to win the Triple Crown of endurance racing but their Le Mans attempt ended after 219 laps because of an accident.
Long Beach as a favourite track
In the 2017 IMSA championship season, Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin were sharing the #4 Corvette again, for the sixth season in a row. They won once, at Long Beach, finishing 8th in the final standings of GTLM class. At Le Mans, Milner, Gavin and Marcel Fassler were 8th in class.
In 2018, they repeated a victory at Long Beach. It remained their only win and they finished third in the points. The partnership continued in 2019 when their best result was third place at Long Beach. Tommy skipped two rounds due to injury and finished 11th in the points.
Photos: Tommy Milner FB, corvetteblogger.com, caranddriver.com,