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24 Heures du Mans 2019


CCCUK Member
This weekend is Test Weekend for the 24 Hours, so of course, June & I were there, to witness the beginning of the "Last Hurrah" of the "real" Corvettes at Le Mans! They looked great as ever.


The 63 car went for scrutineering first, a much tougher examination than the guys are used to in the US!

The 64 was up next


Among the items verified is the abilty to ift the cars with the "Manitous" positioned around the circuit in case of accident, every car is checked!

Next up was a chance for the Le Mans Extraction team to ensure they were familiar with every car, so of course, they had a couple of practice runs with the 'Vettes, "retrieving" one of the crew who was acting as an unconscious driver!

They managed to pull him out through the roof hatch!

Scrutineering finished for the 64 car


The C7 isn't the only car we will see for the last time this year. BMW have announced their withdrawal from the WEC and Ford will be puling out as a factory effort in both the WEC and the IMSA series at the end of the year.


Corvette may not be the invincible force at Le Mans that it once was, but let's not forget......

Of course, we're hoping that this car is all ready and waiting to take "our boy" Olly Gavin to the top step of the podium in a couple of weeks!

Oh, and we had some great conversations with Danny and DJ, about private car collections and collectors, old C5R and C6R spare parts, farming and Delphiniums!
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Well-known user
C7.R Corvette ended up quickest in GTE Pro won a 3m55.704s set by Antonio Garcia right at the end of the four hours of first session of test day
That jumped the #63 Corvette C7.R ahead of the best of the Ganassi Ford GTs in which Billy Johnson had earlier posted a 3m55.728s.
Porsche driver Gianmaria Bruni and Ferrari's Daniel Serra made it four marques within just over two tenths of a second at the top of the class times.
The quicker of BMW's M8 GTEs was only 12th in class, while the two Aston Martin Vantage GTEs rounded out the class order in 16th and 17th places.



CCCUK Member
I didn't hear the Fehan interview as we don't listen to RLM at the circuit, but no doubt we'll catch up with Doug later, or hear him at the "pesage" next week.
Getting a good time at Test Weekend is a double-edged-sword, always leaving a threat of a BoP change thanks to ACO/FIA meddling or favouritism! Hopefully Corvette will be spared that and in which case, based on our chats with the team during the weekend, they seem happy so far.(y)

The car's looked good!


And, witnessing a brake change that took no more than 15 seconds was pretty special!


CCCUK Member
Things seems pretty close and well balanced, so aside from BMW, maybe the ACO will leave things as they stand?
But wait.....is that a flying pig I see? :rolleyes:


Well-known user
Official YouTube Channel of the "24 Heures du Mans".
The 2019 race will run on June 15-16. Corvette LOVES the 24 Hours of Le Mans and this 2019 edition is the 20th participation in a row for the famous yellow American car !
Listen to team manager Dough Fehan – 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


CCCUK Member
Sunday was teh day for Corvette to go through scrutineering for the race. For our American readers incidentally, this is a considerable more involved and detailed process than that employed at IMSA races! At the same time, each team is interveiwed on a stage by "The Voice of Le Mans" Bruno Vanderstick. Of course, June & I go, and always Doug Fehan is the epitome of well measured information and PR! THis year he, and Bruno, were keen to emphasise Corvette's unrivaled record in having now competed for 20 consecutive years, and, amazingly, with almost all of the current staff. Olly Gavin is celbrating his 18th appearane for Corvette at Le Mans and apparently it is also a record for any team to have competed for so long with the same team manager.


Doug always goes to great lengths to thank the people of Le Mans who welcome the team with open arms and, this year also made reference to the recent new areas of development in and around the city, much of which is attributable to the influence of the 24 Hours. As always, a huge crowd remained to hear the Corvette crew and see that cars, despite the late hour. They are clearly the most popular GT team.
We were engaged in converstaion by many people who, by now, know us as huge Corvette fans, although we do not know them. It's a sad fact that GM's top team has completely failed to grasp that Corvette is a massivly popular marque over here in Europe and has never made any attempt to market the cars.. Any "Tom, Dick or HArry" can pick up a cheap Astom Martin, Gulf, Ferrari, or Porsche shirt around Le Mans. Corvette clothing is restricted by GM to one, inadequate "old pal" supplier, selling at extortionate prices. Yet, a walk around the track in race week reveals Corvette clothing and hats to be the most prevalent. That people are willing to go through the additional "pain" to buy Corvette clothing says a lot more than a few idiots trying to impress Tadge, or Harlan Charles with their own Corvette stories. The new rear engined car is not "eagerly awaited" here - everyone seems to know this is the last year of a "real Corvette". A shame that GM hasn't woken up to that reality in time.


Well-known user
Corvette between them, they have nine class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is one more than their team’s impressive win total heading into this weekend’s twice-around-the-clock battle on the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen have celebrated victories atop the Le Mans podium in front of a sea of fans three times together in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Gavin also won once prior, in 2002, and one time since, in 2015 with co-drivers Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor in the No. 64 Corvette C7.R.

“The last stint that I did in the car in ’15, when it was raining for the last hour off and on around the back of the track, so many things start going through your head,” recalls Gavin, who this year shares the No. 64 Corvete C7.R with Milner and Marcel Fassler in the GTE Pro class.
“You start hearing sounds and vibrations you’re feeling, all kinds of crazy things.
“You keep just having to talk to yourself and think about all the other times you’ve been there and all the other experiences you’ve had and how things have felt in the past. It got us through, and we got it over the line and we got another fantastic victory.
That’s what we’re aiming for again in ’19.”

Magnussen’s fourth Le Mans victory came in 2009.
The Danish racer is going for a fifth on the 10th anniversary of that victory, co-driving the No. 63 C7.R with German driver Mike Rockenfeller and his full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teammate, Antonio Garcia, with whom he also co-drove to the win in 2009.
All of Magnussen’s wins at Le Mans have come as a member of Corvette Racing, which is a source of pride for the Danish racer.

“It’s fantastic,” he says. “To be part of a works team, a factory team, is fantastic at Le Mans. It’s really what you need to have a chance at winning. But to be with Corvette Racing, guys that I’ve worked with for so long now, is just a highlight of the year and what everybody is working for, to be successful at Le Mans.
“I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve won my class at Le Mans four times, all four times with Corvette.
Hopefully, we can make it a fifth this year. It’d be fantastic to do with these guys.”
In addition to representing Corvette Racing, Magnussen and Gavin are part of a larger group – 28 drivers to be exact that are representing the WeatherTech Championship at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Both are WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) champions, as Magnussen won the title each of the past two years with Garcia, while Gavin won the 2016 title with Milner.

“It’s nice to go there and be competitive, because it shows how hard of a championship we have here in IMSA,” Magnussen said. “I do feel that our class in IMSA racing is the toughest class out there, and it’s nice to go there and be competitive and beat those guys from the WEC (FIA World Endurance Championship). It’s a cool thing to do.”
“We’ve still got the IMSA badge on our overalls,” added Gavin, who hails from England.
“If you come away managing to take the scalp of winning at Le Mans and bringing it back here to the U.S., I think that’s pretty special.
“The fans get a big kick out of that as well, I think, when they see you go over there and conquer that race and that event and also the other teams that are there. That’s something you always want to do.
You always want to put one over on the guys that are competing in that championship full time. That does give you a bit of an extra buzz.”
Speaking of buzz, Magnussen also takes pride in representing his native Denmark at Le Mans.
He says the turnout of Danish fans is larger at Le Mans than it is at any race actually held in Denmark.
“There’s a great tradition in Denmark for Le Mans with Danish drivers,” Magnussen said.
“It was John Nielsen that started the whole thing, and then Tom Kristensen after him and myself.
It’s just fantastic to feel the support that we get from the Danish fans.
“They make these massive camps down there. It just seems like, when you’re walking around, everywhere you go, you can hear somebody talking Danish.
Or, you can sort of barely make it out, because they’re usually really drunk. They go there and they have a fantastic party for, like, five days.”
A victory at Le Mans would bring another party to the next WeatherTech Championship race, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 30.
Gavin knows that feeling well, having experienced it in 2015.
“You get such a reception,” Gavin said. “When we won in ’15 and we came back to the Watkins Glen weekend, that is our biggest Corvette Corral that we have all year is at Watkins Glen.
The reception that we got was pretty astonishing with all of those Corvette customers and owners.
“It was a very special feeling and you want to experience that again.
That’s what racing and competing is all about, those moments, that emotion, that special little click that you get with the fans and the owners and all the Corvette family.
You try to engage with those people and it’s very, very special.”

C7R Le Mans News
C7Rs at Le Mans
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Well-known user
Total BS and no surprise on how Europe treats American Corvettes
Looks like WEC is sucking Fords ass for their last race.
Corvette driver Antonio Garcia says he is "surprised" with the lap time he set in first Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying, which was enough to top the GTE Pro class before it was disallowed.
Garcia shot to the top of the GTE Pro order on Wednesday night with a best lap of 3m49.467s, but it was not allowed to stand as the Spaniard was claimed he didn't slow down sufficiently under yellow flags.

That meant the #63 Corvette C7.R shared by Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller ended up 10th in class,
just over 2.5 seconds slower off the eventual class benchmark of 3m49.530s set by Ford driver Harry Tincknell.

"We’re right there, it was a really good lap," reflected Garcia.
"I knew there were yellows there and I did slow down, but you don’t really know how much to slow down.
"I was actually surprised by how good the lap was, I was happy that was good enough for [provisional] pole.
Luckily we have another four hours today.
"We’ll definitely go for it, because we’re still very far down the order, but we know the pace is there.
Conditions should be better, the temperature was low but the laptime was there regardless."

Asked what he thought of Tincknell's late session-topping effort in the #67 Ford GT, Garcia said:
"I think you have to count on everybody [challenging] – Ford, Ferrari, Porsche.
"Porsche for sure, they were strong last year and they are running the same spec, and there are four of them.
If they are winning races, that means something. They are probably the team to beat."

Garcia stopped short of saying Gianmaria Bruni's 3m47.504s lap in qualifying last year was within reach, but didn't rule out that benchmark being beaten on Thursday evening.
"The last chicane is slower than last year [due to new kerbs], but maybe if somebody has a clear lap and everything runs smooth, someone can beat that," he said.

Milner laments "sloppy" session for #64 crew
The sister #64 Corvette shared by Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler suffered a fraught session, ending up 14th out of 17 cars in class and almost three seconds off the pace.
That followed punctures for both Gavin and Fassler - the latter coming after the crew had already abandoned efforts to embark on a proper qualifying run.
"Frustrating is definitely the word," Milner said
"Unfortunately Olly had a small issue early on that led to a puncture and the damage that resulted from that.
"It took a bit of time to fix that, and then there were still some issues left over from that.
We had plans to do a qualifying run which went out of the window, so tried to get all of us qualified, get the five night laps over with. I got my five, but Marcel had another slow puncture.

"Just a sloppy session, but hopefully we’ve got our bad luck out of the way and we can have a clean weekend from here out."
Milner however described Garcia's disallowed lap in the #63 car as encouraging, adding:
"It’s great to see there’s some pace in the car.
Hopefully it stays that way for the race."


Well-known user
No program in endurance sports car racing can claim a longevity to match Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Not only is this is the program’s 20th consecutive year at Le Mans, each year has been with Chevrolet and the Corvette brand.
The success has been substantial with eight class victories in 19 attempts.

Ahead of this weekend’s 87th running of Le Mans, Corvette Racing leadership and drivers offered their thoughts on this historic milestone.


"This is Corvette Racing’s 20th consecutive appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Every single year is an absolute honor to race at Le Mans. We’re proud to have celebrated eight class wins and many podium finishes with Corvette owners and supporters from around the world.
The tens of thousands of miles completed at Le Mans continue to help us learn lessons on the track that transfer back to our production vehicles and powertrain systems for the showroom.
The Corvette owners’ passion and support of this race program is one of the reasons why we continue to compete at Le Mans each year."


"Corvette Racing is a huge part of Le Mans. Even though people focus a lot of prototypes, we always have a large group that follows us at the race and around the world on TV and radio.
It’s a big honor for them to follow us."I’ve already been there 15 years, but Corvette Racing has been there a few years longer!
I don’t see any other team that has been going to Le Mans for such a long period year after year. Corvette Racing needs Le Mans, but I also believe Le Mans needs Corvette Racing."


"I don’t know if sports car racing will see a program like Corvette Racing again. It is unique with how this program has been put together and run for the last 20 years. That’s what makes being part of Corvette Racing so special. None of us knew when we joined the team that we were going to be here this many years for Le Mans. That’s one of the strengths of the program – the continuity in the team.

Everyone knows each other so well that we can work to the strengths of everyone on the team. I’d say it’s a huge advantage. It doesn’t mean we will win every race, but we do have the biggest chance to not making mistakes because there are very few unknowns. As a driver, I really like that."


"What stands out to me about Corvette Racing is that it is an American team that comes over every year for 20 years to Le Mans. It shows how important Le Mans is to Corvette Racing, but also Le Mans appreciates the attendance of Corvette Racing as well.
This program is committed and has all this experience over the years, still we know it’s a new challenge.
The Corvettes always stand out.
Even when I was younger and in my container with other teams, you always knew when Corvette would come by!
I knew that sound and loved it, and so do all the fans."


"Corvette Racing has been very loyal and determined to follow through on our commitment to Le Mans and what it stands for. It means a lot to the brand. Creating that image and sporting identity of racing and winning at Le Mans each year against the other top manufacturers is a huge deal. If we are fortunate to do it again this year, we would come away with nine wins out of 20 years!

That’s an amazing average and something to be extremely proud of. Then you think about how many races where we’ve been runner-up. For all the victories we’ve had, there have been some extremely unlucky close calls where we could have two, three or four more.
But that’s the nature of Le Mans and why we keep going back.
You take up that challenge and fight against the other teams and manufacturers to come away with the spoils.
And when you do, it’s the best feeling in the world."


"These 24-hour races are unique in itself. But Le Mans is why Corvette and other teams and manufacturers want to compete and test themselves and their technology.
In a lot of ways, this is shaping the trajectory of the Corvette brand itself with lessons learned on the track and improving future generations with what we learn on the racing side at Le Mans.
It definitely has had an impact on the Corvette brand and the cars people can buy every day.
If there was ever an example of how a manufacturer makes a car better or the sentiment toward your brand,
I’d say those manufacturers look at Corvette Racing as the shining example of what can be done."


"This is something very unique. It makes me very proud to be a driver for such a great team.
The commitment also shows the value of the success of Corvette Racing at Le Mans. They have won many times and been on the podium many more.
It shows the professionalism of the team in the preparation and also not having so much change within the team.
This is an important thing to have consistency within the team to improve and be fast. It develops a trust between the drivers and the team. You are confident because you know have the support of the program in good times and bad times.
This is something every driver appreciates and I’m very happy and appreciative to be part of Corvette Racing."


Well-known user
Porsche retook provisional pole in GTE Pro thanks to a late effort by Michael Christensen in the #92 911 RSR of 3m49.388s in the closing stages of the session.
Antonio Garcia - fastest on Wednesday night until his best time in the #63 Corvette C7.R was scrubbed - came within 0.036s of Christensen's time late on, becoming the only other driver to better Harry Tincknell's first qualifying benchmark in the #67 Ford GT.
Tincknell's time of 3m49.530s remained enough for third, ahead of the #93 Porsche which likewise did not improve, while the #91 Porsche slipped one place to fifth despite a late improvement by Gianmaria Bruni.
The best of the Aston Martins slipped from third to sixth on the provisional grid, ahead of the #94 Porsche, the #69 and #68 Fords and the top Ferrari, the #71 car.
BMW was therefore the only manufacturer to end up outside the top 10 in class, the two MTEK-run M8 GTEs ending up 14th and 16th.
The top two times in GTE Am remain the same as on Wednesday, with Matteo Cairoli's best lap in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche not being bettered.
Giancarlo Fisichella was the highest-profile improver, moving up to third place in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari, behind the #56 Project 1 Porsche.
C7.Rs start race in 3rd and 11th place.
Normal Ford crap having 4 GTs running to the 2 C7.Rs :(



CCCUK Member
Actually, Aston are on pole, Corvette 3rd!

Aside from the argumants about the Ford being a prototype built soley for teh purpose of winning Le Mans, if they want to bring 5 car (yes, on is in GT-AM), good for them. We've asked Doug many time why there aren't more Vettes, run as Customer Cars, or otherwise....

Alas, it's all about budgets, in every way..... Corvette are only now waking up to that, but has wasted all theirs on a ridiculous rear engine thing......


Well-known user
Garcia leads charge in No. 63 Corvette ahead of team’s 20th straight Le Mans

In its 20th consecutive appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing recorded its fastest lap in a decade around the fabled circuit Thursday on the final qualifying day for Saturday and Sunday’s race.

Antonio Garcia set a lap of 3:48.830 (132.849 mph) in the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shares with Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller.
A three-time winner at Le Mans – twice with Corvette Racing – Garcia set his best time in the final of three qualifying sessions.

The lap was good enough for the No. 63 Corvette to start third among 17 GTE Pro entries for Saturday’s 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET race.
Rockenfeller had been quickest in class at the annual Le Mans Test Day 10 days ago, and Garcia qualified within 0.830 seconds of the pole-winning car.

Teammate Oliver Gavin was the fastest driver in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R with a lap of 3:49.573 (131.917 mph) that also was set in Thursday’s final session.
The No. 64 Corvette – with Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fässler – will start 11th in class but it could have been much better as Gavin was stymied on his final two laps that had his Corvette trending toward the top-five.

Track conditions around the 8.49-mile circuit were at their peak Thursday with rain having moved out Wednesday.
Garcia took advantage late in the opening session with his best time placing provisionally second in class. However, a number of teams set their best times of the day immediately at the beginning of the final session.
After giving his teammates a chance to sample the setup of the Corvette, Garcia went out for the final 20 minutes and very nearly delivered pole position.

Milner had sights on moving up the charts early but caught the worst of traffic and yellow-flag sectors around the track during his quick run.
As darkness grew, focused turned to race setup for Saturday and Sunday until the team sent out Gavin in the final minutes for a final qualifying shot.

The achievements by the collection of six Corvette Racing drivers can’t be matched by any other entrant at Le Mans.
The group has combined for 19 victories – an exemplary record at Le Mans:

Antonio Garcia: Three victories in 13 appearances- 2008, 2009 and 2011; runner-up in 2014; third place in 2017
Jan Magnussen: Four victories in 20 appearances- 2004-06, 2009; runner-up in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2014; third place in 2017
Mike Rockenfeller: Two victories in nine appearances- 2005 and 2010; third place in 2012
Oliver Gavin: Five victories in 18 appearances – 2002, 2004-06, 2015; runner-up in 2003; third place in 2001 and 2008
Tommy Milner: Two victories in 10 appearances- 2011 and 2015
Marcel Fässler:Three victories in 13 appearances- 2011-12 and 2014; runner-up in 2010; third place in 2015

The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday and will air live on the MotorTrend Network with full audio coverage on Radio Le Mans.


"It was interesting and difficult.
We know how the session went with the amount of yellows and slow zones, so it was kind of a gamble that we could go on track and find a clear lap and just go for it. We decided to have another go (tonight) mainly because yesterday’s time got cancelled so we needed to have a run in the first session this evening.
That put us in a position where, instead of doing the classic two attempts in the final session, we had to do one in the first session when the track wasn’t as good.
I drove a pretty decent and pretty fast lap.

It was pretty close between Porsche and us. We obviously went a bit faster in the last session, though I don’t know whether the conditions were really better. I don’t think we would have gotten pole, because those lap times were very, very strong. But if you look all around the field you see 12 cars within 1.5 seconds and I am just 0.8 off pole position, that’s pretty close.
And that’s what we can expect for the race: a train of GTE cars. But luckily, we’re in the first part of the train, which will make things a little bit easier since we’ll be a little bit more in control rather than chasing all the time. I think it’s going to be a very interesting 24 Hours, with 15 laps per hour and many cars nose to tail."


"We’ve had quite a fraught couple of days on the No. 64 Corvette with punctures and damage.

The crew has worked super-hard to straighten things out and get us ready for today, and we all need to thank them for that.

We were running through a program and Tommy was so unlucky; every time he went out to do a qualifying run, he was so unlucky. He was getting balked, getting traffic, red flags, slow zones
I think he came in and waved the white flag and said we needed to get myself and Marcel some laps, which was very decent of him. I was out there end and our engineer came on the radio and asked if we should give it one last shot.
It’s always magic to drive around here with low fuel and good tires.
We were getting some breaks but other things were just utterly ridiculous with the driving standards. We were on two really good laps but had people ahead of me who wanted to wreck our laps.
You don’t want to see that. But I’m pleased we were a little farther up the grid;
I think that last lap would have close to where Antonio ended. That’s the way things roll around Le Mans.
Once again, thanks to the guys for sticking with us and pushing, pushing, pushing."


Well-known user
With just a few hours before the race starts shows what crap WEC sticks it again to the C7.Rs but give Ford a break in weight where they always sandbag before the race :(

Aston Martin and C7R Corvettes have both been penalized in the latest GTE Pro class Balance of Performance issued for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which took pole on Thursday night thanks to Marco Sorensen's 3m48s lap, has been given a small turbo boost reduction.
All cars in the class except the Corvette C7.R, including the Aston Martin, have been handed a 5kg weight break.
It comes after Antonio Garcia qualified the best of the Corvettes third.

The Aston has also been hit with a two-liter reduction in fuel capacity as organizers aim to ensure all cars are capable of no more than 14-lap stints during green flag running.
BoP changes have been made in the GTE Am class as well, following a Porsche top-three lockout in qualifying.
The 911 RSRs will run 10kg heavier, while the sole Ford GT in the class, the Keating Motorsports entry, has been handed a 10kg weight break.
Both the Ferrari 488 GTE and previous-generation Aston Martin Vantage are unaffected by the latest changes.


Well-known user
With 6 and half hours of race #63 C7.R is in first place, #64 is back in 8th place
see live timing at

Race video
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Well-known user
Two safety car periods broke up the sixth hour of the race, one for a big incident at the Porsche Curves.

The infamous set of sweeping bends have claimed their first victim of the race,
the No. 64 Corvette Racing C7.R of Marcel Fassler, which was running just outside the top five in Pro.

The Swiss collided with the No. 88 Dempsey Proton Porsche while lapping the Gulf Racing Porsche, Satoshi Hoshino in the Porsche turning into the side of Fassler as he came through.
That sent both off the circuit, the Corvette straight into the barriers.

It was race over immediately for Fassler and the No. 64 crew, reducing Corvette Racing’s effort to just a single car.
Thankfully he was OK — fit enough to tell the team on the radio that “there was nothing” he could do.

It’s not over for Corvette, though. Its No. 63 currently sits third behind the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari and No. 92 Porsche.

“He was talking and walking. We believe we have the safest GT cars in the world,” Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan said.

“Our crush zone, seating and side window nets have all come into play.
As a precaution he’s down at the medical centre.
He’ll be back later, the car looks too badly damaged to be repaired.
But we’ve done this before, we’ve been here and won with two cars, it’s not over yet.”


New user
4th when I went to bed and then 1st this morning but all over now having been caught in pits with safety car out. Great racing for 21 hours though


Well-known user
Just as the fans began to fill the stands trackside for what looked to be a grandstand finish in GTE Pro in the final hours of this race, it all changed when the AF Corse Ferrari, which had held a slim lead over the No. 63 Corvette, was handed a huge advantage.

The RLR MSport ORECA suffered a terminal engine failure in pit lane, while Nyck De Vries had a big off at Indianapolis in the Racing Team Nederland Dallara.
The Dutchman lost control and went head-on into the barriers, severely damaging the front end, bringing out a safety car.
De Vries managed to get going and back to the pits, the task ahead for the team’s mechanics mAnd it was the safety car that changed it all.

The GTE Pro contenders were spread across the three safety cars, splitting the class battles up. Initially the Corvette of Jan Magnussen was behind the AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado, setting up a two-way fight.
But Corvette had to pit the No. 63, meaning Magnussen was forced to wait at the end of the pit lane as the safety car train drove past, and wait for the next one.
This gave the Ferrari a two-minute advantage at the front ahead of the Corvette and the gaggle of Porsches and Fords behind.

Once the race restarted, things changed again when Magnussen had a near-identical off to that of Gustavo Menezes early in the race, losing the rear end of the No. 63 through the Porsche Curves, and clouting the barriers head-on.
This forced the Dane into the pits for repairs, dropping the car to eighth in class.
Corvette’s day, therefore, will end with no silverware: a tough pill to swallow after such a consistent run for the No. 63 in the No. 64’s absence.

“This may have decided GTE Pro now,” Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, former Porsche GT boss said.
“The four cars at the top have been split across three safety cars, the Ferrari has been given a big advantage.
Sometimes the safety cars give, sometimes they take.
It’s a pity because the race was so close after an excellent battle for 20 hours. But maybe another will come?
We will see!”

This leaves the No. 51 Ferrari over a minute up win the No. 91 and No. 93 Porsches behind.
The No. 68 Ford is now waiting in the wings to take the final podium spot in fourth.
GTE Am had a hairy moment too, Felipe Fraga going off at the Ford Chicanes and almost hitting the barriers.
Thankfully, the Brazilian rejoined and is back at normal pace, almost three minutes clear of the Project 1 Porsche.

C7Rs finish race back in 9th and 17th place :(


Well-known user
Corvette Racing’s hopes for a magical victory in its 20th straight appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans didn’t come to pass, but the effort of the program was never stronger than what the team displayed Saturday and Sunday in the world’s biggest endurance race.

The No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller finished ninth in the GTE Pro category on a day where the trio was firmly in contention for the first 20 hours.
Three unlucky safety car periods and an untimely late trip to the garage for repairs following a spin put a dent in the plans for a ninth class victory in 20 years.

Le Mans struck hard at both Corvette Racing entries. The No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C7.R retired following a heavy crash for Marcel Fässler near the six-hour mark.
The incident happened in the lightning quick Porsche Curves toward the end of the lap. Fässler – driving with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner – was hit from behind after making a pass on a slower car with the impact sending the Corvette hard into the wall on driver’s right.

The damage was too extensive to repair and return the car to the race. Fässler was evaluated at the track medical center and was sent to a local hospital for a CT scan, which came back normal.

The No. 64 Corvette was up and down the order early with Gavin climbing from 11th at the start to fourth in class during his opening two stints.
Debris on his tires made it challenging for him to maintain his early pace but he and Milner had relatively calm stints before handing over to Fässler, who was matching the pace of his teammates before in incident.

The No. 63 led early and often. Garcia began the race from the third position but needed less than 20 minutes to move to the point in a frantic start.

All three drivers of the No. 63 Corvette took turns in the lead early.
The first safety car period of the race during the sixth hour brought the top nine GTE Pro entries to within 15 seconds of each other at the six-hour mark.
Another safety car near the 10 hours running split the two lead cars from the rest of the GTE Pro field, effectively taking what had been a nine-car battle down to two with the Corvette part of the second group.

The early-morning period saw the leading GTE Pro entry run into trouble, allowing the remaining Corvette – which had chipped away on the lead pack for a number of hours – to move back into contention.
By the 16-hour mark, the C7.R had moved back into the lead and a strategic game of chess developed between the No. 63 Corvette and the eventual winning Ferrari.

The momentum seemed like it was swinging permanently toward the side of the Corvette when disaster struck with three-and-a-half hours to go. Rockenfeller pitted for fuel, tires and a driver change to Magnussen during a safety car period.
The pit stop was excellent – as they had been all race – but the pit exit was closed, which once again prevented the Corvette from catching the safety car queue that included the GTE Pro leader.

Once under way, Magnussen spun late in the lap at the Porsche Curves on cold tires and contacted the outside wall with the front-left of the Corvette. The crew repaired the suspension on that corner of the Corvette, losing just six minutes but two costly laps.
A final late-race visit to the garage thwarted any hopes of gaining additional positions.

There is little rest for Corvette Racing with the team returning to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in two weeks at Watkins Glen International for the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen.


"It was super tough all race, especially for being all the way up at the front for 21 hours.
The early safety car around five hours really put us down, and I got pretty upset about that. For me, I thought the race was lost but you never know at Le Mans. A few more stints in and we were back in the lead.
It’s a shame that we didn’t put it together all the way to the end because I think everyone here deserved to win. The team made a fantastic effort.
The preparation was really good, and we proved that to every other team out there – the preparation of the cars, the pit stops, the brake changes and the way we could go for a win instead of waiting for the race to come to us.
I felt like we had everyone afraid of us. Most of the teams at Le Mans probably feel that we had the car to beat, and I think that’s right. But Ferrari did a perfect run and they won. All we can do is congratulate them. Then we will come back and win it."