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Article by Ryan Smith and Judy Kouba Dominick; Photo by Richard Prince
• Corvette Racing seeks ninth class victory in competitive GTE Pro category
• Rockenfeller, No. 63 Corvette C7.R quickest in class on Test Day
• Six Corvette Racing drivers with 19 combined Le Mans victories
DETROIT (June 10, 2019) – For the 20th straight year, Corvette Racing is set to take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following a successful run on the Le Mans Test Day last weekend, endurance racing’s premier GT sports car team has put finishing touches on its preparations for a ninth class victory.
Corvette Racing has been a constant at Le Mans the past two decades. It has generated a global following with its successes at Le Mans, fan-friendly approach and roaring V8-powered Corvette race cars. This year’s Le Mans is the sixth for the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, which has recorded a victory and two other podium finishes in that time.
There’s still plenty of life in the Corvette C7.R, has evidenced by its showing on the June 2 Test Day. Mike Rockenfeller was the fastest GTE Pro driver with the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R that he shares with full-season teammates Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen. In the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette, Tommy Milner set the Test Day’s third-quickest time in class; he is driving with Marcel Fässler and full-season teammate Oliver Gavin.
As has been standard practice, Corvette Racing did not concern itself with outright speed and pace on the Test Day. Instead, the team worked toward race setup by concentrating on items like tire compounds and pressure, suspension components and other areas that will insure the two Corvettes will be in the best possible position come Saturday and Sunday.
It’s a formula that has worked for 20 years. Since debuting at Le Mans in 2000, Corvette Racing has scored eight class victories and accumulated nearly 100,000 racing miles at the 24 Hours. Very rarely has the Corvette been quickest over a single lap, a testament to the team’s commitment to the long game at Le Mans.
Corvette Racing also will try to carry over its momentum from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s early-season run to Le Mans. Garcia and Magnussen, winners of the last two GT Le Mans (GTLM) titles, have reeled off three straight podium finishes and sit second in points after four races… a similar to start to their 2018 campaign.
And the GTLM champions before Garcia and Magnussen went back-to-back in 2017-18? That would be Milner and Gavin, who won the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2016 with Fässler. The Gavin/Milner duo have showed front-running pace at every IMSA race this season but have been snake bit with bad luck, although they did finish third in class at Long Beach.
Le Mans is the final race in the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season. There is a total of 17 entries from five manufacturers in the GTE Pro category.
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
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