CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Consistent Corvettes Complete Testing Program
Gavin sets team’s pace in No. 64 Corvette C7.R w/ No. 63 entry not far off
LE MANS, France (June 3, 2018) – Corvette Racing ran through its scheduled testing items Sunday during eight hours of track time ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the team looks toward what it hopes is a ninth class victory in the annual French endurance race. At the end of testing, just 0.038 seconds separated both the bright yellow Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs around the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe.
Oliver Gavin was the quickest Corvette Racing driver during the annual Le Mans Test Day in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with a lap of 3:54.179 (130.177 mph) lap. Driving with Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler, Gavin set his best lap in the final hour of the test, which was run in dry conditions, although the weather did threaten throughout the final four hours.
The lap was good enough for 10th place in the 17-car field of GTE Pro entries, which features cars from five manufacturers. It came after an extended stop to repair a suspension component on the No. 64 Corvette while Milner was at the wheel. The team pulled both Corvettes into the garage to inspect and make the necessary fixes to get both cars back out on circuit inside the final hour.
Antonio Garcia was the fastest driver with a 3:54.217 (130.115 mph) in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shared with Jan Magnussen. Mike Rockenfeller, who missed the Test Day due to a prior racing commitment, will join the duo for race-week activities. Garcia’s time slotted him just behind Gavin in 11th place.
With eight victories in 18 previous Le Mans starts, Corvette Racing has long been GT racing’s prominent program in endurance racing. That is backed up by eight additional runner-up finishes in the event. All totaled, Corvette Racing has 107 victories around the world and swept the last two Manufacturer, Driver and Team championships in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Gavin and Milner won earlier this year at Long Beach for the team’s first victory of 2018.
Each of the six Corvette Racing drivers own exemplary records at Le Mans:
- Antonio Garcia: Three victories in 12 appearances – 2008, 2009 and 2011; runner-up in 2014; third place in 2017
- Jan Magnussen: Three victories in 19 appearances – 2004-06; runner-up in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2014; third place in 2017
- Mike Rockenfeller: Two victories in eight appearances – 2005 and 2010; third place in 2012
- Oliver Gavin: Five victories in 17 appearances – 2002, 2004-06, 2015; runner-up in 2003; third place in 2001 and 2008
- Tommy Milner: Two victories in nine appearances – 2011 and 2015
- Marcel Fässler: Three victories in 12 appearances – 2011-12 and 2014
Corvette Racing returns to the Le Mans circuit for opening practice at 4 p.m. CET/10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 13. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will air live on the Velocity Channel and MotorTrend On-Demand with coverage of all on-track sessions available on RadioLeMans.com.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was a good day…very useful. We managed to get quite a bit done. The biggest thing is trying to catch up with the European-spec Michelin tires, which are quite a bit different from those we run in the U.S. We just ran our program and got all the data we needed, so now we look to finding a better package for next week.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “We got a lot of the things done that were on our list, working on the car’s balance. It was difficult to find a clear lap, but I’m very happy with where we are now. A lot of work has been centered around the European Michelins and figuring them out, but all in all it’s been a very good test.”
OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “This morning the track was very dirty as it always is in this test, but the car was okay straight away. We worked through a number of changes while the track slowly improved, as did our lap times. We’re mid-field in terms of pace but we stuck to our plan. We had a suspension problem which cost a chunk of time this afternoon, which means I didn’t drive at all after lunch, bar four laps near the end of the day. It’s a little frustrating of course that I haven’t been able to do as many laps as I would have wanted to, but the most important thing is that all three of us set similar lap times and have the same feedback for the engineers. Now we have to debrief and prepare for race week.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It’s always great to be back at Le Mans; there’s just no place like it in the world. It’s always fun to go down the Mulsanne Straight again for the first time! It’s been a good test for us. We had one problem with a part failure, but we didn’t do any substantial damage to the car. We’re always looking for ways to make the car go faster, so maybe we stepped outside the boundary a bit. The guys will look at it and find out what happened.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R: “It was quite a good day as we went through some test points which were important to us. It was not our target to go for the ultimate lap time; instead we concentrated on sorting out things which will be important for our race pace. Overall I think it was a good day.”
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: “The brightest spot is we dodged inclement weather. The team worked diligently to go through a myriad of set-up options as well as get to grips with the new Michelin compounds. Everybody is pleased with the progress we’ve made. We’ll spend the next week digesting that information and developing a new plan of attack for the week after. Judging by the times we saw today, it looks like it’s going to be a very close competition.”
Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
|2nd||GTS||Corvette C5-R||Fellows/O’Connell/ Papis|
|2010||10th (DNF)||GT2||Corvette C6.R||Gavin/Beretta/Collard|
|12th (DNF)||GT2||Corvette C6.R||O’Connell/Magnussen/Garcia|
|2011||1st||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Beretta/Milner/Garcia|
|14th (DNF)||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook|
|2012||5th||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor|
|6th||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Gavin/Milner/Westbrook|
|2013||4th||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor|
|7th||GTE Pro||Corvette C6.R||Gavin/Milner/Westbrook|
|2014||2nd||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor|
|4th||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Gavin/Milner/Westbrook|
|2015||DNS||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Garcia/Magnussen/Briscoe|
|1st||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Gavin/Milner/J. Taylor|
|2016||7th||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Garcia/Magnussen/R. Taylor|
|10th (DNF)||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Gavin/Milner/J. Taylor|
|2017||3rd||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Garcia/Magnussen/J. Taylor|
|8th||GTE Pro||Corvette C7.R||Gavin/Milner/Fässler|
|Totals||8 wins||18 starts|