CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Corvette C7.R Remains in Contention
Milner triple-stint keeps No. 74 Corvette in lead fight; Garcia’s triple keeps No. 73 close
LE MANS, France – The Chevrolet Corvette C7.R remained in contention through the halfway point of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Tommy Milner’s triple stint kept Corvette Racing’s No. 74 Corvette in the hunt for a class victory. Milner ran second in GTE Pro as green-flag pit stops cycled through at the 12-hour mark.
The young American stayed within reach of the GTE Pro class-leading Aston Martin after 12 hours of the French endurance classic while withstanding intense pressure from the highest-placed Ferrari at halfway. Earlier, teammates Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook each took turns leading in class.
As the race reached halfway, Westbrook was turning his opening laps of his stint. He and the leading Aston Martin were nearly on the same pit strategy with the Corvette in third place.
The top four cars in class were on the lead lap in the dark of night around Le Mans.
Jordan Taylor was fifth in class in the No. 73 Corvette – this after the car lost nearly two laps in the pits when the valve stem that allows the car to be raised on its air jacks failed. Jan Magnussen, Taylor’s teammate along with Antonio, led the race just 40 minutes in before, during and after a hard rain in the opening hour.
Garcia also ran a triple-stint during the night to inch the No. 73 Corvette toward recovering its lost lap.
The next Corvette Racing update from Le Mans will be the halfway report at 9 a.m. CT/3 a.m. ET.
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 73 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“I had a couple of hard stints as it seems we’re struggling to find the speed we had earlier. We also had a problem with the air hose of the jacks, which put us a lap down. Antonio is now running on a different tire compound and is making up some of the lost ground. The track also felt different than it did earlier today.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“That was pretty good – my first triple stint of the race, with no cautions, just racing. It was challenging to find out how far you could push and what to expect from the tires. After the first stint the tires felt great, and they still did after the second, but you still have that question mark in your head on whether they’ll last through the third stint or maybe suddenly drop off. But those Michelins are pretty consistent so no worries there. I managed to keep a pretty decent pace throughout my three stints, and I think I was one of the fastest in our class throughout. It’s a shame what happened to us earlier, because with the leaders racing as close as they do it will be difficult to catch up an entire lap. But I’m glad the other car is up there.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“We were having a good battle with the Aston Martin and Ferrari. Unfortunately the safety car bunched things up to make it a lot more interesting. The Aston was very strong at the end. We have a very good Corvette C7.R. It’s cooling off now so conditions are changing. Grip level has come down somewhat but there is still a long way to go. It’s nice to be fighting at the front and we want to keep that going.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“For a little bit I had caught the Ferrari and the Aston Martin and had gotten by the Ferrari. I got a nice tow from the Aston for quite awhile that got my best laps of the day. It was fun. The car was pretty good. We tried to triple stint there, and it’s good to know we can go that long. The tire wasn’t that great at the end but it was still a benefit time-wise. The car is good and we have to keep pounding around.”
Release Date: June 15, 2014