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CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: This is It!

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2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Press Release

CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: This is It!
Team going for ninth class win at final Le Mans for C8R

• Keating, Catsburg, Varrone enter as GTE Am championship leaders
• Twenty-third appearance for Corvette Racing at famed French endurance
classic
• Another class victory would come during Centenary celebration of Le Mans
• Corvette C8.R one of five General Motors entries into this year’s Le Mans

DETROIT (May 31, 2023) – Corvette Racing has contested the 24 Hours of Le
Mans 22 times since making its debut at the French endurance classic in
2000. This year’s running, though, might be the biggest yet.


There are a number of storylines that center on the long-standing program’s
appearance this year at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Those pages will start
writing themselves with the annual Test Day on Sunday – when the No. 33
Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R hits the track for six hours of
testing – followed by official practices, qualifying and Hyperpole, finally
culminating with the race on June 10-11.

Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nico Varrone will pilot the mid-engine
Corvette in its final appearance at Le Mans as next year will see the debut
of GT3 cars at the 24 Hours, including the Corvette Z06 GT3.R. But first
things first – sending the C8.R out at Le Mans with a victory and getting
closer to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE Am title.

The Keating/Catsburg/Varrone trio won the first two WEC races of the season
at the Sebring 1,000 Miles and Six Hours of Portimão and followed with a
runner-up finish at the Spa Six Hours to take the championship lead. Le Mans
is critical, though, as it is a double-points race and will go a long way
toward determining this year’s title-winners.

Keating won last year at Le Mans in GTE Am and finished second in 2021.
Catsburg will race at Le Mans for the fifth time and third year in a row for
Corvette Racing, having finished second in GTE Pro in 2021. Meanwhile,
Varrone made his Le Mans debut a year ago but already has a 24-hour victory
under his belt this year, having won the Rolex 24 in the LMP3 class.

Corvette Racing is an eight-time winner at Le Mans with three different
generations of America’s sports car A first 24 Hours win for the C8.R –
which won the Rolex 24 in 2021 – would be appropriate on a number of levels.
One is that it would come during the Centenary running of Le Mans, which
celebrates its 100th year at this event.

Secondly, a victory would cast a larger spotlight on GM’s involvement in
this year’s race – one Corvette, three Cadillac V-Series.R entries in
Hypercar and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that will run under the Garage 56
banner this year.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 4 p.m. CET / 10 a.m. ET on
Saturday, June 10. MotorTrend and MotorTrend Plus will provide both live
television and streaming coverage, the latter beginning with Wednesday’s
opening practice. Radio Le Mans will stream audio coverage of the Test Day,
practices, qualifying and the race.


NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I want to
win this race extremely bad! I feel in a way that I’ve been so lucky already
this season winning some cool races and cool events. But I cannot deny that
I really think we have a shot this year at Le Mans. That’s not always the
case. I believe that we have an awesome team with all the experience there.
We have awesome drivers. We have a cool car. I don’t see why we shouldn’t be
fighting for the win. I’m already nervous and I already feel like, ‘Come on…
let’s not make mistakes. Let’s bring it home.’ But it’s never easy. It’s
still a mechanical sport. We saw what happened with the 64 car last year.
You never know and you never know until the last five minutes of the race.
It’ll be super cool and I cannot wait.”
(GTE Am vs. GTE Pro at Le Mans): “There isn’t much difference. We are still
going to end up driving against pros. The only thing that might happen is
that I might be in the car and there might be a Bronze driver in the other
car, and you would for sure fight them differently than you would another
pro. But most of the same time, we’ll out the same time with the other pros.
Like we’ve seen this year, it’s a tough battle. You have many good drivers
on the grid and many drivers that used to be in the Pro class before, so I
don’t feel the approach is so different.”


BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Clearly we
have a good team of drivers and a great team of engineers and pit crew at
Corvette Racing. We have all the pieces of the puzzle to do well at Le Mans.
I still think it’s anybody’s best guess as to who will do well. There are 62
cars on track and everyone wants to do the best they can. Twenty-four hours
is a long time to expect every other driver to keep their head about them
and make a good decision. Someone can make a mistake and take you out, not
of your own doing. It happens often. But Le Mans is a double-points race for
the championship. I don’t want to say it’s completely over, but if we were
to win then I don’t know if anyone can catch us. It would be just a total
dream to win Le Mans.”
(Race outlook): “Everyone wants to win Le Mans, and no one is really going
to show what they have until the race starts. Then the gloves come off. Who
knows what’s going to happen. That’s something you can’t control. All we can
control is doing our jobs to the best of our abilities. We will deal with
whatever comes up. I’ve often said that it’s really special to win a World
Endurance Championship race as an American driver racing an American car,
racing something I sell and racing for an American team. It’s hard to
imagine what that would be like at Le Mans and the 100th Le Mans. That would
be on a totally different level.”


NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Le Mans is
the race that everyone wants to win. It’s our race of the year. The GTE Am
championship is important, but this is the biggest race for us. Le Mans is
something else. This year, we’ve done very well so far and have a great
start. We have two wins, another podium and lead the championship. We’ve
been doing great things together as a team. The goal is to do the same as we
have been doing in the first three races – how we work, how we manage
situations… the same we did at Sebring, Portimão and Spa. That is my
mentality going into Le Mans.”
(Learning with Corvette Racing): “One of the biggest things I’ve learned is
on pit stops and how to be precise with where I stop. I’m learning to see
how important it is for a pit stop to be on you marks. Corvette Racing takes
it so seriously and that’s why they are so quick on their stops. We work on
how to get in the box, how the procedure works and how important it is for
the car to be right on the point. It’s much easier for the mechanics to do
the tire changes and fuel the car. I’m also really lucky to have Nicky as a
teammate. He’s one of the best drivers in the world, and he’s helping me a
lot. I can see what he’s doing not only in the car but outside the car as
well, how he manages situations and deals with things. He’s such a nice guy
that he has no secrets with me. He shares all his experiences and all his
knowledge with me just for me to get better and improve as a driver and a
person. That’s something I really appreciate.”


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 to go
over the 100,000-mile mark at 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 C6R: 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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