The TUDOR United Sportscar Championship heads to Detroit this weekend for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, but the bright yellow Corvettes will be absent from the grid as their peers race in the shadow of General Motors’ towering Renaissance Center. Don’t worry, Corvette Racing has a solid excuse for their absence: their busy practicing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Le Mans Test Day will kick off this Sunday at 9 a.m. and will include eight full hours of testing, giving teams plenty of time to warm up to the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe. Corvette Racing also recently completed a full test at the NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Grenn, giving them a chance to get used to their new Michelin tire compound developed specifically for Le Mans and new low-drag aerodynamics before heading off to France.
This year’s driver lineup for Le Mans includes regular full-season Corvette Racing drivers Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, in addition to guest drivers Jordan Taylor and Ryan Briscoe. Taylor will share the No. 64 C7.R with Gavin and Milner, while Briscoe will pilot the No. 63 C7.R with Garcia and Magnussen. Having already won at Daytona and Sebring earlier this year, Garcia, Magnussen and Briscoe could become the only three drivers to win Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans consecutively since 2000.
Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan noted the importance of Le Mans Test Day, saying it enables them to take the last year’s worth of research to trial before the big race.
“The Test Day is important because it allows us to validate all the work the Corvette Racing team has undertaken since the conclusion of last year’s Le Mans. There has been significant time spent on tracks in the U.S., on engineering simulations, in wind tunnels and on dynos. All were with the aim of achieving our ultimate goal of winning at Le Mans for the eighth time,” Fehan said.