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CORVETTE RACING AT MONZA: Third-Row Start for Title Push


Well-known member
Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Press Release

CORVETTE RACING AT MONZA: Third-Row Start for Title Push

Keating qualifies sixth in GTE Am with an eye toward championship clinch

MONZA, Italy (July 8, 2023) – Corvette Racing will roll off from the third row of the GTE Am grid Sunday in its push to wrap up FIA World Endurance Championship class titles at the Six Hours of Monza.

Ben Keating qualified the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R sixth with a lap of 1:48.519 during Saturday’s 15-minute session at the 3.60-mile, 11-turn Autodromo Nazionale Di Monza circuit with a red-flag period in the middle. He, Nicky Catsburg and Nico Varrone can wrap up the Drivers and Teams championships in a number of different scenarios – the easiest being finishing first or second in class Sunday.

Keating ended 0.887 seconds off Sarah Bovy’s class pole-winning time in the No. 85 Porsche.

The trio and the No. 33 Corvette team have been nearly perfect all season with three wins and runner-up finish in four races. It’s a remarkable achievement for a first-year trio and the team’s first season in GTE Am.

A podium finish this weekend would be just as impressive. The Corvette will carry 40 additional kilograms of “success ballast” in accordance with GTE Am sporting rules. That is due to the victory in the previous race at Le Mans, 10 kilograms for taking the runner-up spot at Spa (the race prior to Le Mans) and another 15 for leading the championship.

In addition, the C8.R received 10 additional kilograms of pre-event weight by the rules-makers, making the Corvette 50 kilograms (110 pounds) heavier than how it began the season at Sebring. On a positive note, the No. 33 C8.R raced at Spa with 45 extra kilograms over its minimum weight and placed second, highlighted by a furious late-race defense by Catsburg to hold on to the second position.

In addition to a championship, Corvette Racing is going for its second straight class win at Monza. It was the site of the program’s lone 2022 WEC victory in GTE Pro for the duo of Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy.

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 the race, as well.

BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R – QUALIFIED SIXTH IN GTE AM: “I had hoped we would be higher than P6. It was an unfortunate red flag in the middle of qualifying. I was on my best lap at the peak of the tire and had the best sector one and a pretty good sector two before I had to shut it down at the end. I think that was going to be a really good lap. Because we’re at the end of pitlane, we made the decision to go to the pit exit and queue up there rather than go to the box and change tires. It’s hard to know whether having track position is more important or having the peak of the tire one more time is more important. Hindsight being 20-20, I think I would have preferred to have new tires. The tires just didn’t feel the same to get those last three- or four-tenths out of a lap. We’re carrying 50 kilograms more weight than we were at the beginning of the season. That’s the penalty of the amazing success that we’ve had. If you look at how much 50 kilograms is worth around this track, it’s probably not far from the pole. From a points perspective, I’d rather Sarah Bovy got the pole instead Ahmad Al-Harthy. That gives us a little bit more margin in the championship, but the fact that both will start up front means they will have a little bit of an advantage at the beginning of the race. We’ll see. We have a really, really good racecar. As a team and a car, we carry the weight well. We’ll have to work our way up one hour at a time. We’ve got a lot of experience doing that.”

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

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick


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