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Topic: CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Taking on the World

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CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Taking on the World (1/1)
 6/5/24 3:27pm
cor123
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Press Release:
CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Taking on the World

TF Sport seeking to add to Corvette’s Le Mans legacy with first-year Z06 GT3.Rs

 
DETROIT (June 5, 2024) – TF Sport and its pair of Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs are ready to take on the toughest test in sports car racing: the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the blue-riband event of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
 

The lineup of the No. 81 Corvette and No. 82 Z06 GT3.R from TF Sport will look to add to the legacy of the Corvette Racing program at Le Mans – nine class victories and a strong following from fans around the world who flock to the race each year.


The pair of lineups for the June 15-16 race in the TF Sport Corvettes are the same as the previous three rounds of the FIA WEC – Tom Van Rompuy, Rui Andrade and Corvette factory driver Charlie Eastwood in the No. 81 Z06 GT3.R while Hiroshi Koizumi, Sebastien Baud and factory driver Daniel Juncadella are in the No. 82 Corvette.


The experience factor at Le Mans between the two cars is unique. The No. 81 trio has eight combined starts, and 2020 GTE Am winner Eastwood is the only of the three to have raced a GT car at the 24 Hours. Meanwhile, the No. 82 trio is an all-rookie Le Mans lineup.

 
Despite that, hopes are high for continued Corvette success at this year’s race. Corvette Racing won last year’s GTE Am race – en route to the WEC championship – in the final year of the Corvette C8.R GTE car. It capped a run of nine class victories in the race since 2000 and one of the most successful eras for a single program at Le Mans in the modern era.
 

This year with WEC adopting GT3 regulations for this year, the entire category will feature cars that will race in the 24 Hours for the first time. From the Corvette and TF Sport side, preparation for the race has been multi-pronged.

 
The TF team recently completed a test at Silverstone Circuit to test the Corvettes in low-downforce configuration. Meanwhile, Corvette Racing’s factory drivers from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship have spent time in Chevrolet’s Driver-in-the-Loop simulator to help explore different setup options for the Z06 GT3.R.

 
The results will come into view with a combined six hours of running Sunday around the 8.48-mile Le Mans circuit – made up of permanent racetrack and public roads. The annual Test Day will set the stage for practice and qualifying, plus Thursday’s Hyperpole session to set the grid for this year’s race.

 
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 4 p.m. CET / 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 15. MotorTrend will air live television coverage while streaming coverage on the FIA WEC app and the MAX app in the U.S., will begin Wednesday, June 12. Radio Le Mans also will stream audio coverage of all on-track sessions including Sunday’s Test Day.


TF SPORT PRE-EVENT DRIVER QUOTES

CHARLIE EASTWOOD, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “Le Mans is the big one. It’s a very important race for us, and obviously it’s a big race for everyone. It’s the first time the Z06 GT3.R is going to hit the streets of Le Mans. From that, we have a lot of data to gather on the Test Day. The good thing is that both Rui and Tom have been to Le Mans, and of course I’ve been there many times myself. So hopefully as the driver crew we will be strong from the start, which should give us more time to get an understanding of what this car needs. It’s the first time we’ve had a low-downforce track with long straights. The guys at Corvette Racing, Pratt Miller and GM have run a lot of simulations and been in the DiL to get some good baseline setups ready for us, which will play a big part in helping us get up to speed. We just need to be on-track for every single minute that the track is green to get as much data as we can. I’m looking forward to it. For the full crew, we need a proper result at Le Mans. We’ve had some misfortune at the last couple of races, so we’re all as determined as ever to make no mistakes and make sure we are there at the end of the 24 Hours.”


TOM VAN ROMPUY, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: "I am super excited for the biggest race of the season. Le Mans is always a very special race and is the one where you really want to achieve a good result. I'm very proud to be driving the Corvette this year in Le Mans. We prepared ourselves and the car in the best possible way to be able to try to finish on the LM GT3 podium. Let's hope the luck is on our side for the big one. I can't wait to feel the Le Mans atmosphere again and to see all the fans with full support to help us finish the race in the best way."


DANIEL JUNCADELLA, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “These are some pretty exciting days coming up. This will be the first time for me at Le Mans and first time with such a successful brand in Le Mans like Corvette. So that makes it even more exciting – to have my own debut at this race with the winning program from last year with so much experience. It’s going to be quite special for me to debut at Le Mans. The Test Day will be about learning the track, and the bits and pieces that are there in real life compared to simulations and how the car feels. I’m quite confident that we can have a strong race. Seb is also going to have a big highlight being a Frenchman. Hiro has some experience at Le Mans, so they are a little more prepared than myself, which is good. When it’s me that gets up to speed, it makes me feel confident. We should have a good car and let’s see how it goes. But yes, very exciting weeks are coming ahead.”


SEBASTIEN BAUD, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “It's a dream come true for me, finally being able to take the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and be a participant in the most legendary race in the world. Since I was very young, It always has been the one thing in my career that I wanted to experience. It is very much a dream race for me, especially now to do this with Corvette Racing, of which I have always been a fan and have followed them around the world. So now I have the opportunity to be able to drive a Corvette for TF Sport in the most prestigious race in the world. I have been pushing myself to achieve this goal for four years now, and today it is a childhood dream that is gradually taking shape. So we hope the fans support us, the Corvette team and the 82 car because we will compete with passion and give our best to represent the winning team of last year’s centenary edition.”


2024 FIA World Endurance Championship Points

LMGT3 Drivers Standings

1. Aliaksandr Malykhin/Joel Sturm/Klaus Bachler – 72

2. Augusto Farfus/Darren Leung/Sean Gelael – 37

3. Alex Riberas/Daniel Mancinelli/Ian James – 37

4. Ahmad Al Harthy/Maxime Martin/Valentino Rossi – 36

5. Clement Mateu/Erwan Bastard/Marco Sorensen – 30

14. Charlie Eastwood/Rui Andrade/Tom Van Rompuy – 7

16. Daniel Juncadella/Hiroshi Koizumi/Sebastien Baud – 6

 
LMGT3 Teams Standings

1. No. 92 Manthey PureRxcing – 72

2. No. 31 Team WRT – 37

3. No. 27 Heart of Racing Team – 37

4. No. 46 Team WRT – 36

5. No. 777 D’Station Racing – 30

13. No. 81 TF Sport – 7

15. No. 82 TF Sport – 6
 

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: By the Numbers

• 0: Number of combined 24 Hours of Le Mans starts for the No. 82 Corvette trio of Dani Juncadella, Sebastien Baud and Hiroshi Koizumi

• 2: Number of victories for TF Sport at Le Mans (2020 and 2022 in GTE Am)

• 3: Number of wins for the Corvette C5-R – 2001, 2002, 2004

• 4: Number of wins for the Corvette C6.R – 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011

• 4: Generations of Corvette Racing entries at Le Mans since 2000 – Corvette C5-R (2000-04), Corvette C6.R (2005-13), Corvette C7.R (2014-2019) and Corvette C8.R (2021-2023)

• 8: Number of combined 24 Hours of Le Mans starts for the No. 81 Corvette trio of Charlie Eastwood (four), Rui Andrade (three) and Tom Van Rompuy (one)

• 9: Class victories for Corvette Racing at Le Mans – all since 2001

• 12: Number of drivers who have won races at Le Mans for Corvette Racing – Olivier Beretta, Nicky Catsburg, Ron Fellows, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Ben Keating, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Pruett, Jordan Taylor and Nico Varrone

• 14: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001

• 27: Number of drivers to compete for Corvette Racing at Le Mans. That number grows this year with the additions of all six TF Sport drivers

• 27: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, Charlotte Motor Speedway, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Monza, Portimão, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres, Utah, VIR, Washington DC and Watkins Glen

• 48: Number of drivers in Corvette Racing entries since 1999 – DXDT Racing’s Alec Udell being the latest in GT World Challenge America at Circuit of The Americas

• 127: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 115 in North America, nine at Le Mans, three in the FIA WEC and two in GT World Challenge America

• 294: Event starts by Corvette Racing entries since 1999.

• 111,009.33: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing entries in 24 previous trips to Le Mans. That represents 13,163 laps… or more than four full trips around the Earth at its equator. Corvette Racing combined to go over the 100,000-mile mark at Le Mans in the 2021 race.

• 378,900.27: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. To put that in perspective, Corvette Racing is more than halfway to the distance traveled by Apollo 13 – the longest manned spaceflight in history: 622,268 miles. That means Corvette Racing has raced to the moon… and then some!


Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (wins in bold)

2000

No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Chris Kneifel/Justin Bell – 4th in GTS

No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 3rd in GTS


2001

No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Scott Pruett – 1st in GTS

No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 2nd in GTS


2002

No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Oliver Gavin – 1st in GTS

No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Franck Freon – 2nd in GTS


2003

No. 53 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Franck Freon – 3rd in GTS

No. 50 Corvette C5-R: Oliver Gavin/Kelly Collins/Andy Pilgrim – 2nd in GTS


2004

No. 63 Corvette C5-R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GTS

No. 64 Corvette C5-R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GTS 


2005

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Max Papis – 2nd in GT1

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen – 1st in GT1

2006

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Max Papis – 7th in GT1

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen - 1st in GT1


2007

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Jan Magnussen – 2nd in GT1

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 14th in GT1


2008

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Ron Fellows/Johnny O'Connell/Jan Magnussen – 2nd in GT1

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Max Papis – 3rd in GT1


2009

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O'Connell/Antonio Garcia – 1st in GT1

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Marcel Fässler – 4th in GT1


2010

No. 63 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Johnny O'Connell/Antonio Garcia – 12th in GT2 (DNF)

No. 64 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Oliver Gavin/Emmanuel Collard – 10th in GT2 (DNF)


2011

No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Olivier Beretta/Tommy Milner/Antonio Garcia – 1st in GTE Pro

No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Richard Westbrook – 14th in GTE Pro (DNF)


2012

No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 5th in GTE Pro

No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook - 6th in GTE Pro


2013

No. 73 Corvette C6.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 4th in GTE Pro

No. 74 Corvette C6.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 7th in GTE Pro


2014

No. 73 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 2nd in GTE Pro

No. 74 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Richard Westbrook – 4th in GTE Pro


2015

No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ryan Briscoe – DNS (Qualifying crash)

No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Jordan Taylor – 1st in GTE Pro


2016

No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Ricky Taylor – 7th in GTE Pro

No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Jordan Taylor – 10th in GTE Pro (DNF)


2017

No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor – 3rd in GTE Pro

No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 8th in GTLM


2018

No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 4th in GTE Pro

No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 15th in GTE Pro (DNF)

 
2019

No. 63 Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller – 8th in GTE Pro

No. 64 Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fässler – 16th in GTE Pro (DNF)

 
2021

No. 63 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor/Nicky Catsburg – 2nd in GTE Pro

No. 64 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy/Alexander Sims – 6th in GTE Pro


2022

No. 63 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor/Nicky Catsburg – 7th in GTE Pro (DNF)

No. 64 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy/Alexander Sims – 6th in GTE Pro (DNF)

 
2023

No. 33 Corvette C8.R: Nicky Catsburg/Ben Keating/Nico Varrone – 1st in GTE Am (Keating pole, Varrone fastest race lap)


Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

 



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