Corvette Racing is feeling positive ahead of the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the General Motors factory team looking strong in this past weekend’s pre-race tests.
Mike Rockenfeller topped the GTE Pro class time sheets in the No. 63 Corvette C7.R, turning in a fast lap of 3:54.001. While only a test day, team boss Doug Fehan believes the pace they showed in testing has set the team up well for the C7.R’s last ever appearances at Circuit de la Sarthe.
“At the end of the day, it was a test day,” Fehan told Sportscar365 in an interview. “We were looking at setup, we were looking at fuel economy, we were looking at engine calibration.”
“The true test begins with qualifying and the ultimate test is the race itself,” he added.
One major benefit for Corvette Racing this year is the unified tire between the FIA WEC and IMSA. This has given the team’s engineers more data on the tire that will be used at Le Mans, making it easier for the team to compete with the WEC regulars.
“The engineers have done a marvelous job in creating a balance with the new tire,” Fehan said.
Corvette Racing’s drivers have also spent additional time in the Team Chevy simulator in North Carolina, giving them extra confidence when out on track and also giving the team even more data to work with. Furthermore, the team is 7 kg lighter this year thanks to class-wide Balance of Performance adjustments in GTE Pro.
If Corvette Racing can win the GTE Pro class this year, it will be the team’s ninth victory at Le Mans in 20 starts – an incredible for achievement for any team, let alone one that competes with the fierce WEC crowd part-time.
“For me GT racing will be the best show [at Le Mans this year],” Fehan said.