CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Garcia Improves in Final Qualifying Session

Jun 14 2018 Randall Shinn 2018, Le Mans, Le Mans, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Garcia Improves in Final Qualifying Session
CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Garcia Improves in Final Qualifying Session

No. 63 Corvette to start on fifth row, No. 64 C7.R on seventh row Saturday

 

LE MANS, France (June 14, 2018) – Corvette Racing will roll off from the fifth and seventh rows of an extremely deep and challenging GTE Pro field when the green flag flies for the start of the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday. Already with eight victories and 19 consecutive event starts to its credit, the team hopes it can add to its record come Sunday afternoon.

 

Two final qualifying sessions Thursday helped set the 60-car field, which features 17 production-based entries in the GTE Pro category. Antonio Garcia improved his time from Wednesday’s lone session by a half-second Thursday in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

 

A three-time Le Mans winner, Garcia set his best time of the week – 3:50.242 (xx mph) – in the opening half of the final qualifying session Thursday. It moved the No. 63 Corvette, which Garcia will drive with Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller, from 11th to ninth on the GTE Pro grid.

 

The No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler will start 14tth in class, thanks to Milner’s time Wednesday of 3:50.952 (131.979 mph).

 

Thursday’s first qualifying session featured two red-flag periods – including one that brought an early end to the period – and multiple yellow-flagged zones. The two Corvettes only recorded two laps at full speed during the 90 minutes, and even those saw traffic impeded both entries.

 

The second session was cleaner with a number of cars able to better their times. Rain fell inside the final hour, however, which put further improvements out of reach. Even after the prime window closed for fast laps, Corvette Racing engineers and crew worked toward fine-tuning the race setup package for Saturday and Sunday in hopes of contending for a ninth victory.

 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will air live on the Velocity Channel and MotorTrend On-Demand with coverage of the Test Day, practice/qualifying and the race on RadioLeMans.com.

 

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “We continued to work according to the plan we’ve worked with since yesterday. It’s a shame though that we had so many yellows and slow zones, as well as two red flags in the second qualifying session; each time it stopped our rhythm. We got extra time for the third qualifying session, but that was then cut short by the rain. We made some progress with the car and gathered loads of data. With all we collected, we are confident we can make the right decision for Saturday. So I’m kind of happy with where we are. The only downside was that Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) didn’t get as much seat time as we would have liked… again because of all the yellows and then the rain. We’ll see what happens Saturday and Sunday. It will be a long and tough race.”

 

Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Year Finish Class Car Drivers
2000 3rd GTS Corvette C5-R Pilgrim/Collins/Freon
4th GTS Corvette C5-R Fellows/Kneifel/Bell
2001 1st GTS Corvette C5-R Fellows/O’Connell/Pruett
2nd GTS Corvette C5-R Pilgrim/Collins/Freon
2002 1st GTS Corvette C5-R Fellows/O’Connell/Gavin
2nd GTS Corvette C5-R Pilgrim/Collins/Freon
2003 2nd GTS Corvette C5-R Gavin/Collins/Pilgrim
3rd GTS Corvette C5-R Fellows/O’Connell/Freon
2004 1st GTS Corvette C5-R Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen
2nd GTS Corvette C5-R Fellows/O’Connell/ Papis
2005 1st GT1 Corvette C6.R Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen
2nd GT1 Corvette C6.R Fellows/O’Connell/Papis
2006 1st GT1 Corvette C6.R Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen
7th GT1 Corvette C6.R Fellows/O’Connell/Papis
2007 2nd GT1 Corvette C6.R Fellows/O’Connell/Magnussen
14th GT1 Corvette C6.R Beretta/Gavin/Papis
2008 2nd GT1 Corvette C6.R Fellows/O’Connell/Magnussen
3rd GT1 Corvette C6.R Beretta/Gavin/Papis
2009 1st GT1 Corvette C6.R O’Connell/Magnussen/Garcia
4th GT1 Corvette C6.R Gavin/Beretta/Fassler
2010 10th (DNF) GT2 Corvette C6.R Gavin/Beretta/Collard
12th (DNF) GT2 Corvette C6.R O’Connell/Magnussen/Garcia
2011 1st GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Beretta/Milner/Garcia
14th (DNF) GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook
2012 5th GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor
6th GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Gavin/Milner/Westbrook
2013 4th GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor
7th GTE Pro Corvette C6.R Gavin/Milner/Westbrook
2014 2nd GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor
4th GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner/Westbrook
2015 DNS GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe
1st GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner/J. Taylor
2016 7th GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen/R. Taylor
10th (DNF) GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner/J. Taylor
2017 3rd GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor
8th GTE Pro Corvette C7.R Gavin/Milner/Fässler
Totals 8 wins 18 starts