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#5218 - 08/11/21 07:21 AM C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans  
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Antonio Garcia said that missing last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was “hard, tough & very unusual” as Corvette Racing prepares for its comeback to the French endurance classic.

The factory Pratt & Miller-run operation was forced to withdraw from the 2020 race, ending a 20-year streak of consecutive participation due to travel-related complications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

While going on to claim the IMSA GT Le Mans class title that year with co-driver Jordan Taylor, the Spaniard admitted the absence of Le Mans in his year was something unusual.

“Not going to Le Mans last year was something we really missed,” Garcia said. “Going back there, this is something we all want.
“Obviously, it’s one of the biggest races of the year.

“Missing it last year was hard, tough and very unusual for Corvette Racing.
“Going back now, we are looking forward to it. We’ve already won a 24-hour race, which gives us a lot of confidence.
“I do feel like we will be much more prepared with the C8.R this year than we would have been last year.
I’m hoping we are as competitive at Le Mans as we were in Daytona.”

Garcia and the team got a jump start on their Le Mans preparations earlier this year by entering the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening 6 Hours of Spa, where he teamed with the now-retired Oliver Gavin for a fourth place class finish in GTE-Pro.
That race marked the Corvette C8.R’s European race debut, after initially planning to come at Le Mans last year.

“This car should be better and that’s what we expect,” Garcia said. “We saw at Spa that we were close to our competitors.
So it was a good event for the team to get used to WEC rules and strategy.
“Now, once we get to Le Mans, it should be an easier time to get into that mindset, having been through it before.”

Corvette teammate Tommy Milner, who has been undertaking the bulk of the team’s simulator prep for the race, believes the mid-engined GTE car should be better suited for Circuit de la Sarthe than its predecessor, purely due to a regulations' standpoint.
“We saw with the C7.R that we had some deficits to our competitors with their newer cars as time went on,” Milner said.

“Realistically, the C7 was built before the current GT rules changes, so we were always fighting against the down force levels of the cars.
“With C8.R having been built to those rules and with all the knowledge and experience this team gains each year at Le Mans, we had that opportunity to build a race car that should be quick at Le Mans.

“Time will tell. But that’s always a topic of conversation with this team Le Mans. I’m excited to go there, to see what this car will feel like.
The engineers are, the crew guys are, it’s an exciting prospect.”
Milner said that, especially after missing last year’s race, nobody within the team has taken things for granted this time around.

“Not going there last year reminds you how special this race is and how important it is for the team, for Corvette and Chevrolet,” he said.
“This is a race that for a lot of people is a bucket-list item. To go there once is special.
“Each time going back is more so. It’s another chance at winning the greatest sports car race in the world.

“We don’t take that lightly on this team. We’re even more excited that we get to take the new Corvette over there for the first time.
There are a lot of people, me included, are eager to see what the C8.R can do there.”

Jordan Taylor will run a special helmet design in the 24 Hours of Le Mans commemorating the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

The Corvette Racing driver unveiled the helmet on social media on Tuesday, which blends Taylor’s signature design with that of the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, who drove for the team in the 2001 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Earnhardt was killed in a final-lap accident in the Daytona 500 less than a month later, unable to fulfill his goal of one day competing in the French endurance classic.
“It’s been so special to drive the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette the past few years,” said Taylor, who won the 2020 IMSA GT Le Mans championship.
“That number and the Chevy brand are synonymous with one man: Dale Earnhardt Sr.

“I wanted to make a tribute helmet to honor him at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Twenty years ago, Dale Sr. drove the No. 3 Corvette at the Rolex 24, and I’m sure it was in the plans to race at Le Mans one day as well.
“A big thank you to Dale Jr. for giving me the permission to bring back his Dad’s iconic helmet, and blend it with mine.
And an amazing job by Mike Savage to get it done so well.

“We’ll do everything we can this month to make Dale Sr. proud.”

Attached Files 34c8r.jpg3helmet.jpg

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#5220 - 08/15/21 09:03 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Do not know why the #3 (63) C8.R missed all of test day 1 and only the last half of test day 2
Both need to step it up if they intend to do well for next weekend's 24 hours of Le Mans




Attached Files testday2.jpgtestday.jpg
Last edited by teamzr1; 08/15/21 09:06 AM.

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#5221 - 08/15/21 12:07 PM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Test Days, First Laps at Le Mans for C8.R
No. 64 Corvette heads team’s Test Day pace; No. 63 recovers after electrical issue

LE MANS, France – At long last, Corvette Racing sent the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for its first laps around the Circuit de la Sarthe during nine hours of testing Sunday ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Tommy Milner led the Corvette Racing effort in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R on Sunday with a lap of 3:53.440 (130.550 mph) in a highly competitive GTE Pro field. Less than a half-second separated the top seven cars, which bodes well for a thrilling race in less than a week’s time.

Milner shared the No. 64 Corvette on Sunday with Nick Tandy; the duo will welcome back Alexander Sims into the fold following a prior racing commitment earlier in the day.

The No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R had an up-and-down day that included an engine change following an electrical issue that stranded Antonio Garcia on-course in the third hour of the morning session.
Four hours later and after hard and thorough work, the No. 63 re-emerged from the garage to continue its test program.

Nicky Catsburg, driving with Garcia and Jordan Taylor, was the quickest driver in the 63 entry at 3:54.281 (130.115 mph).
The trio are back together after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this season.

Corvette Racing will return to the track Wednesday for two free practice sessions and qualifying.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans on Aug. 21-22 with the green flag set for 4 p.m. CET and 10 a.m. ET. MotorTrend TV will air the race live with the MotorTrend App adding coverage of official practices and qualifying on Aug. 18 and 19. Live audio coverage will be available from Radio Le Mans starting with Sunday’s Test Day

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“We had a bit of a slow start today, with some issues here and there. But the afternoon was really strong for us on the 64 side. As far as setup goes, we didn’t do lots of work thanks to a lot of that being done on the simulator. It really felt like we have been racing this car at Le Mans for many years.

That’s my first impression.
Setup-wise and balance-wise, things felt pretty good. There’s still some work to do, for sure.
But I’m happy with where we are. We were able to get more tire data and more car data so that when we come to the race here in a few days that we can find-tune the setup and get everyone comfortable and happy with the Corvette.”

NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

"It's been a long day, and we've had a few hiccups, things to iron out.
But that's why you do a test before the race week when we try to do a roll-out and fully use that test day.
We managed to work through a good program of what we wanted to get through on the 64 side.

It would have been nice if the 63 had run fully, and we could have compared what we had planned to test throughout the day. Nevertheless, the good thing with the heat and weather today is that we were able to run different tire compounds and have a comparison of that.

Of course, we missed having Alexander here. I know he will seamlessly transition into the team for the first practice session Wednesday.
What that did mean is that Tommy and I got to focus on what we were doing between the two of us rather than driver familiarization work, which we will do Wednesday.

It won't take Alex many laps. I think the most positive thing for me is how comfortable the C8.R is to drive around this circuit.
I know, and Corvette Racing knows what requirements are needed for a car on this type of circuit fast, relatively low-grip, big braking zones and a pretty flat track, if you like.

The car is everything I expected. It gives me good visions going into race week of being able to operate at a very high level for a number of stints without too much hassle. That is what endurance racing is all about, going round and round as consistently as possible."

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“I would have liked to do some more laps for sure since it’s the first year with the C8.R in Le Mans. But mostly out of the box it felt pretty decent, pretty good. We know which way to go; the things we worked on in the simulator seem to be working, which is a good thing.
We’ll now try to get as much data as possible from both cars and work our way forward toward this week.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“We didn’t do as many laps as we wanted to get in today, but the guys did a good job to give us as many laps as possible.
It’s the first day of the new car at Le Mans, so every lap is important to get our data and to understand where we’ll be next week.

Each driver got some laps in traffic and in clean air, which is important for the race. We probably have a lot of things we want to tick off the list still come free practice, but I think it’s good to get this under our belt, get a couple of days off and look at all the data and understand where we are.

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:

“Not an easy day with the issue in the morning session which took a long time to repair, but the guys worked super hard, and luckily we managed to get out near the end of the afternoon session. We got some laps in, the car felt pretty good.
The sister car was running all day, so we’ll be able to get some valuable information from them, and we can learn from that. In summary, we survived the Test Day feeling pretty good, so we’re all good for the race.”


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#5222 - 08/16/21 05:51 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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C8.R Corvette Racing is in a “decent place” according to team manager Marc Maurini despite a drama-filled day in the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s first laps of Circuit de la Sarthe in preparation for next weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It was a baptism by fire for the No. 63 Corvette, which suffered an engine failure midway through Sunday’s opening session with Antonio Garcia at the wheel.
The Pratt & Miller-run squad replaced the car’s engine and gearbox and managed to get it back on track in the final hour of the afternoon session.
“We had a powertrain issue,” Maurini said.

“We saw the car stop on track and saw some flames.

It was not what we were looking for, but we had everything here to get the car back together.
“The guys did an excellent job of getting the engine out of it and getting everything changed over.
“We lost some run time but got back out in the afternoon.”

While the No. 63 Corvette of Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg completed a total of 42 laps, the sister No. 64 car, shared by Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy, logged 81 laps over the course of the nine hours of track time.

Third driver Alexander Sims was one of ten ABB FIA Formula E World Championship drivers to miss the test day due to Sunday’s season-ending Berlin E-Prix.
Despite the setback to the No. 63 car and the two cars bringing up the rear of the GTE-Pro timesheets, Maurini said he was pleased with the progress made in the C8.R’s on-track Le Mans debut.

“The 64 car did a lot of running in the afternoon,” he said. “The field seems pretty tight right now, looking at the results.
“I think there were four tenths that separated all eight cars on overall best lap.

“That’s within the noise at this track. To me, that shows that all cars are pretty well-balanced, at least in that session.
“The sim data correlated well. We didn’t make many changes from where we started.
“The drivers are pretty happy with the car.
For us, it was essentially working through tire compounds, trying to figure out where transition temps were, if we could double stint, triple stint tires.

“All of that sort of stuff, we need to be ready to go for a 24-hour race as opposed to a sprint race.
Maurini added: “We’ll [now] tear the cars apart, do all of our prep work [for race week].

“We have a pretty big list of improvements to make, things like air line hose routing and all of those operational things. We’ll work through that.
“We’ll definitely be running some sims and be working with the engineers and getting that sort of stuff tidied up.
“Really, I think we’re in a decent place car-wise. We just need to get everything cleaned up the way we want it to be.”
Triple Stint Could Be Possible in Night

While lacking data due to the downtime from the No. 63 entry, Maurini believes it might be possible to triple stint their Michelin tires in the night-time hours of the race.
“I don’t think we have enough info right now with only one car running on one day to know where those limits really are,” he said.

“What we saw today doesn’t look terrible, but obviously we’re going to push for every last little bit.
“I expect all cars to be able to double, especially at night. Cars being able to triple?
[It] might be a possibility at night for some cars, is included, we just don’t know yet.
“During the day, I think to triple will be very tough.”


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#5223 - 08/16/21 06:20 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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CORVETTE RACING AT 24 hours of LE MANS: By the Numbers

• 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 20 appearances at Le Mans: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette.
• 3: Generations of Corvette Racing entries since 2000 – Corvette C5-R (2000-04), Corvette C6.R (2005-13) and Corvette C7.R (2014-2019). The Corvette C8.R makes its Le Mans debut this year.
• 3: Number of wins for the Corvette C5-R – 2001, 2002, 2004.
• 4: Number of wins for the Corvette C6.R – 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011.
• 7: Number of Le Mans victories for Corvette Racing’s lineup. Antonio Garcia: 3 Tommy Milner: 2 Jordan Taylor: 1 Nick Tandy: 1
• 8: Class victories for Corvette Racing at Le Mans – all since 2001.
• 9: Number of drivers who have won races at Le Mans for Corvette Racing – Olivier Beretta, Ron Fellows, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Pruett and Jordan Taylor.
• 13: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001.
• 20: Number of drivers to compete for Corvette Racing at Le Mans.
That number grows in 2021 with Nick Tandy, Nicky Catsburg and Alexander Sims joining the lineup.
• 25: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, Charlotte Motor Speedway, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres, Utah, VIR, Washington DC and Watkins Glen.
• 26: Number of GT Le Mans wins in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing since the start of 2014.
• 117: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 109 in North America and eight at Le Mans.
• 245: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
• 98,770.18: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 20 previous trips to Le Mans.
That represents 11,718 laps, or nearly four full trips around the Earth at its equator. The two Corvettes need to complete 1,229.82 miles to reach the 100,000-mile mark at Le Mans.
• 132,000: Approximate freight weight in pounds sent by Corvette Racing to Le Mans by air and by sea
The first shipment left Detroit in mid-February and the last left Sunday just after the Road America IMSA race.
• 324,915.91: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception


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#5227 - 08/17/21 01:58 PM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Wednesday’s track action consists of three sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,
totaling six hours of running time.
Free Practice 1 starts at 2 p.m. CEST (8 a.m. EST) and lasts three hours.

Qualifying practice follows at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. EST) while Free Practice 2, which lasts two hours, is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. (4 p.m. EST).


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#5228 - 08/17/21 03:05 PM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Corvette Racing is back at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this week with its eye toward a ninth class victory in one of the world’s greatest endurance races.
Debuting at Le Mans in 2000, the program quickly established itself as an annual contender in the production-based GT categories.
This year should be no different with the mid-engine Corvette C8.R.

Ahead of this week’s track action, let’s visit with current and past Corvette Racing drivers to recap each victory from 2001 to 2015:

2001

Following an overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier in the year, hopes were high for Corvette Racing as it headed to Le Mans for the second time in 2001. The program finished third and fourth in GTS the previous year during its Le Mans debut, but the lessons and experiences from that initial run set the table for what happened in a chaotic 2001 race, thanks to Mother Nature.

Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Scott Pruett claimed the GTS victory in the No. 63 Corvette C5-R during a rain-soaked 24 Hours to lead a Corvette Racing 1-2 result.

Ron Fellows:
“The 2001 season was really a breakout one for Corvette Racing. We won our first race in Texas the year before, we won Petit Le Mans and then won the Rolex 24 overall in 2001. Things were really, really coming together. As a team, we felt like we were more prepared than we ever had been.
We had been to Le Mans for the first time in 2000 and learned a lot. The only obstacle we had in 2001 was the weather.

My recollection is that I think I did a total of three laps in the race on slick tires. Everything else was in the rain or an intermediate track. It was a race of survival, which we did and then some. I think we ran fourth overall at some point.
It was just an outstanding effort and complete relief at the end that we had accomplished to that point more than expected.

Winning the Rolex 24 was on the list, but getting it overall was above and beyond. Achieving a class win at Le Mans was huge for all of us. I can’t say enough positives about the whole Corvette Racing effort.

“We kept plugging away, making adjustments each race and each year to get better whether it was pit stops, the chassis, the engine guys. They all plugged away at it to get better. We weren’t getting any breaks. We were up against a dominant Viper team.
You throw in Ferrari, Porsche and others it was an incredible moment to be up there on that podium.
The event is so amazing and I feel fortunate to be part of such a great team.”

2002

Fellows and O’Connell repeated as GTS winners, aided by a debuting Oliver Gavin in the No. 63 Corvette C5-R. It was another 1-2 finish as the winning Corvette triumphed by four laps over its sister Corvette entry.
It was a little more straight-forward than the year before as the biggest threat to victory a Prodrive Ferrari retired just past the halfway point.

Still, the victory laid down the marker of excellence that continues to define Corvette Racing, according to one of its most successful drivers…

Johnny O’Connell:
“The 2002 race was important. The reason is that there was a little bit of an aspect of luck in 2001. In that race at the start, you didn’t know if you needed to go out on rain tires because it was a wet track or slicks.
Ron chose to do rain tires and there was a big shunt at the beginning a lot of guys falling off on entry into the Porsche Curves.
So we got a break there and lost a couple of guys who might challenge us. 2002 was legit.

It was important because we were trying to set ourselves up as the standard. There was still a question mark on if we were that good and was the car that good.

We executed everything we needed to do. The team gave us a bullet-proof car. I don’t think we had any moments where we had an issue that had to overcome. It was Oliver’s first Le Mans with us and had a lot to prove.
Now through his history, he has more wins for Corvette Racing than anyone.
But when I look at Corvette’s involvement at Le Mans, it’s really the strength of the cars. In my time driving 10 times at Le Mans with Corvette, I got on the podium eight times with only one DNF.

The challenge that Corvette Racing brings to everyone else is the understanding that the car is wicked strong, it can do 24 hours, and the team is so strong that rare are the mistakes. For anyone to beat Corvette Racing, they have to get to a whole other level. You just don’t see that at all.”

2004

Corvette Racing put a dismal 2003 appearance behind itself with a resounding victory for Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen in the No. 64 Corvette C5-R. It was the fifth-generation Corvette’s final race at Le Mans with the factory squad as Corvette Racing celebrated another 1-2 finish.

Survival was the name of the game in this edition as numerous pieces of bodywork and other parts needed to be replaced on the winning Corvette.
The team event raided the Corvette showcar in the fan area for enough bodywork to finish the race!

Oliver Gavin:
“From what I remember from 2004, it was our first race at Le Mans with the Michelin tire. We were really making some big strides forward in performance. Fundamentally, the race was a big of crashfest! There were many incidents and accidents.

Our car seemed to get caught up in numerous things some of them out of our control but also some it was driver-induced.
I remember the car being fixed in the middle of the night and we were searching for bodywork a little bit. I was told no more mistakes or no more screw-ups;
I think I had just done a nose in on the car! We were battling hard to catch the Ferrari.

At some point after that when the sun came up, we were in a pretty good spot but there was a huge pile of bodywork in the tent behind the garages.
It was the biggest I’d ever seen, and we had no more left to use at all.
We ended up finishing and winning the race with the showcar rear deck and rear bodywork, which was extraordinary!
It was the first win for us there with Michelin and the first of three in a row with Jan, Oliver and myself.”

2005

The first appearance for the Corvette C6.R resulted in a second straight victory for the Beretta/Gavin/Magnussen trio in the No. 64 Corvette. A fourth win for Corvette Racing also brought a fourth 1-2 finish in the GT1 category.
The winning Corvette finished fifth overall, a remarkable result for a production-based entry.

The 2005 edition was the first of many titanic duels with Aston Martin.
Things weren’t decided until the 19th hour as the bulletproof Corvettes roared past their challengers, proving reliability as well as speed wins at Le Mans.

Jan Magnussen:
“This was the first year of GT1 and the C6.R, both significant steps. I don’t remember the race very clearly, but it was another big fight between our team and Aston Martin.
They had beaten us at Sebring and we really wanted to get back at them in Le Mans. It was great competition and we had a lot of respect for each other. Things went back and forth quite a lot. We had a couple of punctures in the race, but one of their cars ran out fuel and they had some technical problems, too. I think our reliability was just a little bit better and that made the difference.
We won by two laps over the other Corvette, took our second straight win in the 64 and finished fifth overall. It was a great result with a new car in a new category.”

2006

Beretta, Gavin and Magnussen were victorious again in another tough Le Mans fight for Corvette Racing’s fifth Le Mans win and third in a row.
The No. 64 Corvette C6.R finished fourth overall and won by five laps over the closest Aston Martin, which again was beset by mechanical problems late.

The two contenders ran within a lap of each other much of the race before Corvette Racing gained the advantage inside the final three hours.

Oliver Gavin:
“It was an exceptionally hot year. The car was very quick. It was the second year against the Prodrive Aston Martins, and it was very close for a lot of it.
They had three cars that were all very quick and very good. I think it was the Darren Turner car that was giving us the hardest race. It was super-tough.
I think it was Jan who eventually got us into the lead with only a few hours to go.

I also think that was the race where we were the highest a GT car has ever finished overall at Le Mans when we were fourth in our class. It was a great one and three in a row for the 64 Corvette Jan, Olivier and myself. It was very special to get that win.
Those are very fond memories, great times and brilliant racing. Prodrive was one of the best teams that we ever raced against, and the respect between the two teams was always very high. Those were very special times.”

2009

The end of the GT1 era saw Corvette Racing return to the top step of the Le Mans podium. O’Connell, Magnussen and Antonio Garcia making his Corvette Le Mans debut took victory in the No. 63 Corvette C6.R and won the class by six laps.

The race mainly was a fight between the two Corvette Racing entries. The No. 63 ran flawlessly throughout and never made a visit to the garage.

Antonio Garcia:
“It was the first time I went to Le Mans as a Corvette driver, so that makes it a year to remember.
The GT1 cars were really fun to drive. It was a nice to have a last chance to drive around Le Mans in a GT1 car before we moved on to the GT2.
That’s always a good thing going around Le Mans. Everything you have available makes this track nicer and nicer.

It was good to run there. From the next year onward, we lost quite a few seconds per lap.
Even if now we are probably running faster than what GT1 used to be, it was cool to have that chance to run the GT1 Corvette around Le Mans for the final time.

“The race was pretty straight-forward. It was a classic 63 vs. 64 Corvette battle. I think the 64 ran into some issues with about one-third of the race to go. Up to that point, we were pretty close. Back then, there were no slow zones so at some point we lost one safety car train to the 64 so it was difficult to catch back up; it was pretty easy to fall down a third-of-a-lap.
The whole race was a little like that. It was a good challenge to be there in those years very special.”

2011

Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary year and the 10th anniversary of Corvette Racing’s first Le Mans win ended in fitting style with a drama-filled GTE Pro win for Beretta, Garcia and team newcomer Tommy Milner in the No. 73 Corvette C6.R.
A methodical march up the standings culminated with Milner’s race-winning pass inside three hours to go to give Corvette Racing its seventh Le Mans victory.

Changing weather conditions inside the final three hours added to the challenge, but Milner remained unphased in the critical moments.

Tommy Milner:
“We weren’t slow but we weren’t as fast as the other Corvette. They had a lap on the field basically and had an unfortunate accident.
I think at that point we were sixth and maybe a half-lap behind the leader. As the race continued on, one by one our competitors were having trouble or slower stints and we made up some time. It looked like it was going to be hard to beat the Ferrari. But then suddenly they slowed considerably.

The gap started to come down, then it would stabilize and then it would come down more. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. We thought maybe it was traffic at first but as time went, more often than not they were having some slow laps.
I think I was finishing my second stint of a triple and slowly seeing the Ferrari down the Mulsanne Straight get closer, and then the next lap significantly closer and finally passing him after going down to Indianapolis.

That is a moment I can remember pretty vividly. It was one of the easiest passes I’ve ever had to make in my career! I can remember getting out of the car and being physically and mentally drained from the experience.
I was excited, for sure. It seemed like we were in good shape, and Antonio only had to drive for another hour-and-a-half to go to the end.

“That’s a dream come true to start my career with Corvette Racing with a win like that at Le Mans.
I don’t remember much about being on the podium. There was so much emotion of that race, the experience of it all and getting the win, you don’t remember hardly any of it. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it; I certainly did.
But you don’t remember the little moments. Fortunately I had the chance to win it again in 2015 with the team and have that same experience again on the podium and to appreciate more the little nuances of being up there versus the first one where everything is a blur.
It definitely was a great moment to be in the garage with my dad and to have him there to be a part of that was really, really cool.”

2015

Of all the Le Mans wins for Corvette Racing, the win in 2015 might be the special. Gavin, Milner and Jordan Taylor won in GTE Pro with the No. 64 Corvette C7.R only days after the sister car was withdrawn following a crash in qualifying.

Instead of folding, Corvette Racing marshaled all its effort around the remaining Corvette C7.R. The Gavin/Milner/Taylor trio moved from seventh to the start into the lead at the end during the sixth hour. The No. 64 won by five laps.

Jordan Taylor:
“Winning the 2015 race was a super emotional week with our team car going out in qualifying. We entered the race with just one car, which was the first time in history for Corvette Racing at Le Mans. The pressure that everyone felt going into the race not just the drivers but the crew, the engineers and everyone else on the team – was substantial.
To come away with the win in those circumstances made it super emotional. Standing on the podium, I get goosebumps just thinking about it. That’s a huge motivator no matter who you are.
The goal in sports car racing and almost any kind of in motorsports in general is to win Le Mans
To win with Chevrolet and Corvette Racing as an American driver doesn’t get any better than that.”

Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (wins in bold)
2000
No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/Justin Bell – 4th in GTS
No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 3rd in GTS

2001
No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Scott Pruett – 1st in GTS
No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 2nd in GTS

2002
No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Oliver Gavin – 1st in GTS
No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 2nd in GTS

2003
No. 53 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Franck Freon – 3rd in GTS
No. 50 Corvette C5-R: Oliver Gavin/Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim – 2nd in GTS

2004
No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GTS
No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GTS

2005
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GT1
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1

2006
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Max Papis – 7th in GT1
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1

2007
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 2nd in GT1
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 14th in GT1

2008
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen – 2nd in GT1
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 3rd in GT1

2009
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 1st in GT1
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Marcel Fässler – 4th in GT1

2010
No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O’Connell/Antonio Garcia – 12th in GT2 (DNF)
No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Emmanuel Collard – 10th in GT2 (DNF)

2011
No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner/Antonio Garcia – 1st in GTE Pro
No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Richard Westbrook – 14th in GTE Pro (DNF)

2012
No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 5th in GTE Pro
No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 6th in GTE Pro

2013
No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 4th in GTE Pro
No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 7th in GTE Pro

2014
No. 73 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 2nd in GTE Pro
No. 74 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 4th in GTE Pro

2015
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – DNS (Qualifying crash)
No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Jordan Taylor – 1st in GTE Pro

2016
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ricky Taylor – 7th in GTE Pro
No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Jordan Taylor – 10th in GTE Pro (DNF)

2017
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 3rd in GTE Pro
No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 8th in GTLM

2018
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 4th in GTE Pro
No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 15th in GTE Pro (DNF)

2019
No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 8th in GTE Pro
No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 16th in GTE Pro (DNF)


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#5230 - 08/18/21 05:16 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Having C8.R Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is “critical” for GM according to its sports car racing program idiot manager Laura Wontrop Klauser, who is waiting on the future of the ACO’s GT platform before being able to make any firm program commitments.
GM has yet to formally commit to either a GT3 future with Corvette or its expected Cadillac LMDh involvement as it waits for further clarity from the ACO on its future GT structure in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at Le Mans.

While GTE-Pro is confirmed for next year, believes that the 2023 WEC season could see only a single GTE class for Am class entrants prior to a transition to GT3-spec machinery in 2024.
What’s unclear is whether there will be a pro class for GT3 cars or only a single category for Pro-Am entrants, which could come at a detriment to the longtime Le Mans entrant.

Klauser admitted that it’s “pretty important” to still have some sort of GT pro class at Le Mans for Corvette Racing to continue its involvement in the French endurance classic.
“It’s part of how we’ve represented the brand and the way we’re able to bring our team and know we have the best of the best running the car for us,” she said.
“Is it a dealbreaker if we can’t? I don’t know. We’re not ready to say that.

“But it is something that we’d like to see to the opportunity to continue having that set up the way we are.
“If we have to switch vehicle platforms, so be it.
“Having the team here, having our drivers, having that kind of situation is critical for us.
“It’s nice that it’s nailed down [in IMSA]. Are we thrilled?
No. But it’s nice that we know what we’re dealing with.”

She added: “It is definitely something that we’ve been discussing and has been part of this ambiguity that we don’t really have a clear ‘this is what we’re doing.’
“IMSA finally got to that at Road America, but we’re still waiting for this part of the puzzle. What does it look like for 2023 and 2024.”
Klauser confirmed plans for Corvette Racing to return to Le Mans next year with its GTE-spec Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs, in what has been the only formal commitment made so far within GM’s factory sports car racing portfolio.

“We know what next year [in WEC/Le Mans] looks like,” she said. “[The ACO] has been pretty clear with us on that.
“This is all stuff that plays into it and not knowing is making it hard to commit because you want to make sure you have the balance and you meet all of your goals.”

Cadillac WEC Program “Depends on Program Goals”

Klauser said a WEC program for its Cadillac LMDh effort would be dependent on whether the brand would want to compete at Le Mans, having noted the process Corvette Racing undertakes annually to be invited to the event.
“It depends on the program goals and if we’re going down that path with Cadillac,” she said.
“There’s going to be some discussions about requirements for how to get to a certain big race that happens in France once a year.

“If that is part of the requirements, we need to make the decision on how important is it that we’re here.
“I’d say historically, it’s pretty important [to be at Le Mans]. I think you can see where we’d have to go down that path.
“On the production side, we’re slowly growing some presence over here [in Europe] with our production vehicles. So we have the opportunity to compliment that with our race program.

“That’s always exciting. But again, a decision hasn’t been firmed up yet.”
When asked if she would envision a full-season WEC program or just entering selected races similar to Corvette’s prerequisite for the race, Klauser indicated that a season-long presence may be necessary.

“If you look at what the grid is looking to shape up to be based on who has committed, I don’t see why they would need to feel to be extra nice,” she said.
“They’re going to have plenty of people that want to be here, and they’re going to be turning people away.”

GM Targeting September Announcement Timeframe

While having delayed plans to announce its Cadillac LMDh program at Le Mans, Klauser said the next timeframe for a program announcement either from Corvette or Cadillac would be some time in September.

“We don’t have anything confirmed,” she said. “We’ve been working out butts off trying to figure out all of this and be able to fully commit and go down the path.
“These are several year commitments in all the platforms, so we want to set ourselves up, get ready to do that and as soon as we’re ready to say ‘yes we’re good to go,’ that’s when the announcements will come out.

“I think you’d see an announcement for what’s going on with Cadillac and an announcement for what’s going on with Chevrolet.
“My fingers are crossed that there should be something, sometime in September, probably just one [brand announcement] at that point.

“We’re still waiting to understand what’s going on here [in Europe] and I don’t know if that’s going to be part of the ACO announcement [on Friday].”


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#5231 - 08/18/21 05:23 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Jordan Taylor says the possibility of running the 24 Hours of Le Mans without a brake change has been a “strong topic” within the C8.R Corvette Racing camp following last year’s GTE class-winning Aston Martin Vantage GTEs were able to go the entire race on a single set of brake discs and pads.

The savings of one to two minutes in the pit lane, especially if the race features few to no safety cars, could play a key impact in the tightly-fought GTE-Pro ranks, according to Taylor.

Taylor & co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Nicky Catsburg won this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona without having to change brakes, which has led to the Pratt & Miller-run squad to investigate a similar strategy for the Chevy Corvette C8.R’s Le Mans debut.
“It’s definitely a strong topic,” Taylor said.
“Obviously, it’s been something we’ve been working on with this car since it came out last year at Daytona.
“This year at Daytona we won the race and I don’t think we did a brake change there.

“That gave us the confidence over 24 hours that we would need. Obviously this track is a bit different, but with our limited running in the test day we didn’t get as many miles as we wanted to.
“I don’t think we have the numbers yet to really understand if we can make it yet.

“We’ll try to see throughout today’s practice and qualifying and tomorrow as well, and try to accumulate some miles and some hours on the brakes to get the wear numbers and understand if it’s a possibility for us.”
Taylor said drivers can find ways of saving brakes with certain methods, with right-foot brakers like himself able to better take advantage of it more so than someone like co-driver Catsburg, who is a left-foot braker.

“Usually the high wear comes from a left-foot braker having some overlap when they go a little on throttle and brake at the same time, it spikes the temperatures,” he explained.
“The problem with this style of race as opposed to Daytona is you have to be flat out the whole time.
At Daytona if you give up some pace to save brakes you know you can get a yellow and gather that time back.
“At Le Mans, you give up that time, and you run the risk of losing a minute or two.


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#5232 - 08/18/21 07:09 AM Re: C8.Rs Prep for 24 Hours of Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Today was third practice for this race, the results

Attached Files 3rdpractice.jpg

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