Corvette Racing Second After 18 Hours in Le Mans
No. 63 Corvette Moves Up in Class as Sun Also Rises in Le Mans
LE MANS, France – At dawn’s early light in Le Mans, Corvette Racing was running second in the GT1 class. The No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R continued its trouble-free run, stepped up its pace as the sun rose, and benefited from its rivals’ misfortunes. Jan Magnussen recorded the Corvette’s fastest lap, and Ron Fellows moved up from third to second shortly after the 16-hour mark when the No. 007 Aston Martin made an extended pit stop. After 18 hours of racing, the No. 63 Corvette is seventh overall, one lap down to the class-leading No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 and one lap ahead of the third-place No. 008 Aston Martin DBR9.
“We thought that as fast as the Astons were running, they must have been on soft tires,” Fellows said. “We hadn’t had much luck earlier with the soft compound, but it was cool enough this morning that it was worth a shot, and they were pretty good. We debated whether to keep them on for another stint and I was too tired to make a decision. With six hours to go, we’ve still got lots of time. When the sun comes up, it’s Corvette time.”
Although the dawn was clear and crisp, a looming weather front is predicted to bring rain to Le Mans before the finish of the 24-hour race at 3 p.m.
“It’s déjà vu all over again,” said Steve Wesoloski, GM Road Racing Group manager. “Just like the last two years, we’re in second place and running well going into the final quarter of the race. We’d like the temperature to heat up, but the weather forecast doesn’t look very promising and the last few hours could be very wet. It’s going to come down to who makes the right calls and keep the cars safe. We’re very pleased with our rain setup for the Corvette C6.R, so we’re ready for whatever comes.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will finish at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 17. SPEED is televising the closing laps from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EDT.
24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 Top Five Standings at 18 Hours:
1. (009) Brabham/Rydell/Turner, Aston Martin DBR9, 260
2. (63) Fellows/O’Connell/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 259
3. (008) Bouchut/Gollin/Elgaard, Aston Martin DBR9, 258
4. (007) Enge/Herbert/Kox, Aston Martin DBR9, 258
5. (54) Groppi/Prost/Belloc, Saleen S7R, 255
Release Date: June 17, 2007