No. 63 Corvette C6.R Runs Third at Six-Hour Mark at Le Mans
Team Works Overtime to Keep Up with Changing Conditions
LE MANS, France – After the first six hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen was third in the GT1 class. The Corvette was on the lead lap with the No. 007 and No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9s after 82 circuits. The No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis retired in the third hour with a broken driveshaft.
Magnussen started fifth in the GT1 class when the 54-car field took the green flag at 3 p.m. He ran a long stint before handing off to Johnny O’Connell at 3:09 into the race. The Dane had to contend with intermittent rain and safety car periods during his run.
“It was very difficult out there, it was slippery as hell,” said Magnussen. “With the track conditions being what they are it’s difficult to say which tire is the better one and even more difficult to choose which one to put on next. We are lacking some speed to the Astons and all the hard work we put in in the twistier parts of the circuit, we lose again on the straights. Still, I had some good fun out there, while at the same time trying very hard not to make a mistake.”
O’Connell had a relatively routine run. “The car is not quite as good as it was during prequalifying and that’s a little frustrating, but mechanically the car feels fine,” he reported. “The engine, gearbox and brakes all feel good, so hopefully we can tune on the No. 63 Corvette as the race goes on. There wasn’t a lot of grip during my stint and the visibility is difficult after any rain. We’ll just follow Doug Fehan’s rules – don’t hit anyone, don’t break anything and stay on the road – and we’ll see what happens.”
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will finish at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 17. SPEED is televising 17.5 hours of coverage in North America from 8:30 – 11 a.m., 5:30 – 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. to midnight EDT on Saturday, June 16, and from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday, June 17.
24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 Top Five Standings at 6 Hours:
1. (009) Brabham/Rydell/Turner, Aston Martin DBR9, 82
2. (007) Enge/Herbert/Kox, Aston Martin DBR9, 82
3. (63) Fellows/O’Connell/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 82
4. (100) Babini/Davies/Malucelli, Aston Martin DBR9, 81
5. (008) Bouchut/Gollin/Elgaard, Aston Martin DBR9, 81
Release Date: June 16, 2006