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#5982 - 03/16/23 09:00 AM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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5th practice completed, Qualify later this PM

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#5984 - 03/16/23 02:52 PM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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Here is how they qualified to start the race tomorrow

Attached Files wecqual.jpg

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#5987 - 03/16/23 05:05 PM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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The first of the three sessions saw the Bronze-rated drivers battle it out in GTE AM.

After a thrilling 15 minutes, it was Iron Damesí Porsche 911 RSR 19 that emerged as the pole sitter.
It was achieved after a superb performance in the first qualifying session of the season from Sarah Bovy.

It was a shootout between Bovy and Corvette Racingís Ben Keating after their tires got up to temperature, Bovy setting the best time and with two minutes to go, a 1m58.949s.
After multiple improvements by both drivers throughout the session, the pair trading the provisional pole position, her time bettered Keatingís best effort in the C8.R by four-tenths.

ďItís amazing, Sarah is doing very well,Ē said Bovyís teammate Rahel Frey. ďShe loves it, but the time to celebrate is tomorrow.Ē

Third in the running was the ORT by TF Aston Martin, which made it three makes in the top three.

Ahmad Al Harthy, in his first WEC qualifying session, will be full of confidence ahead of his world championship race debut tomorrow. It also marked a significant improvement for the Vantages, which had struggled to find pace until todayís track action.

Making it four in the top four, in fourth, was Luis Perez Companc in the Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari.


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#5989 - 03/17/23 05:29 AM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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In his first qualifying session as part of Corvette Racing Ben Keating qualified second in a stacked GTE Am category Thursday ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championshipís 1,000 Miles of Sebring.

Piloting the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, Keating posted a best lap of 1:59.345 (112.841 mph). He will team in Fridayís season-opening race with Corvette Racing veteran Nicky Catsburg and fellow newcomer Nico Varrone.

Only 0.784 seconds separated the four fastest cars in qualifying. Keating was never lower than second and swapped provisional pole position multiple times in the 15-minute session.

The Corvette program is easily the most experienced team in the WEC paddock at the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway circuit. It has 25 years of racing experience at the historic track, which sits on the site of an Army airbase from World War II.

In addition to two previous starts in GTE Pro at the Sebring WEC round, including a runner-up finish last year for Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy Corvette Racing has 13 victories at the track with 12 coming in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

On the driver front, both Catsburg and Keating have previous starts in the Sebring WEC round. Catsburg finished second in GTE Pro in 2019 while Keating placed third a year ago in GTE Am on his way to the class championship. Meanwhile, Varrone will make his first full-season start as a WEC competitor in the 1,000 Miles.

The 1,000 Miles of Sebring for the FIA World Endurance Championship is scheduled for noon ET on Friday, March 17. MotorTrend and MotorTrend Plus will provide both level television and streaming coverage. Radio Le Mans will also stream audio coverage of the race.

BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R Ė QUALIFIED SECOND IN GTE AM:

ďIt was fascinating. We did mock qualifying this morning, but I had much more grip in the car. I donít know if our tires donít like the Carrera Cup tires or what, but I had a lot more grip this afternoon. It was much of a handful than I expected in qualifying. I was really wheeling the car around there. With less grip, it was more work. I thought I may be able to compete with the time that Sarah did to be on the pole.

I did three laps that were almost exactly the same. Furthermore, I think she got ahead of me by four-thousandths, and then I got ahead of her. It was fun to go back and forth. Weíre starting on the front row for our home race. I know that the Porsche is really different when it gets full of fuel.
So qualifying is one thing and racing is another. Iím excited to go out there and race with her. Weíve been on the front row most of last season together, so itís not unfamiliar territory. Weíll be OK.Ē


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#5991 - 03/17/23 11:16 AM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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Three hours of 8 hour race completed at this time


Attached Files wec3hours.jpg

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#5992 - 03/17/23 01:45 PM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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In GTE-Am, Nico Varrone sat at the head of the class aboard the No. 33 Corvette C8.R, leading the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Julien Andlauer.

Casper Stevenson was third for DíStation Racing, with AF Corseís Simon Mann and Kessel Racingís Scott Huffaker completing the top five.

Corvette saw one of its main rivals, the pole-sitting No. 85 Iron Dames Porsche, suffer a significant setback when Rahel Frey damaged the carís rear bodywork running wide out of Turn 1.

The Iron Lynx squad is now running at the edge of the top ten in class, several laps down on Varroneís leading Corvette.

With 2 hours to go

Attached Files 2togo.jpg

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#5995 - 03/17/23 04:06 PM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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C8.R won the pole to start the race and lead almost the whole 8 hours
Finished winning the race, being the only car on lead lap

C8.R Corvette Racing scooped GTE-Am honors in the American teamís first appearance in the Pro-Am class with the lineup of Ben Keating, Nico Varrone & Nicky Catsburg.
Maybe the late BoP helped ?

Acura: -15kg +5L Fuel +Decent amount of boost
Aston: -15kg -3L Fuel - little boost
Bmw: -15kg
Corvette: -15kg
Ferrari: +15kg +5L Fuel + Decent Amount of Boost.
Lamborghini: 2mm bigger restrictor +10L Fuel
Lexus: -15kg
McLeran: No Change
Mercedes: +15kg
Porsche: 5mm bigger retrictors +7L Fuel

Attached Files WECwin.jpg

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#5996 - 03/17/23 05:40 PM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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GTE Am, The car that looked set to win, hit trouble, changing the race.

In this case, it was the Iron Dames Porsche.
The all-female trio of Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy, who started from pole, benefitted early from being in the pits during an FCY and held a lead of over half a minute when Bovy handed over to Frey.
Unfortunately, the lead wouldnít last long, as Frey made an error at Turn 1, going off track on the exit, ⁣b] ripping the rear bumper and diffuser off the car.[/b]
(Women Drivers :-)

Frey limped to the pits for repairs, dropping the car down the order, the team forced to switch to recovery mode and spend the remaining hours fighting their way back to eighth. It wasnít a fairytale first race for Iron Dames with Porsche, but the team looks set to be a force to reckon with.

The No. 33 Corvette Racing C8.R of Ben Keating, Nico Varrone and Nicky Catsburg took the class victory on the US factory teamís home soil and on its GTE Am debut.

Keating set this victory up, the Texan, the class of the Bronze drivers in the field; his performance, in trademark fashion, so strong that the team went almost unchallenged after the drama for Iron Dames in the first half of the race.
Varrone, on his Corvette WEC debut, was also extremely impressive, completing an iron-man triple stint during the race.

ďItís so special to defend home turf.
This is the only home race for us, so itís special to perform well here,Ē Keating said after the race.
ďAll of us didnít make mistakes, which is great as itís mayhem out there. Everyone else had some problem or another. Itís a nice way to win.Ē

The gap to the second place No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche was almost 90 sec at the finish.
The SIX Porsche's contingent pushed hard and climbed the order, taking second right at the end.

With six minutes to go, the No. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari pitted for a splash, dropping to third agonizingly close to the end.
AF Corseís No. 21 Ferrari finished fourth, with the Iron Lynx Porsche in fifth.

Better is, 6 Porsches could not beat one Corvette !


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#5997 - 03/18/23 05:29 AM Re: WEC 1,000 Miles at Sebring [Re: teamzr1]  
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Corvette Racing made an emphatic statement with a convincing GTE Am class victory in the 1,000 Miles of Sebring to open this yearís FIA World Endurance Championship.

Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone drove the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to a two-lap victory at Sebring International Raceway to start its new program in the class. It was the 14th win for Corvette Racing at the 3.74-mile, 17-turn rough-and-tumble circuit since 2002.
Fridayís victory also was the second for Corvette Racing as a full-time WEC entrant, the first coming last season at Monza in the GTE Pro class.
The team now has 123 worldwide victories.

That number is easy to understand when looking at the totality of Fridayís race. Each of the three drivers drove error-free stints with no contact and no risks taken. The engineering team rotated the three drivers through consecutively in order of ranking, so neither Keating, Varrone or Catsburg had to get back in the Corvette.

The Corvette Racing crew also was the fastest of the GTE Am teams in the pit lane, with a six-second advantage on the next-quickest team.
ďNo one at Corvette Racing could ask for a better start to our FIA WEC program than this win at Sebring for Ben, Nicky and Nico,Ē said GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager.

ďAll three put in excellent drives, the crew was the best throughout the class in the pit lane, and our engineers called a perfect race strategy. Ben really set the tone for this race with his opening three stints, and the performance continued from there with an incredible mid-race triple stint from Nico and then Nickyís drive to close it out.
Winning the first race of the season, in the United States and at Sebring is a storybook start that we will remember for a long time!Ē

The fight of the race early was Keatingís battle with Sarah Bovy in the No. 85 Porsche. Familiar competitors from last yearís WEC, the two swapped the lead in the opening laps before the Corvette settled in to a close second position for the first couple hours.

The Porsche gained a slight advantage by making its second stop near the 90-minute mark during a full-course yellow period, while the Corvette made its second stop under green. Undeterred, Keating clicked off consistent, fast laps to keep the C8.R in the hunt and never dropped lower than second in class.

Last yearís winner in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the reigning GTE Am WEC champion, Keating made quite the debut in his first race with the Corvette program. He drove two hours, 40 minutes before handing over to Varrone for a triple-stint and nearly three hours in the C8.R.

He moved the Corvette into the lead when the 85 Porsche suffered rear damage and lost multiple laps.
From that point on, Varrone increased his pace and more often than not was the fastest driver during his time in the C8.R.
His only challenge came from the No. 77 Porsche, which got as close as 14 seconds to the lead after gaining a similar pit stop advantage under yellow as the No. 85 earlier in the race.

Varrone pressed on and continued to pound out sub two-minute laps, while the Porscheís pace fell off during its mid-race driver rotation to its Bronze-ranked driver.
By the time of his iron-man three-plus hour stint, Varrone gave Catsburg the No. 33 Corvette and a 90-second lead for the final two hours.

It wasnít a coast to the end, however. Catsburg had to contend with the usual late-day Sebring sunset and Hypercar entries that attempted to make desperate moves to keep track position in their own race. Like his teammates, he drove clean and measured stints to deliver an undamaged C8.R to victory.
Corvette Racingís next event in the FIA World Endurance Championship is the Six Hours of Portim„o on Sunday, April 15.

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R Ė GTE AM WINNER:

ďThereís so much to say about today. If you look at the execution, itís not like we were out-pacing everyone by so much. We just made zero mistakes. In the pit lane, I feel like we were by far the fastest team, which is a big credit to the guys. Theyíre working out so many four days per week.
It pays off. Itís super-nice to start the season off like this. Those guys (Keating and Varrone) in their first race for Corvette and their first win, I think thatís pretty cool. They did a flawless job, so big hats off to everyone!Ē

More on Keating and Varrone: ďThis was the plan. But for them to do triple-stints in your first race with Corvette, itís a lot more difficult than you think. Itís three hours in the car, and itís going to hurt at some point! But they each did a fantastic job.Ē

BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R Ė GTE AM WINNER:

It was mayhem out there, really. I started in second place, was able to gain the lead, and then gave it up again.
We got the early safety car, that kind of changed the strategy up a little bit for us. It was not easy, for sure. Our car was sliding a lot more than it had in practice, so it was a lot more to handle, and I think that was true for the other GT cars that I was watching while I was either following or looking in my camera to the back.

Iím really proud of the way we won the race today. If you look across the field, and you look at how we got to be two laps up on the field. It wasnít because we were the fastest car. It was because we stayed out of trouble. Almost everybody had some sort of issue, and it was really tough with all the traffic.

Iím sure (the other winners) would say the same thing. Especially as the race wore on, it really got into one line and the track got more difficult. Iím just really proud of all three of us that we were able to have a clean race.

ďItís really special for me to be driving something I sell and to be representing an American brand and winning the only American race for the World Endurance Championship and taking advantage of what I feel like is a home-field advantage. It was a really great job by everyone at Corvette.Ē

More on the win:
ďThis is the only WEC race in the United States, so itís really special here! The guys, the team, did a great job. All the drivers just didnít make any mistakes, which is pretty tough to do with all that traffic out there. And like I said with, I guess, five hours to go, I said itís mayhem. And so we just stayed out of it.
And pretty much everybody else ended up having some problem or another.

And so itís a nice way to win, and also itís really special. Hearing the American National Anthem and being under an American flag, I couldnít ask for more. To all the fans, I would say thank you!Ē

NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R Ė GTE AM WINNER:

What a dream. At Sebring with Corvette and winning the 1,000 Miles of Sebring, Iím super happy. I couldnít ask for a better debut with the brand.
A big thank you to all the guys, all the mechanics, all the engineers. Corvette racing did a great job all week long.
Ben did a great job with the start and in his first three stints. He got us to P2.
Then I jumped in the car for three hours, which was tough. Then I handed it over to Nicky, who is a legend.
We all know that he knows what to do. He brought it home safely, and now I canít be happier!

ďThis was a very difficult race for me. I had to do a triple stint in the middle.
Iíve had to do a triple stint at Le Mans, but I have to say that Sebring is much more difficult!
Ben did a great job at the start to get the car to me. The track was changing a lot during the whole race, so we had to figure out what was happening.
Corvette Racing did a great job with that. They did a great job all week long. Itís a dream come true.Ē


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