Team ZR-1 Corvette Racers LLC

C8.R GTE-Pro - to race in Europe this Weekend

Posted By: teamzr1

C8.R GTE-Pro - to race in Europe this Weekend - 04/27/21 01:54 PM

Corvette Racing’s C8.R is in a better shape coming into this weekend’s Total 6 Hours of Spa compared to its previous FIA World Endurance Championship outing at Circuit of The Americas last year, according to the American GTE-Pro outfit’s technical director.

A factory-run Chevrolet Corvette C8.R contested the 6 Hours of COTA round in February 2020, marking the vehicle’s second competitive race appearance in any series.

It ultimately struggled for pace against the full-season GTE-Pro entries from Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari, and were classified three laps down on the class-winning car.

Fourteen months later, Corvette factory squad technical director Ben Johnson has said that the Pratt & Miller-run organization is more optimistic heading into its latest WEC cameo at Spa-Francorchamps, despite the Belgian track being a new venue for the team.

Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia will share driving duties at Spa, while Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller were behind the wheel for COTA.

The C8.R has been given Balance of Performance breaks in all departments since the COTA race, including a 5 kg weight reduction bringing it to a 1235 kg minimum weight.

It has also received a 2.2 mm air restrictor diameter increase and a one-liter rise in fuel capacity.

“I think at least we can hopefully make our competitors work for it a little bit, that we can be there fighting with them on their home turf,” Johnson told Sportscar365.

“We’re understanding all these regulations and the nuances of them. We always try to do the best we can and if we can get a result that’s great.

“I think we’re in a much better spot to do that now than a year ago at Austin, for sure.

“At that race, we had a pace deficiency which was clear.
The BoP has gone some way to help that and there was a learning curve with the car. It was the second race in, so we still had a lot to learn and uncover.

“Those combined, I think we’ll be in a better spot to make a run at it.”

Johnson said that Corvette’s experiences over the course of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship helped add to the team’s “engineering notebook” for the C8.R and that those experiences are set to contribute towards an improved WEC package.

The C8.R being raced in Belgium is the same chassis that appeared at COTA last year and also serves as a spare and testing model to support the full-season IMSA program.

“On a lot of levels [COTA] was a tough event, but ultimately the series learned what they needed to learn, and we learned quite a bit,” said Johnson.

“The car is quite different from where it was at that point, in terms of the knowledge base and engineering notebook that we have now. What we had back then was different.

“Fundamentally, the cars here and over in the U.S. are the same, homogenization-wise.

“So everything we learned last year in the IMSA championship, and so far this year it’s obviously been updated we feel that from a car package perspective we’re pretty confident with it.

“It’s now about seeing how we get on in the WEC with these competitors and a circuit that we haven’t been to. It’s still a steep learning curve.

“The FIA did a lot of due diligence to get the cars to where they are now. We expect a pretty close field. It should be exciting.”

“Long-Standing” Larbre Ties Proving Useful

Corvette Racing is receiving logistical support from Larbre Competition at Spa, while two of the French team’s mechanics are set to work on the American GTE-Pro entry.

Johnson explained that Larbre, which most recently fielded a privateer Chevrolet Corvette C7.R in the 2016 WEC season, has “a lot of familiarity” with the factory team’s processes.

“They’ve been great to work with,” he said. “They have an operation so it’s easy to ship stuff there.

“We can’t do our normal thing where we would use DHL for a flyaway race, but because everyone else drives their trucks here you have to mimic them.

“They know the process of working in the WEC paddock, from their history, so they’ve been helpful just navigating all those functions of it.

“But the primary functions on the car are the total U.S crew, the normal Corvette Racing crew.

“A lot of it we’re leaning on for logistics support, and then everything else from a mechanics and engineering perspective is the Corvette Racing primary team.”
Posted By: teamzr1

Re: C8.R GTE-Pro - to race in Europe this Weekend - 04/29/21 05:35 PM

Porsche claimed a one-two in the first Free Practice of the year for the five-car GTE-Pro class which has been bolstered this weekend by an entry from Corvette Racing.

Kevin Estre’s 2:13.466 aboard the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 led the way from a 2:13.500 set by Richard Lietz in the teammate No. 91 car.

Ferrari 488 GTE Evos from the factory AF Corse squad placed third and fourth, with Alessandro Pier Guidi running third on a 2;13.520.

The guesting Chevrolet Corvette C8.R ended up almost a second off the class pace on a 2:14.405.

Corvette ended up behind the top two cars in the GTE-Am category, which was led by Matteo Cairoli in the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche.

Description: Practice
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Posted By: teamzr1

Re: C8.R GTE-Pro - to race in Europe this Weekend - 04/30/21 09:52 PM

CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: C8.R Ready to Challenge FIA WEC’s Best

Garcia, Gavin to start 5th from GTE Pro grid in European debut for mid-engine Corvette

STAVELOT, Belgium (April 30, 2021)
Antonio Garcia qualified Corvette Racing’s No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R fifth in qualifying for Saturday’s Six Hours of Spa the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Garcia & Oliver Gavin will team together Saturday in the first race outside the United States for the mid-engine racing Corvette. The team is at the Spa circuit for the first time as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year.

Garcia and the rest of the GTE Pro field had time for just two flying laps in Friday’s 10-minute qualifying session due to two red-flag periods in the GTE session.
Garcia’s best effort was a 2:13.106 (117.688 mph) to put the Corvette within two seconds of the pole time.

Single-lap pace was hardly a concern for Corvette Racing in testing Monday and Tuesday, as well as during practice sessions Thursday and Friday.
The team worked throughout to optimize the mid-engine C8.R for Saturday’s race, and the Corvette showed encouraging pace over long runs with a focus on extending the life of its Michelin tires.

Much of the positive results so far this week were the result of simulation work in the lead-up to the event. Corvette Racing engineers looked at a number of circuits on the IMSA schedule that have similar characteristics to the 19-turn, 4.35-mile circuit that lies in the heart of eastern Belgium.

It allowed engineers and mechanics to arrive at Spa with a solid baseline setup on the Corvette, despite have never turned a wheel at the track.
The rules set in WEC also is different than the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with differing tire and fuel allocations, as well as procedures for things like pit stops and safety cars. Having the experience in-hand should pay dividends when the full Corvette Racing team makes its return to Le Mans in August.

Live race television and online coverage will be available via MotorTrend Network and MotorTrend On-Demand.
Radio coverage for all practice sessions plus Friday qualifying and the race will air on Radio Le Mans. Live timing and scoring will be available on the FIA WEC website.


“You obviously always want to be a little further up, but we knew the competition was going to be very high here. We are missing a few things – how to use the tire with the tire warmers and everything… if you really nail a lap it makes a big difference.
Qualifying is only a very small portion of the whole race. I’m sure tomorrow with all the tire management we need to do, we need to double-stint some our allotment. That will be key. I hope the deficit we had on ultimate pace closes down to be a little less so that we can have a strong race pace.

Let’s hope we have that. If not, we are here to learn and get as much information as we can. But we are hoping for a good one tomorrow.”


“It’s been a lot of work for the team. We’ve gone through a number of setup changes.
We’ve been exploring how to make the C8.R work here. It has been challenging. Spa is a very challenging racetrack, and the competition is fierce.

The conditions have been quite tricky too cool with low track temperatures that makes it hard to make the tires work. There is a limited amount of tires you can have for the weekend.
So we’ve taken some reasonable swings at the setup. We’ve focused in on something pretty solid now.
Antonio in the last practice was pretty competitive on a long run.

We’re not too bad for race pace. Whether we have the ultimate pace to fight Saturday, I’m not sure.
You never really know until you get into the race. We’ll wait and see.”

Posted By: teamzr1

Re: C8.R GTE-Pro - to race in Europe this Weekend - 05/01/21 05:30 PM

CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: 4th in European Debut for C8.R

Garcia, Gavin put up hard fight in final race for British Corvette legend

STAVELOT, Belgium (May 1, 2021) Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin finished fourth in GTE Pro at the Six Hours of Spa on Saturday with their No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The first appearance at Spa by Corvette Racing was significant for two reasons:
it marked the first race outside the United States for the mid-engine racing Corvette, and it also marked Gavin’s final start with the team after 20 years.

The main target for the Spa event was to gain knowledge & experience with the C8.R in the FIA WEC ahead of August’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing will send two of the mid-engine racers back to Le Mans after missing last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garcia qualified fifth but the race pace of the Corvette was encouraging in a fight among three manufacturers. He drove the first two stints on the same set of Michelin tires a different strategy than the other GTE Pro entries in an effort to be in better shape to fight at the end.

Gavin drove the middle two stints of the race, including the race’s first full-course caution. It marked the 204th appearance in a Corvette Racing entry for the veteran, who ended his career with 51 victories including five at Le Mans and five IMSA championships.
Gavin moved up to fourth in class during his stint as one of the Porsches suffered a punctured tire.

Garcia re-entered with a little more than two hours to go.
He set the Corvette’s fastest race lap in his next-to-last stint – a 2:14.622 (116.383 mph) that ranked third among all GTE Pro drivers in the push for a podium finish.
Corvette Racing’s next event is the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic from Belle Isle Park in Detroit as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday, June 12.


“This definitely was valuable for me and for the team. We learned a lot. As it happened a couple of years ago at Sebring when we ran a WEC race, it’s good to run in this championship to make everyone aware of the regulations and how to perform in this series.
It’s way different than IMSA. It’s always good to have a good shakedown and learn everything that counts. So this was a very valuable experience.”

(Driving with Oliver Gavin)

“I really wanted us to finish on the podium. That was my main push the whole race was to be up there with him, even if we knew getting on the top step was almost impossible. But being up there would have been super-nice.
I gave all I had to do it. It wasn’t enough for sure, but it was good to share a Corvette with him for once. I would have liked to have to get a better result. But as a team, we can take the good things from this race and the information on the car ahead toward Le Mans.”


“My last race for Corvette Racing and in the C8.R, & it’s been quite a journey. I’m so proud to have won these overalls to represent such an amazing team in Corvette Racing and Team Chevy.
To be able to compete here for the final time in the WEC has been very special; Spa-Francorchamps is an exceptional track.
The emotion of it has overwhelmed me somewhat, but I’m so proud to have competed for this team for 20 years.
I’m proud of that success with so many special people, not only on the race team side but on the road car side.
I couldn’t be prouder of what we have all achieved together.

Thank you also to all the Corvette fans out there. You’re unbelievable and so passionate an amazing group that really spurs us on. I can’t thank you enough.

“It’s been quite a day. I kind of went through all this when I was at Sebring in November for my final race in IMSA. It has brought a lot of those emotions back.
Those last few laps, I was thinking about everything that is happened, all the of the 20 years I’ve spent with this team and what we’ve been able to achieve

I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to do with four generations of Corvette and all the races we’ve won.
To be able to finish here at Spa in the WEC is very special. You can really feel the character and charisma of the track and the race.
Those are the things I fell in love with when I went to Le Mans for the first time.
I feel very, very fortunate.”

Description: 4th place
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