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Le Mans 2018 - The Aftermath - (Spoiler Alert!)



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kentvette

Club Member

Mon 18 Jun 18 11:26

Le Mans 2018 - The Aftermath - (Spoiler Alert!)


So, now its all over, It wasn’t one of the greatest races it has to be said.

From a Corvette standpoint, very disappointing, an eventual 5th in class for the 63 car and a DNF for the 64 car, caused by overheating issues.

Toyota were in a class of their own (literally actually!) so barring incidents were set to win overall. No doubt much will be made of “F1 Driver” Alonso winning, but I think Nakujima did the majority of the “donkey work”, although Alonso was definitely very quick!

We are in the fortunate position of living only miles from the track, and it was obvious from a visit to the circuit as early at Christmas time who was going to win in GT, Porsche having paid millions in advertising and various other publicity and corporate sponsorship deals around the circuit.

During Test Weekend, the (awful) engine notes alone of the Porsches implied how much they had in reserve and, they were quick even then. We knew that there would be BoP changes for the race, but after the Ford cheating episode of 2016 we had hoped the ACO would be less overt in their favouritism. Alas, when the changes were handed out, some of the slower cars got even more penalties, (Corvette of course, among them, with an extra 11kgs!) and the Porsches received no penalties at all! Needless to say, the other recipient of assistance was Ferrari, and as the history of the marque is one of various methods of assistance from one or other corrupt organisation, this is no suprise! However, the Astons, who were clearly struggling with the new car were not helped much this year, and the BMWs were too new to be reliable. The Fords of course, were sandbagging for much of the time, again, just listening to the engine note change gave the lie to their use of turbo boost!

All in all, we pretty much knew the outcome from the beginning, which is a shame, because overall we enjoyed the week.

At the race end, on the slow down and "parc ferme" laps, after the general applause for the winners, the thing which seemed to delight the crowd most was Antonio Garcia’s high-revs-low-speed, blast past the grandstands to turn in to the parc ferme entrance, which sort of summed it up really - based on the amount of Corvette Racing clothing being worn around the circuit it was obvious which was the most popular car!

One wonders how long GM will allow Doug Fehan to bring them over when things are so stacked against them now - the lack of GM advertising and their non participation in the WEC clearly going against them. During the week Doug and the drivers were asked by many people, myself included, about the "disadvantage" of not being part of the WEC. Doug was typically diplomatic, quoting the Corvette marketplace and the difficulty of involving the parts of GM in the regions that the WEC travels to. He obviously would love Corvette to be involved, but knows that his bosses won't sanction that at the moment and with a budget coming only from North America, its not possible.

Olly Gavin had some interesting insights into the differences between IMSA and WEC (and therefore Le Mans) and Tommy Milner was his usual amusingly forthright self, jokingly suggesting that the WEC teams decided their collective strategy before the race!

The reality is that the FIA is determined that it has the upper hand over IMSA (who clearly put on a better series) and Corvette's non participation will always be used against them. I feel sorry for the team, its tough to see the crews rushing around performing the quickest pit-stops by far, only for them to see it all wasted when a Ford or Porsche cruises past the 'Vettes out on Les Hunaundiers. Apparently its most likely that next year Corvette will still be running the same car, so lets hope they can squeeze something out of it, or the FIA/ACO!

Finally, a mention must go to the Virage Mulsanne event, which many of the UK contingent of Corvettes attended, along with many French Corvettes. The organisers put on a really great day and really looked after us with good parking, a very nice free lunch, drinks, and even the brief attendance of the 63 car crew. A very enjoyable day all round!

Up-Date: The ACO announced yesterday that the 67 Ford GT had been penalised for a driving hours infringement - Tony Kanaan did not complete the full 6 hours required. The result is a drop from 4th in class to 12th. This moves the 63 Corvette into 4th in class. If Corvette were chasing points in the WEC it would have helped - I suspect it gives them little consolation now though.



Last edited by kentvette on Tue 19 Jun 18 08:03; edited 2 times in total. [5 %]
--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

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vetteheadracer

Club Member

Tue 28 Aug 18 16:35

Re: Le Mans 2018 - The Aftermath - (Spoiler Alert!)


On the subject of WEC Steve, you will obviously know by now that Corvette Racing will be taking one chassis to China for the Shanghai round of the FIA WEC in November this year and it will be sponsored by the GM Redline branding which is a local (aka Chinese) top of the line GM product range. Corvette arena actually part of this in China however GM China are providing the funding for Corvette Racing to participate.
Corvette Racing will also be competing at Sebring in the US round of the FIA WEC the day before the 12 hours in 2019 in the C7.R whilst possibly running the C8.R in the IMSA race.

Apparently the FIA said to Corvette Racing do 3 rounds of WEC a year or no Le Mans invites unless of course they win the previous year, hence their increased participation.


--------------------
2016 Corvette Racing Yellow C7.R Edition Z06 Coupe with the Z07 package, Competition Seats, A8 transmission. #501
1965 Corvette Convertible ex-SCCA race car. Barn find so recommissioning it.

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kentvette

Club Member

Wed 29 Aug 18 08:27

Re: Le Mans 2018 - The Aftermath - (Spoiler Alert!)


Hi Nigel

Sorry we missed you during Le Mans by the way!

Thanks for the info. Yes, I knew about the Chinese event But the last sentence, re participation in WEC is very interesting. I've thought for a long time that Corvette were suffering by not doing WEC and this all sounds just like the FIA. I have also always said that the worst thing that could happen to Le Mans and indeed sportscar racing in general, was letting the FIA get involved. They just can't accept that IMSA know much better then them!


--------------------
Stephen J Irons
CCCUK Lifetime Member
Corvette Club France
Corvettes of Southern California
NCM Family Member
Stephen & June's Web Site
Red Corvettes Have More Fun!

Apple IS Genisys!
The "Born-Again Greenies" are killing the planet! It's time to wake up and smell the rain-forest burning!

Reply with quote

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