The No. 63 Corvette C7.R has qualified third in GTE Pro for the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, while the No. 64 Corvette C7.R sister car will start from 11th in class.
Antonio Garcia lapped the historic 8.467 mile road course in 3:48.830 during yesterday’s qualifying session, the fastest lap the team has turned at the track since the GT1 days 10 years ago. The lap was just 0.830s off the pole-winning No. 67 Ford GT and was enough to secure third place on the GTE Pro starting grid for Saturday.
An extremely tight qualifying session meant Oliver Gavin’s lap of 3:49.573 in the No. 64 Corvette C7.R was only good enough for 11th place in GTE Pro. He and teammate Tommy Milner were both on pace for faster laps, but were interrupted by traffic and yellow flags and were unable to turn a lap that showed their true pace.
Garcia knows the GTE Pro field will be tight come race day, making track position more important for this endurance race than it may be at others.
“It was pretty close between Porsche and us. I don’t think we would have gotten pole, because those lap times were very, very strong,” he said. “But if you look all around the field you see 12 cars within 1.5 seconds and I am just 0.8 off pole position, that’s pretty close. And that’s what we can expect for the race: a train of GTE cars.”
“But luckily, we’re in the first part of the train,” he added.
Corvette Racing will make its 20th consecutive start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday. It has taken eight class victories in that period and numerous podiums, making it one of the most successful GT teams to ever visit the track.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 3 p.m. CET local time, or 9 am ET on Saturday. US fans can catch coverage live on the MotorTrend Network, with full audio coverage on Radio Le Mans. Click here to view the starting grid for the race (in reverse order).