Final on-track practice sessions ahead of Saturday-Sunday endurance classic
LE MANS, France (Aug. 19, 2021) – Nick Tandy set the third-fastest time in Hyperpole qualifying Thursday to put Corvette Racing’s No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R on the second row of the GTE Pro grid for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Tandy, who drives with Tommy Milner and Alexander Sims, posted a best lap of 3:47.093 (134.216 mph) in the 30-minute session. The day before in the first round of qualifying, Tandy turned a 3:47.074 (134.217 mph) – the fastest lap for any Corvette Racing entry in its 21 years at Le Mans.
Thursday also featured the final two official practice sessions for the full field of 61 cars – including eight in GTE Pro. The two Corvettes continued to focus on race pace with a number of adjustments and changes to many of the C8.R’s systems including suspension and aerodynamics.
Antonio Garcia set the best combined practice time for the No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R – a 3:49.603 (132.725 mph) effort in the fourth and final practice session of the week. He will team with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg as the No. 63 C8.R starts eighth Saturday.
A 15-minute warmup is set for 11:30 a.m. CET/5:30 a.m. ET. The green flag for the 24 Hours of Le Mans falls at 4 p.m. CET and 10 AM ET. MotorTrend TV will air the race live with the MotorTrend App adding coverage of official practices and qualifying on Aug. 18 and 19. Live audio coverage will be available from Radio Le Mans starting with Sunday’s Test Day.
Chevrolet’s YouTube page will stream the on-board feed from the No. 63 Corvette C8.R for the entire race.
NICK TANDY, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – THIRD IN GTE PRO QUALIFYING:
“At the start of the week, I absolutely would have taken a P3 start at Le Mans in the first race here for this car. We are getting experience every time we run the C8.R on this circuit in this aero kit when we don’t normally run on low fuel in qualifying trim. So to get that peak performance out of the car is amazing. It’s such a good job of how we’ve developed, since the qualifying session in Hyperpole, the car and made it better. Of course, we are driving for Corvette Racing and expect to follow tradition and be strong at Le Mans. That’s why come here and why we go racing. So we are pleased but we don’t underestimate our competition. There are a lot of strong cars here with strong teams. All we can do is look after ourselves, and at the moment I’m very happy with how the week is progressing.”
IS THERE ONE AREA WHERE YOU’VE BEEN MOST PLEASED WITH HOW THE CORVETTE HAS PROGRESSED SINCE SUNDAY? “I think honestly it’s how good the car has been since we rolled it out of the container. It validates all the development that went into the program before we got here. But it’s also how the car reacts to the setup changes that we are making to it. That means you can tune it to track conditions and however the circuit is. This is always a good thing and shows that the car is in a good working window.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“For Nick, that was a really good run in both the qualifying session and Hyperpole. I think he got everything out of the car he could. It was certainly fun to watch. Lap times are mega-quick and it’s cool to see for that. Nick seemed super happy with the C8.R. Balance-wise, everything looks pretty good. For me, the best indication was the last practice session before Hyperpole. Car balance has been relatively pretty good almost the entire week of practice here. We definitely made some changes from the Test Day, and we could see the benefits of that in the first practice. Overall for us in the 64 Corvette, we’re all pretty happy. We’ve spent a lot of time tweaking and trying things to improve in some areas where we still need to improve. I think we’re in a pretty good spot. We really won’t know where we’re at probably until the first hour of the race Saturday.”
THE DAYS AND HOURS PREPARING FOR LE MANS: “For me personally, I’ve probably spent 20 days at the simulator, something like that. That doesn’t touch the hours and hours spent by the engineers working on aero kits for this thing for the last four or five years. It’s gotten us to where we are now to fine-tuning little bits and pieces here and there. Twenty days doesn’t sound like a lot considering this has been a four- or five-year project. Starting third for the race Saturday is a great place. It’s a lot of validation from a lot of hard work by a lot of people for a long time that we have brought a really, really good Corvette C8.R to Le Mans.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“Today was eventful. I think our whole week has been eventful. It was good to get more laps on the car obviously. As I said yesterday, it’s still our first weekend here with the C8.R, so every lap counts for each of us – the drivers as well as the engineers and the crew – working on slow zones, pitstops and all the little details that we don’t get to work on in America. Today we did a big setup swing; we have a lot more confidence now going into the race. We know what we want to do with the car, whereas yesterday we had a lot of big questions. I’m glad we got through today as well as we did. Now we can prepare for the big one.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“Today was not bad at all. It seems we improved the balance a little bit. We were trying to figure out whether we can double-stint the tires, yes or no. It feels good. Compared to yesterday, today was definitely better. I think we made good steps tonight, so I’m positive.”