Photo Credit: Guénolé TREHOREL ACO/Nikon lemans.org
For the second year in a row, the French Larbre Competition team has sent a Corvette to the winner’s circle in the GTE-AM division at the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
But it wasn’t easy to repeat.
The No. 50 Larbre Corvette C6R had to battle throughout the race with the No. 67 IMSA Matmut Porsche RSR, trailing by about 12 seconds with less than 20 minutes left.
“I overtook him on the track, and the team told me that I was passing the Porsche for the lead, so it is nice to win,” driver Pedro Lamy said after turning in a series of blazing laps to catch the leader.
Lamy secured the win with a late pass on Imsa driver Anthony Pons, after closing down the Porsche’s half-minute advantage in the final stint.
But on the last lap, things got interesting when Larbre pulled Lamy into the pits to replace him with Julien Canal to ensure that Canal met the minimum required track time for each driver.
“We swapped because we worked out that the driving time was compromised,” Larbre team owner Jack Leconte said. “We thought Canal had done 13 seconds too little and Porsche were going to protest. We had a pitlane speeding issue during the safety car, and I was talking and doing other things during the pitstops.”
Ultimately, a tire puncture wound up putting Porsche out of the running and forced them to settle for runner-up. Third place went to the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458.