Corvette Racing could be in for a tough weekend of racing as it heads to the Shanghai International Circuit for a one-off race in the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai.
The No. 64 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will be the second heaviest car in the GTE Pro class after the FIA mandated the team run at a minimum weight of 1276 kg – or 2,813 lbs. That figure is 27 kg heavier than what the Corvette was required to run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this past June, where the No. 63 Corvette of Jan Magnussen, Antonio García, and Mike Rockenfeller finished fourth in class.
Compounding with the added ballast will be a small 5 kg BoP weight break for the always competitive Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, along with a boost in turbo pressure for the Aston Martin Vantage GTE. The Vantage GTE was quick in the last WEC round at Fuji, where it snatched pole, so we won’t be shocked if it were competitive in Shanghai as well.
Furthermore, Milner has not driven at the Shanghai International Circuit before and this week will mark his first time ever in China. Gavin has tested at the 3.3-mile circuit on a couple of occasions, but has yet to turn a wheel there in competition. Despite having minimal running there compared to much of the WEC field, the drivers seem positive about Corvette Racing’s prospects headed into the race weekend.
“This will be my first time in China and obviously first time to this racetrack,” Milner said. “But we’ve done quite a bit of work in the Chevrolet simulator already to get up to speed. Oliver has been to the track in the past driving a number of different cars. So I feel like we will be ready to go. It’s always something different and something special when you go to a new racetrack – especially this one, which looks really impressive in pictures and on video.”
“I’ve been to Shanghai a number of times but I’ve never competed there,” added Gavin. “I’ve been there for test days and been around the circuit quite a lot. So I know it very well and I know the area pretty well. It’s certainly a fast track and challenging track. It has an exceptionally long backstraight with a fast, sweeping right-hander onto that straight. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. We’re all looking forward going back to the WEC and be part of that series again. It’s a fantastic championship and it will be a big challenge for Tommy, myself and the whole of Corvette Racing.”
Both Gavin and Milner shared photos of the new silver, red and black liveried No. 64 Corvette Racing entry to their Facebook pages today, showing the car undergoing prep work in the Shanghai Circuit’s paddock area ahead of first practice on Friday. The livery is promoting the launch of Chevrolet’s new Cruze and Equinox Red Line special edition models for China. GM already offered Red Line edition versions of many of its North America models, but more recently decided to expand the trim into China.
Check back for more news and updates on the No .64 Corvette C7.R’s trip to China once the on-track action kicks off on Friday.