Le Mans 2008: Corvette Racing Hour 12 Report

Corvette Running Second to Aston Martin at Le Mans

The Aston Martin DBR9 vs Corvette C6.R battle is in full force at the midway point of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #009 Aston Martin is currently leading the class with Jan Magnussen and the #63 Corvette just 41 seconds behind. The #007 Aston Martin is third and then the #64 Corvette C6.R is a lap down at 4th in class.

Around six hours into the race the #64 Corvette had an electrical problem and the alternator needed to be replaced. The new alternator was installed in just six minutes but when the Corvette rejoined the race it was a lap down.

Olivier Beretta, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: “We ran for a long time behind the safety car and the exhaust from the car in front of me was giving me a headache. The car is OK, everything is fine.”

Ron Fellows, No. 63 Corvette C6.R: “It was very slick out there. I was struggling and I don’t quite know why. The soft tires didn’t quite work for some reason. Jan took over on soft stickers. Traffic was not too bad but I got stuck for a while behind the No. 59 Aston and the Saleen which were fighting each other. There’s still a long distance to go, and anything can happen, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Oliver Gavin, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: “It’s been a bit crazy. There have been moments when the traffic is so bad you’re just dawdling around the track for several corners. The car is still running quickly, but then you can lose five seconds in traffic. If you get a clear run you can do 3.50s and 3.51s, and 3.49 if you’re really lucky. I think that will be the pace for the rest of the night.”

Jan Magnussen, No. 63 Corvette C6.R: “That wasn?t too bad, just cruising around and staying out of trouble. Which isn’t easy, as there are a lot of guys out there who clearly haven’t driven a lot in the dark before. The balance of the car is okay, it’s just moving around a bit. When the sun comes out again we’ll be stronger than the Astons, I’m sure.”

Johnny O’Connell, No. 63 Corvette C6.R: “The car is a bit nicer than it was before. The toughest thing is getting a clear lap in. We’ve got a good car, and the fuel consumption is very good. We’re doing 14 laps a stint, so each time we’re gaining some time back on the Astons.”

Max Papis, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: “We’ve been pushing very hard since we had the alternator problem and it doesn’t seem like we can make up much ground. We’re very consistent, but not as fast as I was expecting us to be. It’s still a long way and everyone is pulling the best out of themselves.”

Photo Credit: Christian Vignon – ACO/Nikon

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