An inspiring run by Oliver Gavin in the #64 Corvettes looks all for naught as white smoke out of the Corvettes left-side exhaust signaled an end for this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans. Oliver had just run a 3:59.356 lap following 30 minutes in the garage to repair the Corvette after it when hard into the wall at the Porsche Curves. That crash dropped to class leading GT2 Corvette down to the 5th place.
Gavin was instructed to park the Corvette and he did so at the Musanne corner.
From Corvette Racing:
Corvette Racing’s Le Mans Ends with No. 64 Corvette Retirement
Mechanical Problem Sidelines Gavin at 18 Hours
Corvette Racing’s bid for its first GT2 title in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ended this morning at 9:42 a.m. when the No. 64 Corvette C6.R retired with an apparent engine problem. Driver Oliver Gavin nursed the car to a marshal’s station at Mulsanne corner, where it was pushed behind the barriers and officially retired.
“The guys fixed the car brilliantly after the crash, and I was able to run my fastest lap of the race with a rebuilt car,” Gavin said. “The Corvette Racing team is fantastic, and I literally trust them with my life. I’m impressed with their spirit, guts, and determination to take on everybody. We had the fastest car for 18 hours, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
“It’s frustrating that we get so far into it, we prove that we have the speed and the pace to win the race, and then a crazy move by one of the Peugeot drivers forced Manu off the road at a very dangerous spot,” said Gavin. “Everybody has to share the track; we are racing four different classes, and every driver has to have respect for the others. That accident was huge, but it shows the strength of the car that Manu was able to drive back to the pits and climb out without an injury.”
After six wins in the GTS/GT1 class at Le Mans, Corvette Racing was bidding for its first GT2 title in the world’s most famous sports car race. The Corvettes qualified 1-2 and dominated the race until a series of mishaps took them out of the running.
“There are different ways to make history, and today’s result certainly wasn’t what we set out to accomplish,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “At the end of the day, you have to look at what you did accomplish and the goals that you had set.
“The Corvettes qualifying first and second in an extremely competitive class validated all of the time spent designing and developing the GT2 Corvette C6.R,” he noted. “Second, we demonstrated the value of safety engineering being transferred from production to racing. The No. 63 Corvette had a huge impact, but Emmanuel walked away and is feeling fine. That’s a testament to the product relevance of the Corvette Racing program.
“So now we go back, we work harder, we improve ourselves, and we look forward to coming back next to achieve our goal of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Fehan said. “We never give up at Corvette Racing.”
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving