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Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition

CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: Difficult Day… but on to Le Mans

STAVELOT, Belgium (May 11, 2024) – TF Sport and the Corvette Z06 GT3.R program in the FIA World Endurance Championship are looking ahead to the 24 Hours of Le Mans following a difficult third round of the LMGT3 championship at Spa-Francorchamps.

The No. 82 Corvette of Daniel Juncadella, Sebastien Baud and Hiroshi Koizumi completed the full Six Hours (and then some) of Spa but finished 12th and unfortunately out of the points.

The No. 81 Corvette of Tom Van Rompuy, Rui Andrade and Charlie Eastwood ran well early before it retired with a gearbox issue just shy of the halfway point. Van Rompuy qualified eighth but picked up a couple of spots early and was challenging for the top-five into his second stint. He fell back to ninth with a high-speed spin just past the Blanchimont corner but kept the Corvette out of the wall and continued unharmed.

He swapped over to Andrade during a lengthy safety car period, but the car lost a gear not long after the restart and was retired shortly thereafter.

Back on the other side of the garage, Koizumi drove the first three hours and changed over to Baud from 16th position while the safety car was on track. The young Frenchman cut his way through the field and advanced to 12th before he suffered a tire puncture that forced him into the pitlane and down to 15th.

The No. 82 Corvette was a beneficiary of a nearly two-hour red flag period that reset the field as race officials put one hour, 47 minutes back on the clock. Baud restarted 13th and immediately put in his two fastest race laps before handing over to Juncadella but off the lead lap. The pace of the Corvette factory driver was strong but not enough to make up a gap to get into the top-10 and in a points-paying position.

The next race for the Corvette Z06 GT3.R and TF Sport is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15-16. It is a race that Corvette Racing has won nine times in class.


TOM VAN ROMPUY, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: "The first stint went quite well and was able to climb up one position. But it was quite fast that the tires were going down a bit. Everyone was struggling but our car, and I could see it. Our car at that point was still OK and quite fresh. The second stint was where it was about really surviving for everybody if you see the tire deg. It was super high. Then I had a big moment when I overtook two cars at Blanchimont. It was a proper moment but I managed to keep it out of the wall, which was for sure a good thing but lost three positions. So it was an eventful stint."

RUI ANDRADE, NO. 81 TF SPORT CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: "The race was looking good. We were good on strategy and was managing to save a lot of fuel and energy behind the pack that was in front of me. The race looked like it was going to come to us in the end. Unfortunately these things happen. Now its full focus toward Le Mans and we're going to give everything to win the big one."

SEBASTIEN BAUD, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “This race was very complicated. We started from 15th and the pace wasn’t very fast… the start was difficult. In my stint, I made up three places after the safety car but in a battle with the Aston Martin I had the puncture so we lost a lot of time there. After the red flag it wasn’t too bad because we had new tires and the car is fast around this track. Everything felt good and I could push a lot. Overall this weekend was important to prepare for Le Mans. That’s our big race and a dream for me.”

DANI JUNCADELLA, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “It was a bit of frustrating weekend. It looked good at the start of the weekend as we had a strong car. Unfortunately in the race, it didn’t go our way. We seemed to lose pace with Hiroshi in the first stint. We were a lap down but got lucky with the safety car which gave us the lap back. Things were looking good because Seb was getting in the car and then me. But he had contact with another car to cause a puncture. We lost a lot of time and then lost another lap before the red flag. That destroyed our chances, basically. I tried to learn as much as possible from the conditions in the last hour when I was driving but obviously without a real chance since we were a lap down. Not a weekend of good results but it was a weekend of learning. I enjoyed getting back in the Corvette and driving it around Spa.”

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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