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LE MANS, France (June 17, 2018) – In 19 years of competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing has experienced both disappointment and achievement. The constant in each case, though, is the drive of those on the program to give maximum effort each and every appearance.
That was on display again this year at the 86th running of the French endurance classic. Corvette Racing showed its mettle in the face of adversity as it fought for a ninth class victory at Le Mans. It wasn’t meant to be as Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller finished fifth in the GTE Pro category with their No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
“All race long, the Corvette Racing C7.R teams never gave up,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We know all the lows and highs of Le Mans, including our eight class victories here. We race at Le Mans to win, and we also race to learn. That is no different this year. The learnings from Le Mans will help us as we strive to continually improve. We look forward to getting back on track at Watkins Glen.”
Campbell added: “Our race team appreciates the support from Corvette owners and fans from all over world.”
The No. 63 team scraped and clawed for positions the entire 24 hours. Garcia began the race ninth, and the Corvette never fell below that the entire way. Despite lacking overall pace all three drivers, the crew and race engineers worked tirelessly to hover around the top-five before the Corvette settled into fifth place inside the final quarter of the race.
The tale of the No. 64 Corvette began to unfold early. Gavin fell back to 15th at the start but rebounded nicely to 12th before experiencing trouble with the right-front suspension. He handed over to Milner after a double-stint; however the team brought the Corvette back to the pits and into the garage after Milner reported severe handling issues.
The stop resulted in four laps lost, but it didn’t take the fight out of the No. 64 team. From 17th place, the Gavin/Milner/Fässler trio put in solid stints to go along with excellent stops and brake changes from the Corvette crew. Well into the third quarter of the race, however, the No. 64 Corvette began to show signs of an engine overheating condition that ultimately resulted in the car’s retirement from the race.
There’s little time for rest and recovery. Corvette Racing returns to competition in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen from Watkins Glen International on June 29-July 1.
Article by Ryan Smith
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