CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Satisfied with Qualifying, Focus Turns to Race

Jun 16 2017 Randall Shinn 2017, Le Mans, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Satisfied with Qualifying, Focus Turns to Race

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Satisfied with Qualifying, Focus Turns to Race

Garcia puts No. 63 Corvette on third row, Milner on fifth row in No. 64 C7.R in final qualifying

LE MANS, France (June 15, 2017) – Corvette Racing declared itself ready for its 18th attempt at the 24 Hours following Thursday’s final two qualifying sessions with both Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs within 1.2 seconds of the fastest time in the GTE Pro category.

Antonio Garcia put the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R on the second row in the class, and Tommy Milner’s best lap in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette assured that both cars will be in the thick of the fight in this weekend’s twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

Garcia’s best lap was a 3:51.484 (131.731 mph) lap in the opening moments of Thursday’s final session. The No. 63 Corvette, which also will see Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor driving, finished qualifying just 0.647 seconds off the pole-winning car. Garcia and Magnussen arrived at Le Mans with the championship lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Le Mans class with two victories including the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Milner’s best lap was a 3:52.017 (131.420 mph) in the car he shares with Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler. Their gap to the front was relatively small considering the enormity of the track – about 8.5 miles in length.

For the second night in a row, the Corvette Racing team ran to its preplanned strategy to sort the two Corvettes for Saturday and Sunday’s race conditions. It is a formula that has worked in the past with eight class victories since 2001.

The 85th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours is set for 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 17. Practice and qualifying sessions are scheduled for June 14-15. Live television and streaming video will be available between FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports GO. Live audio coverage of practice, qualifying and the race will be available from Radio Le Mans, which also will broadcast on Sirius Channel 138 and XM Channel 201.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "We have a good car and I had a good run, working a bit on getting the car ready for the race. We have a fast car, which is good, and more so we had no major issues. We’ll now sit down and see how we can further improve our car for the weekend."

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "The balance of the car is really, really nice; the best we’ve had all week, and that’s the most important thing to me. The track developed really a lot since yesterday, and with the races and practice sessions they had all day today a lot of rubber was laid down. The difference compared to last year is so big when I felt uncomfortable in the car. Now the car is so good; it’s easy to play around with the brake balance and such, which gives you confidence. I’m quite looking forward to the race."

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "We made some good changes for the race and we now have a good idea on how the car will behave in the race. This definitely is the best Corvette I’ve ever driven here in the past six years. It is fast and comfortable and that is exactly what you want for the race."

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "I think we are in a positive spot. Our Corvette has been good through practice. We’ve made some good steps with it, and the track has rubbered in nicely. We’ve managed to keep in step with the evolution of the circuit. It was great to see Tommy get a good lap in there and keep us right in the hunt. Our mindset is that if people went faster, then so be it. We’ll start where we start. I’m really confident that we will have a good strong, raceable car that will be able to compete with anyone. We’ve stuck to our plan the last two days, and they’ve been very good ones. We’ll see what the race brings, but right now this is very positive."

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "There’s no doubt that if you don’t win Le Mans, the desire to win the next year gets even stronger. You kind of mentally ramp up for the race in the weeks before; you replay Le Mans in your head from the year before and from years past. That’s something I’ve done though my career… analyze what I’ve done and isolate the areas where I’ve not been strong and work on those for the next year. You don’t want to repeat mistakes if you’re in contention Sunday for a win. Your successes give you confidence in the following years, and any failures give you that extra drive at the same time."

MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Each time in the car for me is helpful. In the end, I was pretty happy with the balance of the Corvette and how it was to drive. Therefore I’m pretty optimistic for the race. Qualifying was not our main target for today; we had some items to sort out of the race. This was much more important than trying to win the pole. It was the right decision to make."

Corvette Racing at 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/Fässler

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