Corvette Racing’s win at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans was going to be emotional no matter the circumstances, but the fact the team had only one sole entry after their No. 63 C7.R was totaled in practice is what makes the finish a “storybook comeback,” according to Chevrolet.
The No. 63 car of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Ryan Briscoe was the favorite to win this weekend’s GTE Pro class after locking down class victories at both the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring earlier in the year. The team was forced to withdraw the car from the race, however, after a small piece of debris got caught under the pedals during practice, causing Magnussen to crash. The Dane was thankfully uninjured in the shunt, but the weight of the team then fell on the shoulders Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor, drivers of the No. 64 entry.
Rather than letting the unfortunate circumstances get the better of them, the Corvette Racing team rallied all of its efforts around the No. 64 car and set it sights back on winning. Gavin moved from seven to fourth on his first two stints, while Milner put in an equally impressive showing during his time in the car, moving from sixth to first. The team battled with other competitors as the race wore on before Gavin made a pivotal move with less than two hours left, passing Toni Vilander and setting victory in his crosshairs.
“I am proud of how the No. 63 and No. 64 drivers, engineers and crew came together to rally around a single Corvette C7.R entry for the race after Thursday’s unfortunate incident,” said Chevy’s U.S. Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, Jim Campbell. “They prepared thoroughly and had each others’ back all race long. Perseverance, teamwork and execution were keys to the winning effort.
“It was very emotional to be in the garage with the entire team when the checkered flag dropped,” he added. “The Corvette Racing team simply never gave up.”
Corvette Racing now heads home to America to contest the seventh round of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship, the Sahlen’s Six Hours At The Glen on Sunday, June 28.