Corvette Racing wasn’t able to pull off the ninth GTE-Pro class win at Le Mans that it was looking for, but the fourth-place result of the No. 63 Corvette C7.R – driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio García, and Mike Rockenfeller – will have to do. The car actually finished fifth in the GTE-Pro class, but the fourth-place No. 67 Ford GT was bumped down to twelfth after the race as the team violated a rule requiring that each of a car’s drivers put in at least six hours behind the wheel.
The podium at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was populated by the No. 92 and 91 Porsche 911 RSRs in first and second, respectively, and the No. 68 Ford GT in third. Porsche switched from a rear- to a mid-engine layout in the RSR after 2016, giving the race car better cornering agility and grip.
Together, the Porsche 911 RSR and Ford GT claimed seven of the top eight spaces on the grid after three qualifying rounds, with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 eking out a fourth-position start. Porsche and Ford proved to be the two to beat, running at the front of the pack with consistency and leaving the rest of the GTE-Pro field to battle it out further back. The No. 63 Corvette enjoyed a clean race, starting from ninth on the grid and steadily working its way up at every chance to cross the line in fifth.
The No. 64 Corvette had a tougher time at Le Mans. The car started from fifteenth and, in the hands of Oliver Gavin, worked its way up to twelfth with little trouble, but within the first hour, Gavin reported sensing a strange feeling at the front of the car. When Tommy Milner took over and also reported encountering difficulty with the car’s handling, it was brought into the pits for repair. Later on, the No. 64 lost more time as it had to be fitted with a new engine floor. It headed into the second half with promise, but ultimately failed to complete the race due to engine trouble.
Assuming the team returns, next year will mark Corvette Racing’s twentieth 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and the C7.R will be back at it, trying to secure the ninth GTE-Pro victory that eluded them this year. We’re looking forward to it.