Pair of Corvette C8.Rs run out front in wild Le Mans early running
LE MANS, France (Aug. 21, 2021) – Corvette Racing’s pair of mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs spent time out front in the early running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday following a wet and chaotic start.
The No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg led the Corvette charge after six hours in third place but well within striking distance to the GTE Pro leader. Catsburg was in for his first stint at the six-hour mark with three cars within 3.5 seconds from second to fourth.
Both Garcia and Taylor led in their opening runs in the Corvette as early-race tire and fuel strategies came into play that caused the class lead to shift depending on the pit stop cycle. Garcia had moved from seventh at the start into the lead midway through his first stint.
Alexander Sims ran fifth in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R that he shares with Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy. Milner was the early GTE Pro leader despite being hit from behind as the cars rolled off the starting grid for the formation lap. Nevertheless, Milner charged to the head of the category as moderate to heavy rain fell across the circuit.
The No. 64 Corvette fell back in the order due to a pitlane refueling penalty and lost additional time when it was separated from the GTE lead pack by one of the three safety cars in the opening three hours.
Corvette Racing’s next update will come at the halfway mark.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“It was a challenging start with the weather. It was difficult sometimes to see, but the car felt good and I was able to pass people. I got around a few cars at the first corner and then into the first chicane got by one of the Porsches. I just carried on and by the time I got out of Indianapolis I was P2. But it was very difficult to gauge when to pit and go to slicks. We probably should have stopped right away when the other Corvette stopped. But other than that, I think we are fine. We were the first cars to double-stint our first set of slicks. The C8.R is running perfectly. The Ferraris have a bunch of speed but we will see. But probably the biggest competition we have is Le Mans. You never know what is going to happen in this race.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R:
“A lot happened! For some reason we’ve struggled to get this car moving at times. We’ve worked on improving it. I struggled a little bit to get it going. For some reason I had an impatient driver – or someone who wasn’t paying attention – behind me and gave me a good whack. It doesn’t seem like it hasn’t done major damage but there is some there. That’s unfortunate. We’ll see what happens with that as the race progresses. After that, we had a very wet start with cars all over the place. Those were very difficult conditions with all the spray. You just kind of have to survive that, but we did and got out in front. There was a miscommunication on one of the pit stops and we got a penalty. That set us back a little bit. We didn’t get hurt too badly under the safety car and lose too much time to where we were before. We still have some work to do. Hopefully if there is another safety car that we can close the gap enough to where we’re back with the leaders.”
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