Corvette Racing’s No. 63 and 64 Corvette C7.Rs will start from different rows at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, after three rounds of qualifying produced ninth- and fourteenth-place results from the race cars in the GTE-Pro class. One GTE-Am racer – the No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR of Dempsey-Proton Racing – even managed to qualify ahead of the No. 64 Corvette, pushing the trio of Marcel Fassler, Oliver Gavin, and Tommy Milner back to the eighth row of GT cars.
Corvette Racing is trying this year for win number nine at the legendary French endurance race, but after practice on Test Day, the Corvette C7.R was one of five GTE-Pro cars to be handed Balance-of-Performance changes ahead of qualifying. Organizers mandated that both Corvettes must carry around an extra 10 kg of ballast weight. Yet after qualifying, more BoP changes were administered, according to Motorsport – not to Corvette Racing, but to two of its competitors. The Ford GT, which qualified in third, fifth, seventh, and eleventh in GTE Pro, was given 8 kg of ballast, while the dominating Porsche 911 RSR was handed 10 kg.
The No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR blew away the rest of the GT field in qualifying on Wednesday, with driver Gianmaria Bruni setting a blistering 3-minute, 47.5-second lap that no one was able to come close to. The closest competitor was Porsche’s own No. 92 car, which set a 3:49.1 fast lap – more than a second-and-a-half slower.
For the first time since 2011, Corvette Racing will be contending Le Mans without either Taylor brother – Ricky or Jordan – on the team. Jordan Taylor, who was a part of the three-driver team that won the race for Corvette in 2015, has been replaced by Audi factory driver Mike Rockenfeller. Ricky Taylor will be racing in LMP2, at the helm of the No. 34 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP 217. That car qualified sixteenth in class, out of a field of twenty cars.