2009 Le Mans 24: Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class

Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Photo Credit: Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO / Nikon

With a dry track and near perfect conditions, Jan Magnussen and the #63 Corvette C6.R won the pole in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year with a time of 3:54.230. Olivier Beretta was right on his tail and qualified the Black #64 Corvette C6.R with a time of 3:54.702 in what will be Corvette Racing’s final GT1 race.

Although the first session ran smoothly for both Corvettes, things did get a little dicey in the second session. Beretta spun the #64 C6.R in the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight while Antonio Garcia dealt with a punctured tire on his Velocity Yellow #63 Corvette.

“So far so good!” said Magnussen. “The Corvette C6.R goes really well and responds well to changes. I set my qualifying time on soft tires with a couple of laps on them already, which shows how good the car is. In the second part of the qualifying session Antonio (Garcia) did a long run to see how the tires would behave over a distance. With the new rules on tire changes, we’ll have to double-stint them to avoid losing too much time in the pits. Tonight we learned how hard we can push them.”

“Winning the GT1 pole at Le Mans is fitting after 10 years of intense competition and a great way to begin the ending of Corvette’s reign in the GT1 category at Le Mans,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Tonight’s performance certainly reflects the advances in technology that General Motors has developed through the Corvette Racing program.”

24 Hours of Le Mans LM GT1 Qualifying Times:

Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Time
1. (63) O’Connell/Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 3:54.230
2. (64) Gavin/Beretta/Fassler, Corvette C6.R, 3:54.702
3. (66) Lichtner-Hoyer/Gruber/Muller, Aston Martin DBR9, 3:56.126
4. (72) Alphand/Goueslard/Gregoire, Corvette C6.R, 3:57.170
5. (73) Jousse/Maassen/Clairay, Corvette C6.R, 3:57.564 6. (68) Apicella/Yogo/Yamagishi, Lamborghini Murcielago, 4:21.812

The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 13 and finish at 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 14. SPEED will provide live television coverage in the U.S. from 8:30 a.m. to noon ET and 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and midnight to 10 a.m. ET Sunday. Flag-to-flag coverage of the race can be heard on SIRIUS channel 126, XM channel 243, and radiolemans.com.

Corvette Racing
Photo Credit: Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO / Nikon

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