As The Sun Rises On Le Mans, Corvette Racing Remains Near The Back Of The GTE Pro Class.6
With 6.5 hours left in the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the time of this writing, Corvette Racing is currently running sixth and seventh, with the No. 74 and 73 cars, respectively. Corvette Racing has so far seen its minimal share of incident on Circuit de La Sarthe, the track of the 81st 24 Hours of Le Mans, but still can’t seem to catch the likes of Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari, as the C6.R isn’t nearly as fresh as the rest of the field. Still, the team remains ahead of crosstown rival SRT and their Vipers.
Oliver Gavin suffered a spin-out during the earlier hours due to rain, but avoided contact with another car, or the side wall. Indeed, the weather has played a huge factor in this year’s Le Mans, with conditions changing from dry, to wet, to windy — all before nightfall. So far, there’s been a record nine yellow flags during this year’s race. Corvette Racing also faces the adversity of using FIA GTE class tires for the first time. The race is also the 100th time Corvette Racing has used Michelin tires.
Driver Richard Westbrook summed things up pretty well:
“Those were pretty small problems that haven’t hurt us too much. We have a great crew and they turned it around quickly. We highlighted the problem with what felt like a fuel pressure issue, and they got that fixed really quickly. We also had a rear tire issue, which happens at Le Mans. There is a lot of debris. Our plan is to keep going around. We will see where that takes us.”
Despite the excitement, the entire race has been soiled by tragedy with the death of Danish Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen in the opening laps of the race.
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The Corvettes were expected to be the favorites for the class win, but then they ended up in the back of the field.
Must be working on the C7R.
@ Manoli, “adversity of using FIA GTE class tires”, can you shead some light on this?
The Corvette team had used the new Michelin tyres for the first time at the 24h du Mans, while other teams hat used them already in earlier races. Reason: the Corvette works team had not participated in the two previous races of the “World Endurance Champtionship” (WEC); only the Larbre team had.
That said, the Corvettes shined by bringing all 4 cars to the finish line and were not involved in any of the many accidents. While they started badly contrary to expectations, the No. 70 Corvette with drivers MAGNUSSEN / GARCIA / TAYLOR achieved fouth place in the GTE Pro class, behind the two works Porsches and the No. 97 Aston Martin.
Sorry it was not the No. 70 Corvette, but the No. 73 Corvette entered by Corvette Racing (i.e. company official, or works team) . The No. 70 Corvette was the second car entered by the French team Larbre Competition, and finished on overall position 42, the last car to be classified. Larbre’s other Corvette, No. 50, with which they participate in the WEC (and thus are familiar with the Michelin tyres), finished on overall position 30, and 5th position in their class, GTE Am (Am = Amateur).
The tire compound is a little different than what the team is used to in ALMS.