Corvette Takes GTS Class Lead at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jun 13 2004 admin News Comments Off on Corvette Takes GTS Class Lead at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Corvette catches Ferrari as the race enters the final hours

LE MANS, France – The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team has taken the lead in the GTS class during the 19th hour of competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The leading #66 Ferrari 550 M lost crucial time after a suspension failure, allowing the pacing Olivier Beretta to regain laps before handing the #64 Corvette into the hands of Jan Magnussen. Magnussen entered the track immediately before the Ferrari joined the field, taking the lead in the GTS class while his stablemate Max Papis held third position in class.

“We wouldn’t even be in a position like this without the tremendous hard work of this crew,” said Harry Turner, GM’s group manager for road racing. “Of course, there have been a few errors during the day but I pay a lot of our success to the pit work practice the team has been doing all season. Earlier in the week the guys were out there in the hot sun when nobody else would practice. I think that says a lot about what kind of people we have at Corvette Racing.”

While the #64 Corvette gained time on the leading Ferrari in the late morning, the #63 team remained strong, only shouldering a brief tire puncture problem on lap 261. Max Papis brought the car back into the pits and quickly reentered the race. As the team awakened a sleeping Jan Magnussen for his driving stint, the Dane watched the monitors as the Ferrari encountered a problem on the track.

“We may have to race,” said Magnussen as he pulled his helmet over his head and entered the car.

Positions at 20 Hours – Gran Tourisme (GTS) Class
Pos. No. Car Laps Completed
1 64 Corvette C5-R 289
2 66 Ferrari 550 M 289
3 63 Corvette C5-R 282
4 65 Ferrari 550 M 275
5 69 Ferrari 550 M 272
6 62 Ferrari 575 GTC 163
7 61 Ferrari 575 GTC 163