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24 Hours of LeMans

Le Mans: Corvette Racing’s Post-Race Recap

by Keith Cornett on June 20, 2007

The No. 63 Corvette C6.R team celebrates their 2nd place finish on the podium at Le MansLast week and throughout the weekend I set a goal to provide timely and interesting updates about Corvette Racing’s attempt to defend their GT1 championship at Le Mans. Truth be told, it was probably the most fun I’ve had on this blog since its inception in 2005. Despite the letdown that comes with your team falling short of the overall goal, second place is still an honor and the Corvette Racing streak of seven consecutive podium finishes is nothing short of amazing. Here are some related post-race links worth checking out, as the comments and stories come from the people that were there:

CorvetteRacing.com
The official press release about the Second Place Finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. GM FYI Blog
Listen to four podcasts from the the Corvette Racing Team. The post-race comments come from GM Racing Director Mark Kent, Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan and drivers of the 2nd place #63 C6.R Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen. PaddockTalk.com
Oliver Gavin reflects on what’s it’s like when it goes wrong. The defending GT1 Class championship driver was piloting the #64 Corvette C6.R when the prop shaft failed. Unable to fix the car from the side of the track, Gavin was forced into an early retirement and found other ways to spend the time at Le Mans, including narrating this clip of the #63 Corvette C6.R making contact with a P1 Audi.
I’d like to congratulate the #63 Corvette C6.R team for giving the race their all, especially when 90 minutes into it you were suddenly shouldered with the sole responsibility of winning Le Mans. And for the #64 C6.R Team, you boys handled adversity and bad luck with class and dignity. We know you’ll be back next year with a vengeance! Lastly, I’d like to thank Richard Prince who loaned us three great Corvette Racing photos to use throughout the week as our Le Mans banner. You can view his work at Le Mans this year by visiting the Corvette Racing Photo Gallery.
Related:
Le Mans: #63 Corvette C6.R Finishes in 2nd Place
Le Mans: #64 Corvette Stalled and Possibly Out
LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans: #63 Corvette C6.R Finishes in 2nd Place

by Keith Cornett on June 17, 2007

C6.R Corvette at Le MansWith an hour left in the Race, Ron Fellows was hunting down the class leading #009 Aston Martin. The #63 C6.R was turning lap times 20-30 seconds faster than their British rivals and had closed the gap to a lap when the safety cars were deployed, effective ending the team’s chances at winning the class. Adding insult to injury, the Green Flags waved one last time with 11 minutes left to race but the damage was already done. The #63 Corvette finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans completing 342 laps and coming in just 6:08.031 behind the #009 Aston Martin. The Corvette finished 6th overall as well. While the 2nd place win is welcomed by the team, we are left to wonder what the outcome could have been if only the Safety Cars would not have deployed. We are left to wonder what the outcome could have been had the #64 C6.R Corvette would not have been forced to retire after suffering driveshaft failure just 1:45 into the race. And finally, what role did the weather actually play in holding back the lone C6.R from going all out? Questions aside, our boys did a fantastic job at Le Mans and should be proud of their accomplishment. Competition breeds success and while this year it went to the Prodrive Aston Martin team, rest assured that Corvettes will be back next year, better equipped and motivated to take on the Aston Martins once again.
Source:
LeMans.org
Related:
Le Mans: #64 Corvette Stalled and Possibly Out
LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans: #64 Corvette Stalled and Possibly Out

by Keith Cornett on June 16, 2007

C6.R Corvette at Le MansWith just under 2 hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, bad luck hits the Corvette Racing team. According to Program Racing manager Doug Fehan, the #64 Corvette may have broken a driveshaft and is currently sitting on the side of the track. It is highly unlikely it will be able to return to the race. The #63 Corvette driven by Jan Magnussen is currently second in GT1. The #009 Aston Martin is first in class.
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th

by Keith Cornett on June 15, 2007

C6.R Corvette at Le MansLooks like the weather is going to play a major role in this weekend’s running of the 24 hours of Le Mans. Rain and the accidents that accompanied it shortened the first day’s qualifying (Q1) and washed out day number two (Q2), thereby all but guaranteeing that the starting grid for GT1 will be based on Wednesday’s Q1 runs:

Driver Team Car Time
Bouchut AMR Larbre Comp #008 Aston Martin DBR9 3:50.761
Ayari Team Oreca #55 Saleen S7R 3:51.240
Gavin Corvette Racing #64 C6.R 3:52.130
Brabham Aston Martin Racing #009 Aston Martin DBR9 3:52.471
Magnussen Corvette Racing #63 C6.R 3:52.657
The fastest time recorded today in GT1 was 4:27.761 seconds by Team Oreca in the Saleen S7R, way off the pace of Wednesday’s #008 Aston Martin which leads GT1 at 3:50.761. The #64 Corvette C6.R ran a fastest lap at 4:35.281 while the #63 Corvette C6.R came in at 4:36.285.
Jan Magnussen, driving #63 Corvette C6.R said, “we are checking the car with all three drivers, making sure that it’s OK to run in the wet, and that there is no water getting in. We won’t do much more. It’s too easy to lose the car in these conditions. The visibility is hard when you are running with other people. It’s good that I was here in 2001 when it was very wet. If it’s wet like this for the race, the results will depend more on who avoids mistakes and less on the racing.”
Teams will now have to adjust and adapt as conditions on the ground change. Corvette Racing has the capabilities to overcome all obstacles, and that can-do spirit goes along way in a 24 hour race. As the Saleens and Astons have proven to be faster, Corvettes win endurance races because of smart driving and the overall reliability of the Corvette C6.R, and that has proven to be the great equalizer at Le Mans.
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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LeMans: Podcasts From Corvette Racing Team Members

by Keith Cornett on June 15, 2007

Members of the Corvette Racing team checked in from France with the GM FYI Blog yesterday to give their take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Interviews include Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan and drivers Johnny O’Connell, Max Papis and Oliver Gavin. Visit the GM FYI Blog to listen.
Source:
GM FYI Blog Related:
Le Mans Starting Grid Set: Corvette’s 3rd and 5th
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans

by Keith Cornett on June 14, 2007

OnBoard Camera Captures C6.R Vette at Le MansBadBoyVettes.com is in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and sacrificed a Canon PowerShot camera to get this awesome video of the #63 Corvette C6.R driven by Ron Fellows on a reconnaissance lap of the track. The site has photos of Program Manager Doug Fehan and a crew member taping the camera to the outside of the vehicle. By mounting the camera outside you really get the full effect of the sound coming from the Corvette as well as the ability to really see how fast these cars can go.

BBV also acknowledges that “the video download crashed the team’s computers between sessions, so we are busy mending fences with the Corvette Crew so as not to be extradited back to the US before the race.” Let’s hope they do!
Source:
BadBoyVettes.com Related:
Video: 1 Lap Around LeMans in a C5-R Corvette Race Car Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2007

Corvette Racing had their annual team photograph session on Monday. You can view more photos by wading through the official Le Mans photo gallery at www.lemans.org

2007 Le Mans Corvette Racing Team Photo
Qualifying starts today and concludes on Thursday. The start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is 9am EST and SPEEDtv will be providing 17 ½ hours beginning at 8:30 EST Saturday, June 16th.
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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As reported by (cough, cough) WindingRoad.com, the Corvette Racing team wasn’t satisfied in taking the top spot in last week’s LeMans testing session, with Jan Magnussen driving the #63 Corvette C6.R around the course in 3:49:207, shaving 1.641 seconds from the #007 Aston Martin piloted by Enge/Herbert/Kox. They needed something else to let everyone know they owned Aston Martin. According to the story, Aston Martin’s Crew Chief George Howard-Chappell hurt his back earlier in the week and left his car at the track overnight. Seems the boys from Corvette Racing found out about that and slightly modified his ride. Corvette Racing’s manager, Doug Fehan said “It didn’t take the boys long to make sure Ol’ George had all his bases covered for the race!”

Corvette Racing Pranks Aston Martin's Crew Chief
Stay with us this week as we cover the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Source:
WindingRoad.com Related
LeMans Preview: Corvette Racing Fastest In GT1 Pre-Qualifying Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell writes on his website about LeMans and the competition that the two C6.R teams will face. For the first half of the ALMS season, Team Corvette faced only one challenger – an Aston Martin at Sebring. That will change when the teams head to LeMans later this month where there will potentially be 15 or more cars in the GT1 class. Here’s some of what Johnny O has to say:

This year could perhaps be our most difficult ever. Not only will the factory Astons be there with a stronger package than what they had last year, but there will also be a few Saleens run by a very strong team that knows how to do well at Le Mans. The Saleen on paper should be the fastest, followed by the Aston….then us. Just kind of the way the ACO has written the rules. I think there are something like 15 or 17 GT1 cars. Most of them strong, so it will be a battle indeed. Our strength though, will be in the back of every teams mind. Our cars are the strongest. Bar none. We’ve proven it year after year. Both cars have always finished, and always at least one on the podium. In my mind it will take an extreme effort to qualify in the top 5. Again, just how things will play out speed wise. But Around the 20 hour mark, as others are struggling and getting fatigued as well as there cars, know that we’ll be pushing even harder.
The 24 Hours of Lemans will be held June 16-17th in France. SpeedTV will once again be providing coverage. For more Lemans Pre-Race notes from Johnny O’Connell, check out his website at JohnnyOConnell.com.
Source:
JohnnyOConnell.com Related
2006: Corvette Racing Wins The 24 Hours of LeMans Technorati Tags:
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Podcast: Final Preparations for the 24 Hours of LeMans

by Keith Cornett on June 17, 2006

What a great weekend for Corvettes. In Illinois, the 34th Annual Bloomington Gold Corvette show and Auction is now in full swing, and for racing fans, the 24 Hours of LeMans starts today. I’ll be tuning into the Speed Channel often throughout the day and into the night for updates on Team Corvette and their quest for the 5th win in 6 years.

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