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#6105 - 06/10/23 05:54 AM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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#6106 - 06/10/23 07:56 AM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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With only 1 and 1/2 hours into the race, the C8.R broke and had to go to the garage to replace the right-front damper
Came out two laps down :-(

Garage 56 Camaro has run faster laps than the C8.R


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#6107 - 06/10/23 06:05 PM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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With 12 hours completed, the C8.R still has not raced back into the lead lap and is in 9th place :-(


Attached Files 12hours.jpg

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#6109 - 06/11/23 06:12 AM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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C8.R Corvette Racing’s Nicky Catsburg, Nico Varrone and Ben Keating recovered from a two-lap deficit to win with being the only one on the lead lap of the final 24 Hours of Le Mans race for the outgoing GTE-Am class.

Catsburg brought the No. 33 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to the checkered flag two minutes clear of Charlie Eastwood in the No. 25 ORT by TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE that was also driven by Michael Dinan and Ahmad Al Harthy.

Ben Barker, Riccardo Pera and Mike Wainwright finished third with the GR Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 as teams from three different manufacturers ended up on the podium in the last Le Mans for GTE-Am, which is being replaced by LMGT3 next year.
Corvette prevailed after recovering from a two-lap deficit in the opening quarter of the race.

Catsburg started from pole position, but after two and a half hours, the Dutchman brought the factory-run Corvette back to its garage for a right-front damper replacement.
The lengthy service cost two laps, while an opportunity to regain one of those was squandered when the GTE-Am leader was released from the pits too early during a safety car period, preventing the Corvette from taking a wave-by according to the team.

The American squad only emerged as a candidate for the win shortly after dawn, following a recovery drive through the night.
With six hours to go, Iron Dames driver Rahel Frey led by around 30 seconds from Eastwood and Keating, with the top three cars pitting at different times to each other.
A strong stint from Varrone brought the Corvette into the lead during the 21st hour, followed by the No. 85 Iron Dames Porsche and the TF Sport Aston Martin.
Eastwood then overtook Frey into the Daytona Chicane with just under an hour and a half remaining to put last year’s winning team on the second step of the podium.

A slow final pit stop for Iron Dames contributed to Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy dropping to fourth, as Pera passed by into a three-second advantage that the Italian extended to five seconds by the end.
AF Corse’s No. 54 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Davide Rigon, Francesco Castellacci and Thomas Flohr completed the top five, around 90 seconds behind the Iron Dames.

More than half of the 21 cars that took part in GTE-Am retired from the race.
A notable casualty on Sunday was the No. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari, which was a top-five contender until Daniel Serra spun into the Indianapolis tire barriers with just under four hours to go.

All four of Proton Competition’s Porsches were involved in accidents, including the No. 911 machine which went deepest into the race but crashed out in the hands of Michael Fassbender at Corvette on Sunday morning
Jonas Ried crashed Proton’s No. 88 car at Indianapolis, while the No. 77 had an early collision with an LMP2 car and was later retired.
JMW Motorsport’s Ferrari was an early leader in the mixed-condition opening phase, but a weather-induced trip into the gravel resulted in a loss of time before Louis Prette was involved in a multi-car crash that also took out the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid.

The No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari and the GMB Motorsport Aston Martin were eliminated in the second hour after an incident involving the No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R under the Dunlop Bridge.
There was also a spin at Tertre Rouge for Iron Lynx driver Claudio Schiavoni, who veered into the innocent No. 16 Porsche of Ryan Hardwick, causing both cars to retire on the spot.
Despite getting one of its cars onto the podium, TF Sport saw its D’station Racing Aston Martin fail to finish after an electrical issue, while the No. 72 machine crashed at the Porsche Curves in the sixth hour.

NASCAR Garage 56 Finishes 39th Overall

The NASCAR Garage 56 project, which was not assigned to one of the three classes, reached the checkered flag in 39th overall out of 62 cars with its modified NASCAR Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The Hendrick Motorsports machine driven by Jenson Button, Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmie Johnson got close to 25th position on Sunday morning but it lost substantial ground due to a brake change at around 11 a.m.

That was swiftly followed by a lengthy stop in the garage due to a drive line issue, ending any hopes of finishing within the GTE-Am pack.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Johnson completed the Camaro’s run that totaled 285 laps.




Attached Files finish.jpg33C8R.jpg

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#6110 - 06/11/23 06:46 AM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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LMGTE AM: Winner – No.33 Corvette Racing

Corvette Racing take first ever LMGTE Am victory at Le Mans as Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg toast a hard-earned win after difficult start to the race
The pole winning car struggled with a damper problem in the first portion of the race but came through to win and extend their large WEC points lead at the same time
Keating takes second consecutive Le Mans LMGTE Am win, while Varrone becomes only second Argentinian to taste victory at La Sarthe
The No.33 Corvette becomes the first GTE Am polesitter to even finish on the LM podium
ORT by TF Sport take runners-up position after late battle with the Iron Dames Porsche sees Charlie Eastwood make move on Rahel Frey’s Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR-19 on the Mulsanne late on in race
Eastwood celebrates with teammates Ahmed Al Harthy and Michael Dinan
The final rung on the podium goes to the GR Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Mike Wainwright, Riccardo Pera and Ben Barker who go one better after finishing fourth in 2022
Iron Dames trio of Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy take fourth ahead of the No.54 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Davide Rigon
Northwest AMR Aston Martin’s Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli complete the top six positions

INNOVATION

Hendrick Motorsports take popular finish with new generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR after largely faultless display from Jenson Button, Jimmy Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.
All-American project finishes 39th overall, the second-best Innovation category result


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#6112 - 06/11/23 12:25 PM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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C8.R Corvette Racing has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone drove the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevy Corvette C8.R to the program’s ninth class victory at Le Mans & first for the mid-engine Corvette sports car.
The victorious trio won for the third time in the FIA World Endurance Championship this season and increased its points lead to xxx with three events and 91 remaining in the season.
“Corvette Racing has won Le Mans in class for the ninth time, and it is even more special during the centenary celebration of this race,” said Mark Stielow, Chevrolet Director, Motorsports Competition Engineering.

“The skill by the drivers, the strategic decisions by the engineers and the execution of the Corvette Racing pit crew all came together for this GTE Am victory in the final race at Le Mans for the Corvette C8.R. Congratulations to everyone at Corvette Racing!”

This weekend’s Le Mans marked the 23rd start of Corvette Racing’s successful run at Le Mans. Its last victory came in 2015 with the seventh-generation Corvette, although the mid-engine C8.R led each of the last two years.
The 2022 race was particularly cruel as the No. 64 Corvette was knocked out of the race with six hours to go.

Keating captured pole position Thursday, the second time this year the Corvette started a WEC race out front. Disaster struck not long after as the Corvette crew had to replace the right-front damper after Catsburg, who started the race, radioed in that something didn’t feel right.

The service in the garage was a quick change, but it still put the C8.R down two laps.
Class pole-winner Keating who got in the Corvette while the damper was still being fixed began to claw back time before heavy rain pelted parts of the circuit.

Keating survived the deluge, and Corvette race engineers called him to the pit lane for wet tires. The race’s second safety car period came out moments later, giving the team hope of gaining a lap back because of the C8.R would be ahead of the class leader in a train behind one of the three safety cars.

For reasons unknown to the team, a group of cars including the GTE Am leader were allowed to exit pit lane before the next of the three safety cars came around. The mistake meant that the Corvette was trapped behind the class leader and couldn’t advance around the track to catch back up after all the safety car queues moved.

Undeterred, Varrone drove a speedy triple stint that saw him make up more than a half-lap on the field with times between four and seven seconds quicker than the rest of GTE Am.

The heroics continued into the overnight session as Keating drove a triple-stint in the middle of darkness and kept hope going for a miraculous turnaround. It eventually came, albeit gradually through fast laps by all three drivers, quick decisions by the engineering team and fast pit stops by the Corvette Racing crew, which never had to bring the C8.R back in the garage, change brakes or do anything much beyond adding fuel and tires.

Daybreak saw the Corvette come alive as the gap came down to one lap, then two minutes, then less than 60 seconds as the drivers, crew and engineers worked their magic. Critically, the No. 33 C8.R gained a full pit-stop advantage over the other GTE Am contenders inside the final hours to give Corvette Racing a lead they didn’t relinquish the rest of the way.

Corvette Racing’s next event in the FIA WEC is the Six Hours of Monza where it won a year ago in GTE Pro on Sunday, July 9.

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

“This is the one race that I wanted. Now I have all the big ones, so this is super awesome. Even yesterday afternoon, I didn’t think this was possible. But somehow we made it back to the front. These two guys drove unbelievably fast and all of a sudden we were back in contention and won with a massive lead. It’s an unbelievable feeling.

“I could see we were very fast. The only really worry was that I didn’t use our Bronze yet. But whenever we put him in the car, he’s just as fast as anyone else. All of a sudden, there was no deficit anymore.”

(Taking the finish at Le Mans):

“This was awesome. I’ve never taken the finish here. I didn’t know it was so super-crazy on the in-lap, so that was nice.
That it’s the 100th anniversary makes it special. That it’s the last year of GTE makes it extra special.
That it’s the last year of the C8.R makes it extra special. I’m so happy for the whole team because I feel like we should have already won it in the years before. So it’s sweet for this to happen this year.”

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

“You can look at all the stats about it being the last year of GTE, the Centenary of Le Mans, the 25tth season of Corvette Racing, an American driver racing an American car with an American team that even doesn’t do this justice.
After the first hour when we had to replace the right-front damper, I thought there was no chance. Even when I went to sleep at midnight angry because we didn’t get our lap back because race control messed up, I thought it was over, and I was so mad. To wake up, and I think we were running in P4 a few hours later, I was baffled. I didn’t understand how in the world we were there.

All of our strategy completely went out the window. We had everything lined up and planned exactly how we were going to do it. Nico got sick, and I didn’t plan on doing any driving, and I ended up driving from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. I didn’t plan on doing any driving in the rain, and I ended up having a stint in the rain. Everything got turned on its head. It turned out that it was exactly what we needed to get our laps back.

The way we won it is special. To feel like it was out of reach and then watch this team claw back and get victory out of defeat’s grasp was really special. It was really nice to feel like I was a part of that. It’s one of those deals where you can look at every member of the team on this win, and you know everyone contributed. That makes it special.”

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

“I have no words, even though it’s only just been an hour from the end. It’s just been incredible.
Our race basically started two laps down early, but the team was so fast in managing to repair it. We went back out and had great pace and a great car.
The Corvette Racing team, the engineers and strategy, my teammate's Nicky he’s a legend and did a lot of stints and was really quick Ben even though he’s a Bronze, he was flying all of GM and Chevrolet, my family and everyone there is a lot of people involved in this. It’s a dream come true.”

(On garage reception from the crew)
“They are amazing. The support I get from them is great. It’s like a family here. Every time I jump in the car or when I get out, they’re always there hugging me. Even on the pit stop, they are telling me that I’m doing great.
This is excellent for a racing driver and for your feelings. It’s great.”

(Did you think you’d be in this position after your first stint?) “I thought it was OK, and it’s a long race, and we would maybe have a chance
But it was really optimistic to think it would be like this. We are in this position and have to try to manage it and get to the end.”


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#6113 - 06/11/23 03:24 PM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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The points leading No.33 Corvette Racing squad of Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone and Nicky Catsburg took their third WEC victory of the season with a hard-earned win in the final LMGTE Am category race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The trio fought back from a difficult start which saw them fall to the rear of the field when they had to change a damper in the early stages.
Due to a combination of strong stints from all three drivers and some fortune with the new safety car procedure, the yellow Corvette became a factor in the challenge for class honors in the early morning period.

Varrone and Catsburg consolidated the position with epic triple stints, and they were able to pull a sizeable gap on their competitors by the late morning period.
The victory sealed Corvette's eighth WEC win and the first at Le Mans since they won the LMGTE PRO category in 2015.
They also became the first GTE Am pole sitter to finish on the LM GTE Am podium.

Keating celebrated his seventh in WEC, consecutive at Le Mans in what was Corvette's 11th class win in the 2000s, earning them level pegging with Ferrari.
Taking the runners-up position was the ORT by TF Sport trio of Charlie Eastwood, Ahmed Al Harthy and Michael Dinan as they fought past the Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy.

'The Dames' took fourth ahead of the No.54 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Davide Rigon
The final rung on the podium goes to the GR Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Mike Wainwright, Riccardo Pera and Ben Barker who go one better after finishing fourth in 2022.

The new-look Northwest AMR Aston Martin squad of Ian James, Alex Riberas and Daniel Mancinelli completed the top six in the category.


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#6114 - 06/11/23 03:41 PM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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C8.R Corvette Racing’s ninth Le Mans class victory came in fine style Sunday, the US-flagged factory team overcoming a two-lap deficit early in the race to take a commanding victory by the end of the 24 hours.

In the final GTE race at the Circuit de a Sarthe, it was somewhat fitting that Corvette Racing, a servant of the Le Mans 24 Hours’ GT categories since the turn of the century, would achieve a historic victory at the centenary event.

The story of Corvette’s win didn’t start on lap one. Instead, the opening chapter was penned when the mechanics put in a heroic effort to prepare the car for practice on Wednesday. A costly error from Nico Varonne in FP1 at Tertre Rouge left the car badly damaged and the team scrambling.
The job list was huge, with the crew fitting the car with new right side suspension, new right side brakes, a new floor, rear fascia, rear wing, deck lids, seat belts, right side front and rear fender, right side door (pause for deep breath) right side rocker, and more.

In a matter of hours, the car was ready to get out for qualifying, allowing Nicky Catsburg to sneak the car into Hyperpole, setting up Ben Keating for a performance for the ages on Thursday night, which saw him take class pole by over a second.
Had the team not moved so quickly to prep the car, it would have started at the very back. In the tricky mixed conditions in the opening hours, the outcome of this race could have been oh so different amid the chaos that ensued.

Come the start of the race, the team hit trouble early. In only the second hour, a damper failure saw the No. 33 pushed into the garage for a quick fix. Once again the crew moved fast, but it wasn’t possible to get out fast enough to stay on the lead lap. Instead, Keating climbed in and found himself two laps down, tasked with surviving the heavy rain that caused so many incidents in the Am class.

“We joked about going home,” Catsburg said. “Thankfully, the car was back to normal and felt good.”
Varonne to feel a win was out of the equation at that point, saying after taking the victory that he felt a win would be “impossible.”
“But somehow we came back like crazy with great strategy and timing,” he continued. “The decisions we made paid off. The car was mega.”

Initially, after Keating survived the race’s first deluge, the Corvette race engineers called him to the pit lane for wets. At that point, the crew thought it would gain back one of its laps as part of the new safety car procedure because of the C8.R would be ahead of the class leader in a train behind one of the three safety cars.

For reasons unknown to the team, a group of cars including the GTE Am leader were allowed to exit pit lane before the next of the three safety cars came around. The mistake meant that the Corvette was trapped behind the class leader and couldn’t advance to catch back up after all the safety car queues moved. The car stayed two laps down as the sun set over the circuit.

“It was super tricky in the wet,” Keating said when asked about the opening hours, when the track was wet in some places, dry in others.
“I cost us 20s in an escape road at one point, but I then watched a competitor in the same place hit a wall. So it was a good decision to be cautious!”
The challenge beyond that, with the night hours underway, was clearly two-fold: stay focused and out of trouble while so many other GTE Am cars saw their races end in the barriers, and chip away at the deficit.

“Over half the class retired, which was a big part of our fightback,” Keating explained when asked about the rate of attrition that saw over half the Am field retire during the race. “Some of our biggest (WEC) competitors didn’t make it; second, third, fourth place in the championship were all wrecked. I don’t know if I’ve had a race like this with this many retirements.”

Varonne, like Keating, had to brave the wet weather during the race’s second major downpour.
Catsburg felt the Argentinian’s performance on the wrong tires while the team waited for a safety car that never came was key in staying in the fight.
“One of the most significant moments in this race for us was Nico’s stint in the wet on slicks,” Catsburg said.
“Half of the field completely destroyed their cars, and it’s so difficult to stay calm and mistake-free.”

With brake discs glowing and fireworks overhead, the pace of the ‘Vette began to improve substantially as the track dried and Sunday arrived. Keating completed a triple stint before Varonne took over in the morning.

Varonne was simply masterful with the sun rising, setting the fastest GTE time of the entire event as part of a triple stint that saw him make up more than a half-lap on the field. It was the perfect response to his FP1 shunt and resulted in a welcome reception in the garage after his final stint before Catsburg took the wheel for the finish.

“I felt like I was in the right moment, at the right time on track,” Varonne said. “The car was better through the high-speed corners and in the last sector when the track warmed up. I had clean laps and managed to do the fast lap. I am really happy because after Wednesday my confidence was down.
Furthermore, I was so angry with myself. So gaining that confidence back, setting the fastest lap, was so satisfying.”

All of a sudden, by the end of the seventeenth hour with the crowd beginning to build trackside for the end of the race, the Corvette team was back on the lead lap. The progress made before Catsburg’s final stint was enormous. In the final run to the flag, Catsburg simply had to manage the gap as he continued to pull away as other competitors in the top five, including Bronze-rated drivers in the field, burned the last of their drive time with the race coming to a close.

The Dutchman would cross the line far ahead of the chasing ORT by TF Sport Aston Martin. GR Racing and Iron Dames Porsche were more focused on securing podium places than catching the C8.R by that point.
The team’s achievement caused an eruption in the garage.
A ninth-class win, at the centenary event, and finally a victory for the C8.R in France in its final attempt.

“I’ve never taken the finish here,” Catsburg said. “I didn’t know it was so super-crazy on the in-lap, so that was nice. That it’s the 100th anniversary makes it special. That it’s the last year of GTE makes it extra special.
That it’s the last year of the C8.R makes it extra special. I’m so happy for the whole team because I feel like we should have already won it in the years before. So it’s sweet for this to happen this year.”

Looking ahead, the result at Le Mans has greatly increased the crew’s chances of wrapping up the class title in the WEC early.
With three wins in four races this season, including double points secured at Le Mans, Catsburg, Varrone and Keating can crown themselves champions at Monza next month, before the WEC heads to Fuji and Bahrain for the final two races.


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#6115 - 06/12/23 06:21 PM Re: Last Race for Corvette C8.R at Le Mans [Re: teamzr1]  
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Before this year’s 100th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing made no secret just how badly the team wanted to win its final GTE race there.
Not surprisingly, accomplishing that feat wasn’t easy and took a dedicated effort from the entire team to pull it off.
The three C8.R drivers, Nicky Catsburg, Nico Varrone, and Ben Keating explain in their own words just how Corvette Racing was able to overcome tremendous odds both before and during the legendary endurance race to rally for the title Sunday.

First, the crew had only hours to repair serious damage to the car sustained Wednesday when Nico Varrone lost control at Tertre Rouge Corner with only minutes left in the first practice session.
With time ticking, the crew went to work and installed several new parts, including right side suspension, right side brakes, floor, fascia, rear wing, decklids, seat belts, right side front and rear fender, ride side door, right side rocker, and more.

Their hard work allowed Nicky Catsburg and Ben Keating to take class pole by more than a second Thursday night and avoid having to start at the very back of the pack a scenario that would likely have prevented Corvette from winning the race.

But the trouble was far from over for the Corvette Racing team. Two hours In, the car had to come back to the garage for a quick fix of a failed damper.
While the crew worked fast, it still wasn’t enough to keep the car from having fallen two laps behind once the repairs were done.
At that point, even the team wasn’t optimistic about their chances of winning.
“We joked about going home,” Catsburg said. “Thankfully, the car was back to normal and felt good.”

Varrone also thought it was “impossible” to rally from such a deficit, “but somehow we came back like crazy with great strategy and timing,” he said.
“The decisions we made paid off. The car was mega.”
The strategy included being cautious in the wet conditions, with Keating explaining that more than half the class would eventually retire from the race, “which was a big part of our fightback.”
“Some of our biggest (WEC) competitors didn’t make it; second, third, fourth place in the championship were all wrecked,” Keating said. “I don’t know if I’ve had a race like this with this many retirements.”

After Keating’s triple stint during the night, Varrone started the “day shift” with a triple stint of his own, including putting up the best GTE time of the event to make up more than half a lap on the field.
“I felt like I was in the right moment, at the right time on track,” Varrone said. “The car was better through the high-speed corners and in the last sector when the track warmed up. I had clean laps and managed to do the fast lap.
I am really happy because after Wednesday my confidence was down. I was so angry with myself. So gaining that confidence back, setting the fastest lap, was so satisfying.”

Also satisfying was Corvette’s return to the lead by the end of the 17th hour, and Catsburg was even able to continue to pull away during the closing moments.
“I’ve never taken the finish here,” Catsburg said. “I didn’t know it was so super-crazy on the in-lap, so that was nice.
That it’s the 100th anniversary makes it special. That it’s the last year of GTE makes it extra special.

That it’s the last year of the C8.R makes it extra special. I’m so happy for the whole team because I feel like we should have already won it in the years before.
So it’s sweet for this to happen this year.”

The win at Le Mans was Corvette Racing’s third in four tries this season, and another victory at Monza next month could cement the class title in the WEC, even before the final two races at Fuji and Bahrain.


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