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CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: Three in Row?

cor123

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Press Release:

Stellar start to WEC season for No. 33 C8.R team with back-to-back GTE Am
wins


CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: Three in Row?
Stellar start to WEC season for No. 33 C8.R team with back-to-back GTE Am
wins

DETROIT (April 25, 2023) – Two wins, one pole position and a 31-point lead
in the GTE Am Drivers and Team championships. Any way you put it, it’s been
a dream start to the FIA World Endurance Championship for Corvette Racing.


Less than two weeks after a stunning triumph in the Six Hours of Portimão,
the No. 33 Corvette C8.R is back in action Thursday through Saturday at
famed Spa-Francorchamps for the Six Hours of Spa – the team’s final WEC race
before the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


The championship-leading trio of Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nico
Varrone will share the wheel of the Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette
C8.R, which will race at Spa for the third time.

While each of the drivers have been fantastic in the two wins so far this
year – Catsburg’s final hour in Portimão is an early leader for drive of the
season – the results are equally due to the work by the Corvette Racing pit
crew and engineering team.


The strategy calls through two rounds has been spot-on with precise
decisions on race and pit stop strategy. Once in the pitlane, the Corvette
Racing crew has been a difference-maker. That was never more evident than on
the final stop in Portugal when the Corvette crew completed their final stop
five seconds faster than the runner-up Ferrari with a margin of 0.260
seconds at the finish.


That result means that regardless of what happens at Spa, Corvette Racing
will enter Le Mans – a double-points event – with the championship lead.


It also means the No. 33 C8.R will carry 45 kilograms of “rewards weight”,
per the GTE Am sporting regulations. Cars that finish the previous two races
first, second or third must on-board additional weight on a sliding scale of
15-10-5 kilograms. In addition, the same amounts of ballast apply to the
top-three entries in the GTE Am championship standings.


The Corvette ran with 30 additional kilograms at Portimão, but it didn’t
deter Keating from taking pole position – his first in the C8.R. While the
task will be that much tougher to repeat at Spa, Corvette Racing can take
lessons it learned from the previous two years in the Six Hours of Spa with
the mid-engine C8.R. Aside from the additional ballast, the C8.R will race
in much the same shape as 2021 and 2022 – similar engine power, same
mechanical configuration and Corvette-specific Michelin tires.


The Six Hours of Spa for the FIA World Endurance Championship is scheduled
for 6:45 a.m. ET / 12:45 p.m. Central European time Saturday. MotorTrend and
MotorTrend Plus will provide both live television and streaming coverage.
Radio Le Mans will stream audio coverage of qualifying and the race. Live
streaming video of qualifying and the race also is available through a
subscription on the FIA WEC app.


NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Spa is one
of my favorite tracks. Compared to Portimão, we have a lot more information
from the last two years. But we also will have a very heavy car due to the
rewards weight, so it will be difficult for us there. It’s also a good sign
though; it means we have won two races, which is the best thing you can do
at the start of the season. So I’m looking forward to going to Spa. It’s an
amazing track with high speeds. I don’t think I’ve raced a mid-engine car
around Spa, so that will be a new thing. But I’m looking forward to this
event. It’s almost like a home race for me, so it should be a good weekend.”


BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "Going into
Spa, it's my favorite track on the WEC schedule. I really love Spa. I
qualified very well last year and put together a really good lap. Based on
what I know about the track and the characteristics of the Corvette, I
expect us to be strong. Both of my co-drivers have a lot of experience there
so it should be good. Because we won Sebring and Portimão, and we're still
leading the points, we'll still have more weight in the car than anyone
else. But the Corvette manages the weight very well. I have a ton of
convince in the team and my teammates. We all love the track. Usually, the
track you love ends up loving you back! We hope that's the case at Spa."


NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m really
looking forward to this race. Spa is one of my favorite tracks in the world.
It will be really nice to drive the C8.R there and I know I’ll love it. We’ll
see how it goes. We will have more success ballast but we’ll do our best and
get the maximum result and points as possible. It would be good to arrive at
Le Mans with good points in the championship. Let’s see what happens first
at Spa.”


2023 FIA World Endurance Championship – GTE Am (After two of seven events)
Driver Standings
1. Ben Keating/Nicky Catsburg/Nico Varrone – 64
2. Christian Ried/Julien Andlauer/Mikkel Pedersen – 33
3. Simon Mann/Stefano Constantini/Ulysse De Pauw – 28
4. Davide Rigon/Francesco Castellacci/Thomas Flohr – 27
5. Daniel Serra/Scott Huffaker/Takeshi Kimura – 24


Team Standings
1. No. 33 Corvette Racing – 64
2. No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – 33
3. No. 21 AF Corse – 28
4. No. 54 AF Corse – 27
5. No. 57 Kessel Racing – 24


CORVETTE RACING AT SPA: By the Numbers
• 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: Tracks where Corvette Racing has competed in each of its 24 previous
years: Sebring, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Michelin Raceway Road
Atlanta (later this year).
• 4: Generations of Corvette Racing entries since 1999 – Corvette C5-R
(2000-04), Corvette C6.R (2005-13), Corvette C7.R (2014-2019) and Corvette
C8.R (2020-present).
• 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.
• 124: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 113 in North America and
eight at Le Mans.
• 271: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
• 354,050.01: 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 Spa-Francorchamps
2021
No. 63 Corvette C8.R: Antonio Garcia/Oliver Gavin – 4th in GTE Pro (Gavin’s
final Corvette race)

2022
No. 64 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy – 4th in GTE Pro


Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

1tracksideracingnews_egnyte_com_efea6a886676475c104844f0201df39508937c8a.jpg
 

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