CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Halfway Update
Milner surges back into lead after strong stints by Gavin, Taylor in No. 64 Corvette C7.R
LE MANS, France – With 12 hours down and 12 to go, Corvette Racing is in the midst of a fight for top honors at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Tommy Milner retook the lead in GTE Pro in his first stint just past the halfway point Sunday morning at Le Mans. Oliver Gavin drove three stints on two sets of tires and led GTE Pro twice during his time in the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R before handing off to Milner for his second round of driving duties.
Gavin’s stint in the second six hours of the race followed a strong performance by Jordan Taylor, who led for a majority of his triple-stint. The race remained dry throughout and aided in grip level as the track started to accumulate rubber. It was a scenario Gavin mentioned earlier that could potentially aid the Corvette.
Gavin moved to a softer tire for his third stint in the car and rapidly gained on class leader Fernando Rees. The four-time Le Mans winner moved to within a couple of tenths of a second before Rees went off at the second Mulsanne Chicane and allowed Gavin to move back in the lead just before handing off to Milner.
Three cars from three manufacturers were on the lead lap at the halfway point. Corvette Racing is going for its eighth Le Mans class victory since its debut there in 2000.
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 64 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “I’m not sure how offset we are on strategies with the other competitors. Sometimes we’re on old tires and they are on new tires, so you can see laptime lost and laptime gained. We’re definitely in a position to win the race. I have all the confidence in the world in the guys that are calling the right strategy. It’s a matter of making the right decisions on the pit wall and in the pits, and not making mistakes.
“We trimmed out our car a little bit more than the other cars, so we have a bit better straight-line speed but maybe we’re not as strong in the technical sections. As the grip level increases, we should pick up in those areas and keep our advantage on the straights. Hopefully as things progress we keep gaining and the others level off. If so we can make our move the last six hours of the race.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 64 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “The first two stints were difficult. I couldn’t keep the heat in the tires as the temperatures dropped, as did the pressure. We then changed to a different compound and that worked really well. They allowed me to attack again and I could soon put some pressure on Fernando (Rees) and push him to the point he made a mistake. Sometimes it’s pretty hairy out there. Most of the other drivers know what they’re doing but sometimes you come across a guy who has no clue. You want people to come and race here, but with some guys being really unpredictable it is quite tough.
“The slow zones worked okay for most of the part but for the last one. There were no warning boards so you arrived straight into the slow zone. I had to keep an eye in the mirror and an eye on what was happening in front of me as you don’t want a Prototype to hit you from behind. But all in all, it’s been good, even though it’s ‘that time’ of the race when all sorts of things start to happen.”
Release Date: June 13, 2015