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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition

TF Sport Corvettes seek to make their way through GT3 field after qualifying

IMOLA, Italy (April 20, 2024) – TF Sport and its two Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs will look to race their way through the LMGT3 field following Saturday’s qualifying session ahead of the Six Hours of Imola for the World Endurance Championship.

Tom Van Rompuy led the TF Sport qualifying results with the 11th-fastest class time in the No. 81 Corvette that he will share with Rui Andrade and Corvette factory driver Charlie Eastwood.

Van Rompuy’s best lap of 1:43.897 (105.695 mph) was less 0.2 seconds from making the 10-car Hyperpole session to set the first five rows of the grid. He was the pole-winner for the season-opening race in Qatar.

Teammate Hiroshi Koizumi will start the No. 82 Corvette Z06 GT3.R directly behind Van Rompuy in 13th after his best lap of 1:44.108 (105.509 mph). He will drive with Sebastien Baud and factory driver Daniel Juncadella – the trio having finished 10th after 10 hours at Qatar.

TF Sport tested at Imola in the weeks leading up to this weekend’s event at the 3.05-mile, 19-turn circuit. The Corvettes were 1-2 in Friday’s two practice sessions, but changing temperatures and track conditions Saturday swung the momentum away from the TF Sport entries.

The FIA WEC’s Six Hours of Imola is set for 1 p.m. Central European Time / 7 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, April 21. MotorTrend and MotorTrend Plus will provide both live television and streaming coverage of the race, as will the FIA WEC app and the MAX app in the U.S. Radio Le Mans will stream audio coverage of the race.

TOM VAN ROMPUY, NO. 81 TF SPORT CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R - QUALIFIED 11TH IN LMGT3: “This weekend, we didn’t have the package to go for pole. But let’s hope we can have a package for good race pace. It’s a bit of the opposite from last time (Qatar) where we had good qualifying pace but not such a good race pace and some technical issues. We have done quite a bit of work with some small changes or updates from Qatar. One is working better than the other, but we need to keep putting some work on it. For now we are missing a bit of top speed but we will do the best we can as drivers and as a team to make a good effort and try to put a good result together.”

CHARLIE EASTWOOD, NO. 81 TF SPORT CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “Yesterday was amazing. We came here testing and hit the ground running pretty nice. We’re working through a few things on our end so maybe it looked slightly better on paper than it really was. Final practice was a little struggle, but as a team we are learning this new Corvette with every session. The track changed quite a bit today with a lot more rubber down and temperatures increased. We’re adapting with that. Once we start to do more running and get a better picture, we’ll be able to adapt having that experience in this scenario again for the races later in the year. There are a few bits to work on for the long stuff but there is still a lot to play for.”

RUI ANDRADE, NO. 81 TF SPORT CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “There have been some ups and downs. Yesterday we were quite strong, and I think today we took a slight step back with the balance. Besides that, I think we have a strong car and we showed it all day long Friday. I think we have a good package for the race after our testing here. It’s only the second race of the season and the second race for the team with this car, so we are finding things all the time. If we put everything together, we can have a strong race.”

HIROSHI KOIZUMI, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R - QUALIFIED 13TH IN LMGT3: “The feeling of the car isn’t that bad at all. I couldn’t quite get my best lap in during qualifying. But I’m not giving up for the race and I’ll try to get the best position I can in the race. Rather than the car being one that can put in one really fast lap, it’s a car that has good pace over a longer run, so I think we can have a good finishing position tomorrow.”

DANI JUNCADELLA, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “Today was a bit harder. We’re still sorting out some little hiccups here and there. We’re working on the driveability of the engine and still developing further things. We’re getting close to the limits of the power levels. We are still learning. It’s been a difficult weekend for sure because with the curb striking and so on, the torque is very inconsistent but that is the same for everybody. Other than that, everything else feels great. The car balance is very good in the corners and the Corvette is very nice to drive.”

SEBASTIEN BAUD, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “It was a good couple of free practices yesterday. I drove a lot and we all improved. I’m happy because the car is very good and the setup is good for this track. This is my first race in Europe for the WEC, and I really like this track. There are a lot of sponsors and partners here with me. On the track, it’s very difficult because we have a lot of traffic for a track as short as Imola. For the race, it will be very important to be careful in the traffic with both Hypercars and the LMGT3 cars. The car is very good and very fast. The goal for the race is a top-five and I hope the podium.”

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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