Corvette Racing Takes Fourth-In-Class At Le Mans 201816
Corvette Racing wasn’t able to pull off the ninth GTE-Pro class win at Le Mans that it was looking for, but the fourth-place result of the No. 63 Corvette C7.R – driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio García, and Mike Rockenfeller – will have to do. The car actually finished fifth in the GTE-Pro class, but the fourth-place No. 67 Ford GT was bumped down to twelfth after the race as the team violated a rule requiring that each of a car’s drivers put in at least six hours behind the wheel.
The podium at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was populated by the No. 92 and 91 Porsche 911 RSRs in first and second, respectively, and the No. 68 Ford GT in third. Porsche switched from a rear- to a mid-engine layout in the RSR after 2016, giving the race car better cornering agility and grip.
Together, the Porsche 911 RSR and Ford GT claimed seven of the top eight spaces on the grid after three qualifying rounds, with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 eking out a fourth-position start. Porsche and Ford proved to be the two to beat, running at the front of the pack with consistency and leaving the rest of the GTE-Pro field to battle it out further back. The No. 63 Corvette enjoyed a clean race, starting from ninth on the grid and steadily working its way up at every chance to cross the line in fifth.
The No. 64 Corvette had a tougher time at Le Mans. The car started from fifteenth and, in the hands of Oliver Gavin, worked its way up to twelfth with little trouble, but within the first hour, Gavin reported sensing a strange feeling at the front of the car. When Tommy Milner took over and also reported encountering difficulty with the car’s handling, it was brought into the pits for repair. Later on, the No. 64 lost more time as it had to be fitted with a new engine floor. It headed into the second half with promise, but ultimately failed to complete the race due to engine trouble.
Assuming the team returns, next year will mark Corvette Racing’s twentieth 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and the C7.R will be back at it, trying to secure the ninth GTE-Pro victory that eluded them this year. We’re looking forward to it.
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Goes to prove the BOP is BS and Corvette racing suffers for it and probably will again next year unless the C8.R is released in time. Even then the new C8.R will probably get penalized calling it a BOP adjustment.
Always the same old tired refrain from the apologists. When you lose, it must be the fault of the rules which everybody plays by.
A real man takes it on the chin and sucks it up.
“the rules which everybody plays by”. Do you even know what those “rules”, meaning BoP, are and how they play games with weight? Weight penalties or reductions are VARIABLE and subjective meaning the “rules” are not consistent. When the Ford GT debuted at LeMans, again in 2016, it was pretty well known they sandbagged to go on and win 1-2 spanking both Corvette and Porsche. Now Porsche has it’s new mid-engined car to do the same 1-2 and the Fords are still beating Corvette so I stand by what I said. BoP is BS. This GTE class needs to be changed to Bring what you build from the factory and let the cards fall where they may. If you lose and don’t like it build a better car for next year. Bet a C7.R ZR1 built to 755hp would have kicked their @$$es as will the C8.R when it arrives.
Corvette beat two of the Ford GT’s. BOP played a role, but the lap times say that all the cars were pretty close. What needs to change are the safety car rules. With most of the teams running pretty clean all night and so close in lap times, having the safety car split up the field makes it almost impossible to get that time back. The GT group should be allowed to restart together.
What exactly is the problem with the Le Mans safety car rules?
Because of the length of one lap of the track of 13 plus something kilometers, there are three safety cars distributed in distances of about a third of one lap around the track; those three safety cars each lead one pack of races cars, prototypes and GTE in one single pack. Bringing all cars behind only one safety car as e.g. in F1 would distort the state of the race quite heavily.
Consider the time needed to get around one time — the fastest lap this time took 3:15.377 (three minutes 15.377 seconds), the fastest of a GTE Pro (the class the Corvettes race in) 3:47.504.
The issue is that it can give a car(s) an unfair advantage. The ACO needs to find a way to group the related classes together during the safety car period. The first safety car period created a two-and-a-half-minute gap between the leading Porsche and the rest of GT field that the Corvette was never able to make up. The Ford GT was fortunate with one of the later safety car periods and was able to catch up, but was then caught out by later yellow period and fell way behind again.
More insight: http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/gte-pro-teams-frustrated-by-safety-car-impact/
Without BoP, the cars are not closely competitive and you end up with a 24hr lapping session. That’s not racing.
Yep the Corvette get penalized even when they are not winning.
The C7R just didn’t seem to be in the same class as the Ford GTs and Porsche RSRs which dominated at will. A 4th place due to a penalty and a DND is nothing to crow about.
Looking forward to a more competitive C8 chassis. Lots of work ahead for the team.
Both the 911 and GT are much newer cars. Both hold great advantages over the C7 right now and the BOP has been the only thing that has kept it competitive in the last few years.
In fact the rules just two years ago benefited the car so much it won the championship against the much more competitive GT.
Pratt and Miller is working on the C8 and have to wait till they are allowed to bring the car to the series it races in. Being a 2020 model it will be another year.
The only real issue Lemans had was letting the GT in about a year before it was released as a street car in limited numbers. This was wrong but it is what it is.
The C8 will be here and the BOP will tune it to remain competitive as the others and the world will continue to revolve on with a very popular series and an Chevy that will remain competitive with a very good team.
The Ace in the hole here is Pratt and Miller and crew Chief Dan Binks. they are the best in the series. They will keep us in the game no matter what the BOP is.
This year the 911 got a little advantage. The GT and Vette were pretty even. BMW got skunked. What comes around goes around.
In the race, the BMW’s were just as fast as the Porsche’s, but had poor reliability. I still do not believe the C8 will be the magic pill for winning unless the ACO determines that it’s their turn to win that year.
I say again, the safety car rules must change. The #63 Corvette would have had a real shot at least a podium if the field would not have gotten split up and giving the Porsche’s a 30-70 second advantage. Lap time were too close among all the teams to make that up.
They had to make major BOP changes to get the lap times up. It also is a new car with little history so they are working on it.
Yes the safety car was a factory. At Lemans they never let things rest rules wise. The next big thing is hydrogen power.
Chevy can complain about the safety car but if they had run better it would not have mattered.
They have one more year and then it is their turn to shake things up.
In racing you can have the best team, car and driver but luck can negate them all.
BoP is SUPPOSED to accommodate this and DOES it? No! Preach what you always do. Not to this choir….
With the BOP where is is now, the Corvette could not hang onto the Porsche’s. They just walked away from the field.
Don’t forget that the #63 Corvette started from 9th position in the GTE Pro class, and advanced to 4th.
Ford gt should race lmp2 not lmgte. Body different