Corvette Racing earned their eighth class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, but of all the victories the team has earned at the fabled endurance race, Chevrolet’s U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports, Jim Campbell, says this past year’s was the most special.
Speaking to FOX Sports in a recent interview, Campbell said having to withdraw one of its cars before the race start is what made this year so much different than any other Corvette Racing outing to Le Mans. Jan Magnussen experienced a throttle malfunction when heading through the Porsche Curves in practice and ended up hitting the outside wall, totaling the No. 63 C7.R and rendering it unusable for the race a couple of days later.
“They’re all special. They’re all important. And the teams and drivers that delivered those victories are great partners, so I value every one of those wins,” Campbell told FOX Sports. “The one that I think was unique was the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That was our 16th attempt to win the GTE Pro Category. In every year of the prior 15 years, we’ve always had two cars entered.”
Because a backup car cannot be used in the FIA WEC, Corvette Racing was unable to bring a spare along with them to france and was forced to withdraw the No. 63 from the race. Campbell says they were just happy Jan Magnussen was unhurt in the heavy shunt, but added writing the letter to the ACO to withdraw the entry was “a very difficult decision.”
The upside to having one entry is the Corvette Racing team was able to rally around the No. 64 and pool all their efforts together to help the car and its drivers win. With the entire Corvette Racing crew behind them, Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Jordan Taylor outclassed the GTE Pro field and brought the win home for America and Team Chevy.
“Going into a 24-hour race with one car is a big challenge and is a big hill. I’m proud of the team rallying together,” Campbell. “The No. 63 team and the No. 64 team together focused on a sole entry. And that’s drivers, engineers and all the crews of both teams coming together as one. To bring that win home was really special for that reason.”