Corvette Racing is expecting this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans to be one of the hardest ever with new rules in the GTE Pro class and added competition from Ford, Aston Martin and more.
Speaking ahead of the annual Le Mans Test Day this weekend, Tommy Milner, who will share the No. 64 Corvette C7.R with Jordan Taylor and Oliver Gavin at Le Mans, said this year’s test will be crucial as they get used to the new rules package and the added competition.
“This year especially the Test Day is more important than it has been in years past,” he said. “We have a new rules package for GTE Pro. It’s the biggest change in our Corvette since we went from C6 to C7 a few years ago.
“Now we go there with a car that will have quite a bit more downforce potentially,” Milner added. “Plus you had on the extra pressure from Ford, Aston Martin has a renewed interest and programme… there’s just lots of ‘new’ everywhere.”
Ricky Taylor, who will drive the No. 63 Corvette C7.R alongside Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in France, echoed Milner’s statements about added competition from Ford. The Wayne Taylor Racing driver says that just by sheer numbers alone, Ford should be able to make life hard on them.
“GTE Pro is always super-competitive at Le Mans. This year with four Fords going, just by numbers it will be one of the toughest years ever,” he said.
“(Corvette Racing) has a solid plan. They’ve done this so many times that while it’s not exactly routine but they can handle themselves well and get a lot of good work done.”
Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan is on the same side of the fence, but he thinks the team’s wealth of experience will pay dividends.
“In our 17 years of coming to Le Mans, I’m confident that this will be toughest test we will face at the 24 Hours,” he said. “The Test Day is more critical now than it ever has been with the number of new cars and new manufacturers. For us, we have spent many hours testing and performing simulations in order to arrive at a package that will give us the best opportunity to win at Le Mans for the ninth time.”