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CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: All Hands on Deck!

cor123

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Corvette WEC, IMSA drivers work together at Chevrolet Driver in the Loop simulator


CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: All Hands on Deck!
Corvette WEC, IMSA drivers work together at Chevrolet Driver in the Loop simulator

LE MANS, France(June 2, 2023) – Corvette Racing really,REALLYwants to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year. So much so that after last year’s near-miss, there is a focused, full-team effort to put the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette in the best position possible to win the GTE Am category this time around.

Much of the preparation centers around work at the GM Technical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina where Corvette Racing drivers from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship have helped their brethren from the FIA World Endurance Championship in Chevrolet’s Driver in the Loop (DiL) simulator with multiple sessions to test different configurations for the C8.R around Le Mans.

Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone will drive the No. 33 Corvette in the 24 Hours. Each of the three has spent time in the simulator alongside Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner from Corvette Racing’s IMSA program in the lead up to the 24 Hours.

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIA WEC:“The IMSA guys are always following us and are always in touch about what’s going on during our weekends in WEC. Tommy has been on the sim a lot and Antonio every now and then, and they have been doing some test work for us. If it works on the sim, we have been implementing that on the track and evaluating their changes. It’s definitely helpful and beneficial. It’s cool that even though we are in two different programs, it still feels like we are all working together. That’s very cool and in the spirit of the team. It’s nice to have everyone involved and keep all the links close. They all have so much experience in this car, so it’s nice to have their help.”

BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIA WEC:“I spent a couple of days at the sim and spent a lot of time on Le Mans and also Monza. It was really interesting for me and my engineers. I’ve raced a lot of cars at Le Mans. I have enough time in the Corvette now. I’m able to run the C8.R on my sim at home. I thought there wasn’t going to be much value going to the (Chevrolet) sim. But I was there for two days and I left there feeling there was a lot of value. As far as my communication with the engineers that are running the car, I felt like we got a much better understanding of what I like and don’t like. If we can figure that out, it can make a huge difference in our results at Le Mans.”

NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – FIA WEC:“I was really impressed with the facility in my first time. The GM Technical Center is very cool. You can see that it is next-level. I personally love it. I’m a big sim fan and do a lot of sim racing at home. So I really like this kind of stuff. I always tested other sims and it doesn’t feel so realistic with how the motion works and things like that. I have to say that I was able to jump in the Chevrolet sim right away and it was great. The feeling you get from the car is very similar to real life. It was cool for me to practice for Le Mans – not only driving but also feeling setup changes. I think that’s one of the best things that you can do – try different setups and feel those as a driver. It lets you develop setup changes before you get to the track.
“Le Mans is a track where you cannot test. You go there once a year for one test day and then the race-week starts. It’s really difficult to get laps in and everything nailed for the race. So these sims sessions make it easier to establish a baseline. From this, we can work on the car as the track develops, the weather gets warmer and other things. There aren’t so many big changes to do because you know what to use from the start. Between the sim and the experience of Corvette Racing at Le Mans, we are in a great place to start and work from there to get the best car possible for the race.”

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – IMSA:“It’s always good to be back driving the GTE spec and revisit what we raced last year. There was a tiny bit of difference in the setups between the 63 and 64 cars. With only one car now, we need to know what the best options are and see which car was best at certain points. We are re-evaluating things we learned late last year and early this year in the WEC. There is a ton of data to analyze. It’s important to be ahead of things to see what direction you want to take and especially what to discard when you find changes that don’t work. A read at Le Mans is super-long because it’s a four-minute lap. If you want to try something and it doesn’t work, you’ve lost 40 minutes or more on the Test Day, for example. So it’s important to maximize your time not just at the track but in the sim, as well.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 3 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – IMSA:“Where I’ve been able to help at the sim is my knowledge from last year about what the car felt like and correlating what they have in the sim now versus what we had last year and made sure the preparations they are doing for this year are getting off on the right foot. They’re using every bit of information that they can get their hands on to improve the car to help Ben, Nico and Nicky be as prepared as possible for the race.
“There’s a bit more attention paid to Le Mans and all the work we’ve put in at the sim to make it as reliable as we can for feedback from drivers will pay off the most this year with someone like Ben and Nico, who haven’t raced this car at Le Mans. The DiL is quite valuable for us in this situation to get the opportunity to get their feet wet before they get to the track for the first time in the C8.R.”


2023 FIA World Endurance Championship – GTE Am(After three of seven events)
Driver Standings
1. Ben Keating/Nicky Catsburg/Nico Varrone – 82
2. Alessio Rovera/Lilou Wadoux/Luis Perez Companc – 43
3. Simon Mann/Ulysse De Pauw – 36
4. Christian Ried/Julien Andlauer/Mikkel Pedersen – 35
5. Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey/Sarah Bovy – 32

Team Standings
1. No. 33 Corvette Racing – 82
2. No 83 Richard Mille AF Corse – 43
3. No. 21 AF Corse – 36
4. No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – 35
5. No. 85 Iron Dames – 32

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: By the Numbers
• 1:As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 22 appearances at Le Mans: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette
• 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 since 2000 – Corvette C5-R (2000-04), Corvette C6.R (2005-13), Corvette C7.R (2014-2019) and Corvette C8.R (2021)
• 8:Class victories for Corvette Racing at Le Mans – all since 2001
• 9:Number of drivers who have won races at Le Mans for Corvette Racing – Olivier Beretta, Ron Fellows, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Pruett and Jordan Taylor
• 14:Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001
• 25:Number of drivers to compete for Corvette Racing at Le Mans. That number grows this year with the additions of Ben Keating and Nico Varrone
• 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
• 34:Number of drivers for Corvette Racing since 1999. Ben Keating and Nico Varrone joined that list with their participation – and victory – in the 1,000 Miles of Sebring for the World Endurance Championship.
• 124:Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 113 in North America, eight at Le Mans and three in the FIA WEC.
• 272:Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
• 108,358.22:Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 21 previous trips to Le Mans. That represents 12,850 laps… or more than four full trips around the Earth at its equator. The two Corvettes combined togo over the 100,000-mile markat Le Mans in the 2021 race.
• 354,262.62: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)


Ryan Smith Judy Kouba Dominick
 

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