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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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A 2007 Corvette being assembled in Bowling GreenThe Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green will begin production of the 2008 Corvette during the week of June 25th. As the 2007 model year concludes, we will have the final production numbers for you. The assembly plant will be closed from June 29th through July 15th and will resume on the 16th. If you are planning on touring the plant, you can reserve your tickets online through the Corvette Museum.
Source:
Corvette Museum Related:
AutoBlog Tours The Corvette Assembly Plant Technorati Tags:
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Official 2008 Corvette Pricing Announced

by Keith Cornett on June 18, 2007

Corvette Dealer Ken Fichtner posted the official pricing for the 2008 Corvette on the Corvette Forum. Prices listed include the three Corvette models: Coupe, Convertible and Z06 as well as the available options. Also listed is the new 4LT packages for coupes and convertibles which will set you back $8,005 and $8,600 respectively. The three Corvette models base prices were increased $920 for coupes and convertibles and $1,000 for the Z06. Considering the Coupes and Convertibles come with the new LS3 which adds 30 horsepower, I would say that is a bargain.

MODELS  
1YY07 Coupe $45,170.00
1YY67 Convertible $53,510.00
1YY86 Z06 $70,175.00
Destination Charge $825.00
   
PACKAGES  
2LT Package – Coupe $1,495.00
3LT Package – Coupe $4,505.00
4LT Package – Coupe $8,005.00
3LT Package – Convertible $5,100.00
4LT Package – Convertible $8,600.00
2LZ Package – Z06 Coupe $3,045.00
3LZ Package – Z06 Coupe $6,545.00
   
OPTIONS  
CC3 Transparent Roof Package $750.00
C2L Dual Roof Package $1,400.00
D30 Custom Color and Trim Combination $590.00
F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control $1,995.00
GU2 2.73 Rear Axle Ratio $395.00
MX0 6 Speed Automatic with Paddle Shift $1,250.00
NPP Dual Mode Exhaust System $1,195.00
R8C Museum Delivery $490.00
U3U AM/FM CD with Navigation $1,750.00
Z51 Performance Handling Package $1,695.00
**6 Two Tone Seats with Embroidery $695.00
   
WHEELS  
QX1 Competition Gray Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $395.00
QX3 Chrome Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $1,850.00
QG7 Polished Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $1,295.00
Q44 Competition Gray Wheels – Z06 $395.00
Q76 Chrome Wheels – Z06 $1,995.00
QL9 Polished Wheels – Z06 $1,495.00
   
PREMIUM EXTERIOR COLORS  
45U Velocity Yellow Paint $750.00
83U Atomic Orange Metallic Paint $300.00
85U Jetstream Blue Metallic Paint $750.00
89U Crystal Red Metallic Paint $750.00

Source:
Corvette Forum Related:
GM Releases Official 2008 Corvette Information
Photo Gallery: The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
Official 2007 Corvette Pricing Announced 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: #63 Corvette Moves Into 2nd Place

by Keith Cornett on June 17, 2007

Corvette Racing’s #63 C6.R moved into 2nd place and is one lap down from the leader in the GT1 Class, the #009 Aston Martin. The #007 Aston Martin was running second when it went off the track and then spent eight minutes in the garage repairing the front splitter and left front corner. Third place in GT1 is the #008 Aston Martin, running two laps down from the class leader. Ron Fellows is currently handling the driving duties with just under seven hours left in the race.
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: #63 Corvette Running Third in GT1

by Keith Cornett on June 16, 2007

With 13:37 remaining in the race, the #63 Corvette is currently running third in GT1, one lap down from the first and second place Aston Martins. It appears that the weather is currently not a factor in the race as it was earlier. Earlier in the day we lost the #64 Corvette when the driveshaft failed and the car was unable to make it back to the garage without help. We also got a scare when the #63 Corvette C6.R driven by Jan Magnussen clipped an LMP1 Audi, which forced the Corvette into the gravel near the Dunlop bridge. Jan was able to plow through the gravel and no serious damage was done to either car.

For those of you not watching, here is the #63 Corvette C6.R making a night-time pit stop. The team made a driver change with Johnny O’Connell taking over the driving duties as well as topping off the fuel and getting four new tires.

Source:
LeMans.org
SPEEDtv.com 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: Corvette Racing and the National Anthem

by Keith Cornett on June 15, 2007

Paul Reed Smith Guitars has been a sponsor of Corvette Racing for the past three years. So it’s no surprise that PRS axe-wielding crew member Mike West would try to get some “air-time” for their sponsor at the Le Mans Garage. And what a better way to do so than a rendition of the USA’s National Anthem. In France. Right next to Aston Martin’s Garage.


Source:
SPEEDtv.com 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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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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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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