Corvette Racing is turning its attention to next month’s Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen following a tough outing to the 24 Hours of Le Mans that saw the No. 63 C7.R finish seventh in GTE Pro and the No. 64 car crash out.
The team’s bid for a second consecutive GTE Pro win at Le Mans got off to a rough start when the team qualified 13th and 14th. After it was clear the turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTE and Ford GT had the edge over the Corvette, Aston Martins and Porsches, the Le Mans governing body applied further Balance of Performance changes in an attempt to even the playing field come race day.
Unfortunately, the changes weren’t enough and the 488 and GT easily drove away from the rest of the GTE Pro field after the green flag. The race quickly turned into a battle between Ford and Ferrari, with Porsche, Aston and Corvette left to race among themselves for mid-pack positions.
“When you look at the race as a whole, there were definitely sections of the race where we couldn’t really hold a candle to them,” Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin told Sportscar365 in a recent interview. “Either Ford or Ferrari were supremely dominant. When you needed to attack you were put back in your place a bit.”
In fact, Corvette Racing’s lack of pace was a contributing factor in Tommy Milner’s crash. Because the Ford and Ferraris were so fast, the No. 64 team trimmed a bit of rear downforce from Milner’s car in an attempt to save some time down Le Sarthe’s long straights. Milner slightly lost the rear of the No. 64 before hitting a tire wall at Turn 1.
“In these circumstances, you put your shoulder to the wheel and you just push as hard as you can push,” Corvette Racing team principal Doug Fehan said. “We did that with Tommy late in the race, just trying to make up time looking for a podium, and took some wing out of the car.”
“Tommy took full blame for it but we took air out of the car and that’s what set that turn one episode up, unfortunately.”
Fortunately, the No. 64 C7.R’s chassis was not damaged in the shunt and the team won’t have to tap their friends at Larbre Competition for a back up car like they did last year after Jan Magnussen crashed at Le Mans. The team will search for its 100th ever win at the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen this weekend, which goes green at 10:14 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 3rd.