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24 Hours of LeMans

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.



Source:
Corvette Racing
Photo Credit: Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO / Nikon

Related:
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy
Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

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Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Photo Credit: Fr̩d̩ric GAUDIN РACO/Nikon

If you’re planning to follow flag to flag coverage of the Corvette Racing’s final GT1 assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, here is the essential media guide for the best content online and on TV. Thanks goes out to CorvetteMotorsport.com for putting this list together.

24 Hours Le Mans Media Schedule:

Radio Le Mans, Live timings, Corvette Chat, on-board camera, video AND news can ALL be accessed at Corvettemotorsport.com

Live pit notes:

Radio:

Bad Boy Vettes

Online Forums:

SPEED TV Live Streaming 24 hours Saturday/Sunday (starts 11:00 am CST)

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.



Source:
Corvette Motorsport
Photo Credit: Fr̩d̩ric GAUDIN РACO/Nikon

Related:
2009 Le Mans 24: Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy
Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

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Corvette Racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans

by Keith Cornett on June 8, 2009

Corvette Racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans


Source:
Endurance-Info.com

 

Chevrolet's Ed Peper and the C6.R Corvette

One of our biggest fears in a GM Bankruptcy was that the automaker would be forced to cancel the company’s racing programs including Corvette Racing’s final assault on the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as it focuses on reorganization. But recent comments by GM Vice President of Chevrolet Ed Peper appears to put those fears to rest.

“Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” is still very much a part of the company’s DNA, Peper told the Detroit’s Free Press. Auto racing will remain “a stout marketing and advertising tool in its reorganization”.

That’s good news as the Corvette Racing team and enthusiasts converge on France next week for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing will run its pair of Compuware-sponsored Chevy Corvette C6.Rs in the GT1 class and hopes are high that this final GT1 race for the team will end with a 1-2 podium finish.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the key marketing activities of the brand,” Peper said. “Corvette is the marquee brand for the company, but we’ve got to get maximum return for minimum spending.”

“We have a great presence in motorsports, but we need the returns to be even better,” Peper said. “I love racing, but the most appealing part of it to me is delivering on sales.”

Peper says the government’s auto task force has not gotten involved in GM’s racing programs during the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. “They concentrated on the core business — they didn’t get into marketing and advertising,” Peper said. “They just wanted us to use good judgment with our promotions.”

Peper says “we race to win, and we get a great return on it.” But, he added, all GM’s racing programs, including NASCAR, will be under pressure to deliver greater efficiencies and return on investment despite tough times.

“We have a great presence in motorsports, but we need the returns to be even better,” Peper said. “I love racing, but the most appealing part of it to me is delivering on sales.”

Practice for Le Mans will take place on June 10th and qualifying will be held on June 11th. The 77th running of the worlds most prestigious sports car race will start on Saturday, June 13th at 3 pm local time (10 am EST) and the checkered flag will drop 24 hours later on Sunday, June 14th. Much of race will be carried by SPEED.



Source:
Detroit Free Press

Related:
Take No Prisoners: The Story of Corvette Racing’s Mascot
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Gavin and Beretta Win Final ALMS GT1 Race at Long Beach

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Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

by Keith Cornett on February 26, 2009

The Corvette C6.Rs at Le Mans

The ACO has released the entry list for the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans. In what will be Corvette Racing’s final battle for GT1 glory at La Sarthe, the factory-backed Corvette C6.Rs will face off against two rival Aston Martin DBR9′s, two Lamborghini Murcielago’s and two other Corvette C6.R’s from privateer Luc Alphand Aventures.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment came a few weeks ago when the factory Aston Martin Racing team announced a move to a Lola Aston Martin LMP1, depriving the Corvette C6.Rs a final chance at retribution against the former GT1 class winners from the last two years. The two DBR9′s that will compete in GT1 this year come from Gigawave Motorsport and Jetalliance Racing.

The Eight GT1 Entries:

  • #55 IPB Spartak Racing: Lamborghini Murcielago
  • #60 Gigawave Motorsport: Aston Martin DBR9
  • #63 Corvette Racing: Corvette C6.R
  • #64 Corvette Racing: Corvette C6.R
  • #66 Jetalliance Racing: Aston Martin DBR9
  • #68 JLOC ISAO Noritake: Lamborghini Murcielago
  • #72 Luc Alphand Aventures: Corvette C6.R
  • #73 Luc Alphand Aventures: Corvette C6.R

* A Saleen S7R entered by Larbre Competition is on the reserve list

The ACO failed to deliver an invite to Lou Gigliotti’s #28 GT2 Corvette which according to Lou was the linchpin for funding their 2009 ALMS campaign. We’ll have to wait and see what the LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies plans will be for the American Le Mans series now that they know that Le Mans is no longer in the mix.

There are 14 entries in the GT2 category with a field that comprises nine Ferrari 430s. So a quick note to Pratt and Miller’s GT2 engineers – The Ferrari 430 is your obvious performance target so go get ‘em! The Drayson Racing Aston Martin V8 Vantage will also be making its debut at Le Mans in GT2.

You can see the entire 55 car entry list at Crash.net

The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place June 13-14th.



Source:
Crash.net
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Related:
Marcel Fassler and Antonio Garcia Join the Corvette Racing Team
LG Motorsports Makes Bid to Race GT2 Corvette at Le Mans

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Marcel Fassler and Antonio Garcia Joins Corvette Racing Team

Corvette Racing has announced a new driver lineup for the 2009 American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two new faces have been added for the endurance events. Marcel Fassler (L) will team up with Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the #4 Corvette C6.R and Antonio Garcia (R) will join ALMS GT1 Defending Champions Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette C6.R.

Marcel Fassler hails from Switzerland and been a winner in the FIA GT Championship with the Phoenix Carsport Corvette C6.R and won the prestigious Spa 24-hour race in 2007. He also briefly raced for Audi’s LMP1 team last year. Fassler has already been announced as part of the Speedy Sebah Lola-Aston Martin team for the 2009 Le Mans Series. Fassler has competed in the DTM, the European Le Mans Series, A1 Grand Prix, and the FIA GT championship.

Spanish driver Antonio Garcia won the GT1 class at Le Mans last year driving for Corvette’s arch rival Aston Martin. Most recently, Garcia was part of the winning Brumos team at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Garcia has raced in the European Touring Car Championship, the World Touring Car Championship and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

“Antonio and Marcel have the ability, the experience, and the mindset that we look for in a Corvette Racing driver,” said GM Road Racing Group manager Steve Wesoloski. “We’ve seen their speed on the track, and we know they have the discipline and team-oriented attitude that’s essential for success in endurance racing.”

Fassler and Garcia replace Max Papis and Ron Fellows in Corvette Racing’s three endurance events: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 10 hour Petit Le Mans. Papis is making the move to break into NASCAR full time this season while Ron Fellows has moved into an ambassadorial role with the Corvette Racing team.

Corvette Racing also confirmed that they will run in the GT1 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Grand Prix of Long Beach before heading to France in June to compete for the 10th time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following their return from France, Corvette Racing will transition to the GT2 class at Mid-Ohio as the team prepares for a full season of GT2 racing in 2010.



Source:
Corvette Racing

Related:
LG Motorsports Makes Bid to Race GT2 Corvette at Le Mans

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LG Motorsports Makes Bid to Race GT2 Corvette at Le Mans

by Keith Cornett on February 2, 2009

LG Motorsports  GT2 Corvette at Sebring

Our friends at Badboy Vettes are telling us that the Black and Flames #28 GT2 Corvette belonging to LG Motorsports and Lou Gigliotti has applied to the ACO for a GT2 entry in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. As for the rest of the season, Lou says its all about Le Mans.

With continued support from car builder Riley Technologies and several new French sponsors including the French Corvette Club, Lou feels they will get strong consideration from the ACO, the organization that hosts the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Our season hinges directly on our Le Mans application. If we do get accepted, we have funding for Le Mans, Sebring, St. Pete, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, Petit and Laguna.”

The #28 Corvette and the LG Motorsports team were at Sebring last week for the winter test session. According to Lou, it was track time well spent:

“We were there and got down to a 2:03.5 which was about 1.5 seconds off the fastest Michelin time of the 3 day test. We were on last year Dunlop compound which is behind what the BMW team now has.”

“I ran almost 8 hours of testing in two days during 4 two hour sessions. I only got out of the car between two hour sessions. ”

“We didn’t have our proper 1st gear for the hairpin but we will for the race.”

We saw the new GT2 team make great strides last year before funding problems took them out of several races. Seeming to show improvement after each race, we were much impressed with the #28 Corvette during last year’s Utah Grand Prix where the car was in contention for much of the race.

Should the LG Motorsports team get its invite to France, then we are assured of seeing the Lou and his #28 GT2 Corvette at the ALMS opener at the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 21st.



Source:
Badboy Vettes
Corvette Forum
Photo Credit: John Thawley

Related:
[VIDEO] ALMS GT2: LG Motorsports #28 Corvette at Utah

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Corvette Racing: 2009 Le Mans Campaign Confirmed

by Keith Cornett on December 23, 2008

A GT1 Corvette at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Last week we brought you the report from AutoSport Magazine that claimed Corvette Racing was pulling out of 2009′s 24 Hours of Le Mans due to budget constraints. But Program Manager Doug Fehan rebutted that report as erroneous and says the Le Mans Challenge is a go.

The AutoSport report suggested that Corvette Racing wouldn’t compete at Le Mans and would instead focus on developing the new GT2 Corvette that is set to debut in the second half of the 2009 ALMS season.

Fehan says the plans to compete in GT1 at the beginning of the season and at Le Mans are still on.

“The primary focus of the race team is the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach and, of course as it always has been, the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” he said. “We tested the GT1 car at Sebring in November, and we will be utilizing Sebring and Long Beach to put the final touches on the Le Mans effort.

“We’re continuously developing the car and package for fuel mileage, efficiency and new materials from our various suppliers. We want our last GT1 appearance at Le Mans to be successful. The team understands the importance of a victory at Sebring, Long Beach and Le Mans to close the GT1 program.”

Fehan also took the opportunity to address the progress of new GT2 Corvette C6.R and says development is on schedule to debut the new car at Mid-Ohio in early August.

“Engineering and fabrication continues to focus on the GT2 program,” he said. “We expect the first actual race car to be completed in early February and will be testing that car in the spring.”



Source:
Crash.net
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Related:
Corvette Racing: Budget Cuts Force Cancellation of 2009 Le Mans Challenge?
Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R Ready for Assembly
Corvette Racing: GT2 Will Never Be The Same

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The GT1 Corvettes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

AutoSport Magazine is reporting that Corvette Racing will not return to France next summer to compete one last time in the 24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 class as originally planned due to budget constraints. However Steve Wesoloski, director of Chevrolet’s road racing program denies the decision has been made.

Corvette Racing has won at La Sarthe 4 times since 2000 and finished 2nd in class last year, but due to the ongoing financial crises, the team has been told to reduce its racing budget next year. Should the AutoSport Magazine report be true, you would think that this decision would call into question the whole strategy of running the GT1 program during the first half of the season as those races are essentially tune-ups for the 24 Hours of Lemans in June.

While Wesoloski denies the cancellation rumor, he does add the caveat that the final decision will based on the bailout discussions in Washington:

“We are still going ahead with our plans for a reduced programme of Sebring, Long Beach and Le Mans,” he said. “No one has told me otherwise. We are, of course, prepared for all eventualities. It all hinges on what happens in Washington.”



Source:
Autosport.com
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Related:
Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R Ready for Assembly
Corvette Racing: GT2 Will Never Be The Same

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#63 Corvette Makes Contact with LMP2 Lola Judd

Once the rain started falling, cars began making a beeline for the pits to change to their rain tires. Unfortunately for Johnny O’Connell, his #63 Corvette C6.R still had racing slicks on when he came up on the #33 LMP2 Lola Judd practically stopped on the entrance of pit row.


Source
SpeedTV

Related:
Le Mans 2008: Corvette Racing Hour 12 Report
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing Coverage, Program Schedules and Links
LeMans 2008: [VIDEO] Corvette Racing Secures First Pole at LeMans
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing Dominates 1st Qualifying Round
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing’s Team Photos
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing’s Drivers Reflect on First LeMans Visit
LeMans 2008: Corvettes Take To The Track For Test Day

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