CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Missions Accomplished Ahead of the 24 Hours

Jun 04 2017 Randall Shinn Le Mans, News Comments Off on CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Missions Accomplished Ahead of the 24 Hours

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Missions Accomplished Ahead of the 24 Hours

Gavin sets GTE Pro pace in No. 64 Corvette C7.R while No. 63 entry fourth-quickest in class

  • Successful day for team making its 18th consecutive appearance at Le Mans
  • Gavin’s fast lap came after fast engine change by No. 64 Corvette team<
  • Garcia fastest driver in No. 63 Corvette C7.R and only 0.363 seconds off Gavin
  • Corvette Racing going for ninth class victory at Le Mans

DETROIT (June 4, 2017) – Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin set the fastest time in the GTE Pro class during the annual Test Day ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The five-time Le Mans winner turned a lap of 3:54.701 (129.990 mph) in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he will share with Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler.

It was mostly a trouble-free day for both Corvette entries with Antonio Garcia placing the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R fourth in GTE Pro with a lap of 3:55.064 (129.680 mph). He is driving with Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor – the duo reunited after finishing second in class together in 2014.

Following the eight hours of running, the Corvette Racing engineers and crew turn their focus toward preparations for raceweek with the first official practice session set for Wednesday, June 14.

Gavin’s best lap came shortly after an amazingly quick engine change by the No. 64 crew. After approximately 80 minutes in the garage, it took Gavin just two laps after the swap to set the quick time.

"I took the car back out after the engine change," he said. "By then the track had improved and we had the right tires at the right time, which the lap time showed. This is a very positive start to Le Mans 2017."

Magnussen ended Sunday’s first session as the quickest driver in GTE Pro. The two Corvettes combined to turn 161 laps and covered more than 1,360 miles during the test. As is the team’s standard practice, it ran through a preset program of different settings and setups on the engine, chassis and Michelin tire platforms. The routine has paid off in the past with eight class victories at Le Mans since 2002 – the most recent coming in 2015.

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.

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It was a pretty good day. As far as I can remember, this was the best test day we’ve ever had. Everything went according to plan. We had to catch up with the other WEC guys to learn the WEC-spec Michelin tires, but we got there, going through a lot of different compounds and types of setup. In the end, it’s a good way to start preparing for race week."

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "We got through a whole lot of stuff. We managed to move along in the right direction all the time, which is good. At Le Mans, it’s always a toss-up between speed and downforce, but we’re in a good place where we are now, so overall I’m quite happy. We still have some fine-tuning to do, of course, but all in all things are looking good."

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It was good to get some laps in the car. Every time here it’s a bit of a learning process, but today I felt more confident than I’ve ever felt before on a Le Mans test day. The Corvette was consistent all afternoon, had good pace in it and was very comfortable to drive."

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: ""We had a good morning session. We managed to get Marcel (Fässler) in the car for two hours and he was immediately on the pace, which was good given how quick the track was. He’d arrived this morning from Zolder (where he is racing in the Blancpain GT series], drove our car for two hours and then walked across the street to catch a plane back to Zolder. Tommy and I then concentrated on getting through our usual program. The car felt pretty good with just some balance issues to sort out. We also went through the various tire options, to see which one works best.

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "It’s quite unlike us to have an engine issue, but the Corvette Racing guys worked hard, got the new engine in and got the car out in time for Olly to set the fastest time of the day. All in all, the car was fast and consistent, which is good to know. We had our program to go through knowing the others would be in their own world. We managed to get most things done, though we still have a few things to learn by next week. Race week will be totally different again."

MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: "Getting back on the track at Le Mans in a Corvette was another incredible feeling. Things felt very good, which is a credit to Corvette Racing’s level of preparation. For me, it was nice to have actual laps of Le Mans with live traffic, changing track conditions and the setup changes we ran through today. It validated much of the work we did at Road America and in simulations. There is so much that Le Mans can throw at you. But I believe we have the best and most prepared team in this race. I’m very happy after today."

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