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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition

DETROIT (July 6, 2023) – Winning a race as big of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is something special. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of work, preparation and execution.

In the case of Corvette Racing, winning this year’s GTE Am class didn’t just validate all of that effort. It also exorcised some very painful memories of near-misses, most notably the team’s end to the 2022 race. Ahead of this weekend’s Six Hours of Monza in the FIA World Endurance Championship, a few Corvette Racing team members shared their thoughts on a sweet and redemptive victory…

NICKY CATSBURG, DRIVER, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "We’ve been trying to win Le Mans with the C8.R for a couple of years. We managed to get P2 in 2021, and last year Alex (Sims), Tommy (Milner) and Nick (Tandy) seemed to have it all sorted before a crazy spell of bad luck took them out of the race. We knew this was our last chance for our car to win it before the end of the GTE category. It’s clear with Ben and Nico that we have a strong lineup, and we had an insanely successful season in WEC going into Le Mans. But that never means winning there is easy. All the ingredients were there, but you still need to make it happen. We lost a lot of time at the beginning of the race, and I really felt like that was the end of it. But this team never gives up. Corvette Racing is an insane team with a lot of young guys so incredibly eager to win races. They were on top of their game! The flawless pitlane work and flawless drives by both Nico and Ben brought us to the top step of the podium. It was the one big 24-hour race that I didn’t have on my CV, and now I do. I can’t begin to thank everyone on this program enough. The whole team has such a good dynamic going on, and the atmosphere is so cool. I’m very thankful and grateful.”

LAURA WONTROP KLAUSER, GM SPORTS CAR RACING PROGRAM MANAGER: "Any Le Mans win is incredible, but this year’s was above and beyond. After the heartbreak of 2022 and with this year being the last year of the C8.R, the win was extra special to honor the team and our Corvette racecar. From the first hour, I think many believed there was no possibility for us to overcome the time we spent in the garage. But by sticking with the plan and staying focused, we again demonstrated that never-give-up spirit that defines Corvette Racing. What a great way to close the chapter at Le Mans with the C8.R while we look forward to writing the next one with the Z06 GT3.R.”

KYLE MILLAY, CORVETTE RACING CHIEF ENGINEER: “This Le Mans had a much different feel than years past. We always had the same two-car effort, garages, engineering offices, hospitality, driver rotations and so on. This year, not having that feel of familiarity while not impacting our approach added to the feeling of finality from the 2022 event. With about six hours to go we found ourselves with a comfortable lead that would have allowed us to easily bring the car home. I can distinctly remember feeling the buzz that we can win this race from here, but tempering that with knowing that six hours is a long way to go. What seemed like not five minutes later, I happened to look up at the TV feed and saw a yellow car spearing into the wall. I quickly glanced at my telemetry screen and confirmed it was us. The next thing was the radio call to Sims asking if he was ok and confirming our day was done. After sitting there for a few minutes letting it sink in, you close your computer and walk back from the wall. It went the way a lot of Le Mans have gone for us: with good cars not making it to the end. For me personally, it stung as much or more than 2017 when we lost the lead coming to the white flag.

“As with all Le Mans I headed into this year’s race anticipating some kind of setback that we would need to recover from. It came in Hour Two with a suspension issue. When something like that happens, you assess the situation and move on. In this case, I felt we had 22 hours to make up two laps and with the new safety car regs, that was a possibility. Everyone kept focused and knew that we still had options to get us back in the fight. We stuck to our plan to try and execute our driver and tire strategy as planned and see what would happen. We didn’t have to wait too long when the first of a few rain storms came to bring out a safety car. This was our first opportunity to get one of our laps back except race control executed the pit exit sequence incorrectly and it kept us trapped two laps back. The weather of the next few hours was pretty messy with car starting to drop out due to heavy accidents and issues. Nico had to drive a crazy stint in mixed conditions and then heavy rain while on slick tires after a gamble didn’t pay off. Over the next few hours, we just slowly narrowed the gap, and more cars dropped out. We luckily caught another safety car which did bring us a lap closer. That was it for safety cars giving us the freebies, and we had to race are way back for the rest. The car was fast and we were in a position with the driver rotation where we could really take out massive chunks of time to the leaders. We raced ourselves back on the lead lap, and then got the lead while building the gap.

“In the last few hours of the race, time seems to slow to a crawl when you are at the front. The last hour can be excruciating because there is nothing left to do but watch and think about everything that can go wrong. This time it was smooth sailing. This win had some extra meaning for the guys who had been so close over the last eight years, the ones who worked so hard to develop and build the C8.R and to see it check this one off the list. It was super special, and I was glad I could be a part of it.”

TIM KAVANAGH, CAR CHIEF, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “For me, the events of last year at Le Mans served as a reminder of how tough this race can be. It’s just like the events of our crash at the end of the first practice this year and the suspension issue early in the race. This group never gives up. We don’t know how.

“Our success in Le Mans came down to every single person involved executing to their maximum potential and staying determined to achieve our goals together. This is truly the best group of men and women I have ever had the privilege to work with.

“We came into the 2023 season not knowing what to expect but proud to be part of the final season of GTE competition and of the C8.R. So many people at GM and Pratt Miller have poured their hearts and souls into this project. A proper send off with a Le Mans win and championship is the only option.”

The Six Hours of Monza is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CET / 6:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 9. MotorTrend and MotorTrend Plus will provide both live television and streaming coverage, as will the FIA WEC app. Radio Le Mans will stream audio coverage of qualifying and the race.

2023 FIA World Endurance Championship – GTE Am (After four of seven events)

Driver Standings

1. Ben Keating/Nicky Catsburg/Nico Varrone – 133

2. Ahmad Al Harthy/Charlie Eastwood/Michael Dinan – 59

3. Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey/Sarah Bovy – 56

4. Francesco Castellacci/Thomas Flohr/Davide Rigon – 47

5. Alessio Rovera/Lilou Wadoux/Luis Perez Companc – 43

Team Standings

1. No. 33 Corvette Racing – 133

2. No. 25 ORT by TF – 59

3. No. 85 Iron Dames – 56

4. No. 54 AF Corse – 47

5. No 83 Richard Mille AF Corse – 43


• 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 25 years of racing: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette

• 3: Generations of Corvette Racing entries at CTMP since 2000 – Corvette C5-R (2004), Corvette C6.R (2005-13) and Corvette C7.R (2016-2019). The Corvette C8.R raced at the track for the first time last season.

• 3: Number of GTE Am wins in four FIA WEC races this season for Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone with the No. 33 Corvette C8.R.

• 6: Hours difference between the IMSA team competing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the Corvette Racing WEC team competing at Monza on the same days.

• 7: Number of drivers who have won races at CTMP for Corvette Racing. Johnny O’Connell (six), Jan Magnussen (five), Oliver Gavin (four), Ron Fellows (three) and Olivier Beretta (two) each have multiple wins there with the team.

• 7: Pole positions for Corvette Racing drivers at CTMP. Oliver Gavin leads with three with Antonio Garcia (2016) being the most recent.

• 11: Class victories at Corvette Racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – all since 2001.

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

• 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.

• 125: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 113 in North America, nine at Le Mans – including two weeks ago – and three in the FIA WEC.

• 275: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.

• 11,080.25: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 20 previous trips to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. That represents 4,506 laps.

• 358,144.93: 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 Monza (wins in bold)


No. 64 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy – 1st in GTE Pro

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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