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|2016 Le Mans 24hrs: Race Info|
|May 25 2016 12:17:53 PM EST|
|The 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours may be one of the most important races for the GT ranks in a long time. Why? Ford is why. The entire reason for the new Ford GT's existence is to try to win Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of the historic GT40's win. They are so determined, that they are bringing four cars to increase their chances. The challengers from Corvette, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Porsche are upping their game to try to prevent that from happening.|
Ferrari, Ford's historic rival, lobbied to have US based Risi Compesizione invited to the race to increase their car count from the two full season WEC entries from AF Corse to three.
Porsche are in an in-between year before their new GTE car is debuted next year. Their 2015 car was upgraded to comply with the 2016 regulations, but the works WEC team has been put on hiatus until the new car is ready. Dempsey-Proton Racing are the sole GTE-Pro WEC entry, but the two Porsche North America entries from IMSA will also represent the brand.
Aston Martin Racing have downsized from three to two entries this year. They are also the only team to use Dunlop tires over Michelin.
Corvette will also be represented by the usual two entries. Due to last year's accident in practice that made the #63 unable to race, the team is bringing along a 3rd chassis as a backup just in case. Also, if either Corvette were to win, it would mark the 100th victory in the team's competitive history. What better place to make history then at Le Mans.
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US TV & STREAMING SCHEDULE:
NCM Le Mans Viewing Party
R&T: Dan Binks prepares to defend Chevy's dynasty against the Ford GT.
Racer: The bizarre story behind the Ford GT's first win
SC365: Taiwan’s Team AAI To Field Corvette C7.R
DSC: Johnny O'Connell Returns to Le Mans with Team AAI
SC365: Inside Corvette, Audi’s Driver Sharing Relationship
Autosport: SAFER barriers added to Porsche Curves at Le Mans
DSC: Ricky Taylor Set To Join Larbre GTE Am WEC Effort
|2016 Laguna Seca: Race Results|
|May 08 2016 11:33:01 AM EST||Jan Magnussen PR|
|After the Porsche/Corvette result changing contact at Long Beach, drivers and fans alike were hot for blood, but this isn't NASCAR. Corvette Racing are one of the premier professional organizations in the sport, and took the high ground. Doug Fehan stated "I can tell you that as a full-fledged Chevrolet factory program, regardless of the justification for it, or how much they might deserve it, or how fair it would be to do something, we don't operate that way."|
Corvette Racing has a strong history at Laguna Seca, with recent wins in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Michelin debuted their Le Mans spec time tires for the first time in North America in 2016 here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, throwing a bit of a wrench into everyone's program. Note: WEC teams have already ran on these tires at Silvertone 6hrs. With Laguna Seca being historically one of the slickest tracks in North America due to the dust, this isn't the ideal track to test new tire compounds on.
Photo by Oppositelock-Kinja
The pair of Corvettes qualified 4th and 6th in another tight GTLM qualifying session.
Race day was full of physical and tactical moves. Not backing down, both Corvettes and both Porsches were hip checking each other throughout the race. Luckily it didn't end in tears for anyone.
Photo by Marshall Pruett
The pair of Corvettes were not the fastest cars in class but with strategy and perfect execution they could have had at least one, or possibly both cars on the podium. However, The #4 received a penalty for spinning it's wheels while still on the air jacks, and the #3 had to stop for fuel with one lap to go.
It's not often Corvette Racing isn't on their game, but this particular race was one of those times. Corvette finished 4th and 7th.
Ford managed to capture their first victory by using lessons learned at Daytona.
Photo by IMSA
“It wasn’t a great stint for me at the start. I didn’t really have the speed to do much other than try and keep up with Tommy (Milner in the No. 4 Corvette). I lost a lot of rear grip at the end with the new tire. It was a bit of a gamble on the fuel at the end. We lost out by a half-lap but that’s how these things go. It wasn’t the worst weekend but it should have been better for us. Now we go away and test for Le Mans. Hopefully the second half of this season will be better for us on the No. 3 car than the first half.”
“I kind of knew when I got in the car that it was going to be a fuel race. I was already saving fuel before the team asked me to. It was tough to be surrounded by so many cars and Olly to keep the fuel usage low and still stay competitive. We almost made it. It was a shame that we lost telemetry for a number of laps. Our engineers couldn’t give me a fuel number to hit, so we were kind of guessing to see what we needed to do to go to the end. It’s a shame we had to pit with a lap to go. It’s not really nice being in pits waiting for fuel when you see the white flag waving. Sometimes the strategy works and sometimes it doesn’t. We were about a half-lap shy today. I’m happy with how the Corvette developed over the weekend. We need to keep working on these tires ahead of Le Mans. The first four races, we’ve been very competitive but just haven’t gotten the results. Getting fourth today with the extra stop is something we can be happy with.”
“It is always close in our class. That’s racing. You are going to have some contact every now and then. The Ferrari and I had a little run-in there at the start which was good racing. I had to run wide there in the last corner and he could have given me a bit more room but I can’t fault him for that. Like I said, hopefully no more paint. But if we have to, we will.”
HOW DID THE NEW MICHELIN TIRE WORK OUT? “Looking at practice, it seemed like the long-run stuff was going to be super important and we focused on that. The car was pretty good; I still had some issues with drive off the corners so we are still learning. It is still all brand new to us, but Michelin always brings great stuff. It is just a matter of us getting our heads around what makes these tires work and we know Corvette Racing will work hard to make that happen.”
“The No. 25 BMW didn’t fight me hard near the end. Then I was catching the other BMW and the No. 911 Porsche very quickly. We were fighting so hard. Then in Turn Three, the Porsche stuck it on the inside of the BMW and the pair of them swung super wide, and I just slung-shot my way past the and that was no problem. And then I was on the tail of the Porsche, the 911. He wasn’t bad but you could see that he would be good for a lap, and then he would start to go away again. I knew that if I could get myself out of Turn 10 and into 11 well I could up the inside of him. He didn’t fight me hard and I got by him. Then it was a case of me pushing it. Chuck (Houghton, No. 4 Corvette race engineer) was on the radio saying that the No. 62 Ferrari and the Ford were slower. I was chasing them, but I just ran out of laps. But I certainly would have had one of them if not both. It was a frustrating day, but ultimately the guys we were fighting in the championship it wasn’t bad. We lost some ground to the 912 Porsche, but we scored more points than the 911 and the 25. We didn’t make a gain but there was also no real loss in the championship today. But I felt happy and pretty comfortable with the car. That last stint it was solid to drive; the balance wasn’t bad and we just had to manage the tires. But I’m frustrated about the pit stop – that just undid us. We have been so strong all year in the pits, it was just that small bobble when the car just didn’t come down when we needed it to come down. These things sometimes happen. It is part of racing. Everybody will have one of those during the year.”
Focus now turns to the 24hrs of Le Mans. The team are testing at Road America this year due to ongoing noise disputed at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park.
The 24hrs of Le Mans is June 18-19. We will have all of your coverage here on Badboyvettes.com and on Twitter.
|2016 Long Beach: Race Results|
|April 17 2016 09:28:38 PM EST||Michelin Alley|
|Coming off winning 36hrs of racing in Florida, Corvette Racing heads to Long Beach for the shortest race of the year. |
The Corvettes would start 4th and 5th behind a BMW and both Porsches. Only one second covered the entire GTLM field in qualifying.
Photo by Team Chevy
After only 25 minutes, Gavin made an early pit stop due to a tire going down. This put the #4 car on the different strategy and they would have to conserve fuel all the way to the end in order to not have to come in a second time.
After everyone else made their pit stops both Porsches received penalties for speeding in pit lane. The leading BMW also received a penalty for taking out an LMPC car. This now put the two Corvettes 1-2 in the GTLM class.
Photo by Team Chevy
With the rest of the GTLM field either having issues, or battling back from penalties, it was looking good for a possible 1-2 Corvette finish.
With 8 minutes to go, Garcia in the #3 spun on his own with the Porsche duo putting pressure on him lap after lap. Garcia later took to Twitter to say "All I said was sorry. That's what happens when you run 18.5's on a 19.0 car." Unfortunately the #3 was not able to finish the race.
Photo by Fox Sports
As the clock was ticking down to the final minutes of the race, Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette C7.R was leading the race with both Porsche North America team cars on the charge. The Corvette was clearly the slower car, but that does not mean you just give up and let your opponent pass. You fight to the end and do everything in your ability, within the rules, to make life difficult for the cars behind to make the pass. The Porsches were clearly getting anxious. Coming up to the final corner of the penultimate lap of the race, Fred Makowiecki in the #912 Porsche made a dive-bomb move that had a 0% chance of working, in an attempt to make a pass
VIDEO: #912 Assaults #4 Corvette
This dirty piece of "driving" handed the #911 Porsche the win, with the #4 Corvette able to recover and take P2. The #912 did not continue due to the self inflicted damage.
Was it intentional, probably but we will never know for sure. One thing is for sure, it was a disgusting piece of driving.
The only consequence was IMSA handed the #912 a drive threw penalty, but with 1 lap to go and the car unable to finish, it didn't much matter.
Photo by Team Chevy
“It was fairly well under control until I had a wiggle apparently. But that wiggle was tiny. I just got wrecked basically. Two Porsches running nose to tail… it is pretty clear what happened there. It is pretty disappointing that this is the kind of racing we have here where we are better than that for sure. At the end of the day, it could have been worse for us for sure. Second place is obviously great points. Oliver was unlucky there with the puncture (tire) and it was looking pretty bleak for us for a little bit there. But with the yellow, and we were at the right spot there at the end. There were very difficult conditions there after the yellow flag I was locking fronts all over the place and then the tires came back and they were good. Then with three to go, just taken out. It’s disappointing but certainly could have been a lot worse. I don’t mind finishing second if it is clean and it happens the right way, but that wasn’t the right way. It hurts a little bit to be second in this case the way it happened, but again, end of the day second place is great points for us. We can hold our heads high that we raced as hard as we could today, the right way.”
“When you look back on today at the end of the year, we would hope that this was one where we ended up getting a good result from it. Yes, we felt like we got robbed of the victory. But with the puncture we had early-on and the pit stop, Tommy having to save fuel, the tires only lasting for so long… for us to come away with second place is a very good result. If you had asked us after the pit stop or told us we were going to finish second, yes we would definitely taken that. It is a little hard to swallow right now. We felt like we were going to win and we were robbed of that.”
“It was not the outcome we expected. We played our strategy very smart. With the pace we had early, we showed that we had to do something. We didn’t have the fastest car but we were – up until the yellow – first and second. For sure the first yellow helped the 4 car stay in the lead. The Porsches were very fast. If I wanted to stay ahead of them, I needed to have the best drive of my career. There was a lot of pressure from them. Maybe there were some taps but nothing special. Then a mistake happened. I can’t say I felt contact. We probably need to view the replay but I was driving the whole race on the limit. That’s what happens on a street circuit sometimes. It can bite you at some point. I wasn’t going to be happy to finish second, so I was doing all I could to try to win the race.”
“My stint itself was pretty uneventful. I wasn’t really in a position to attack anybody. We started getting messed up in traffic and lost a lot of ground to the guys in front. I tried to take care of things, but it was difficult. We did a bunch of laps in qualifying, so we were starting to lose a lot of performance in the tire. I was just taking care of things.”
|2016 Sebring 12hr: Race Results|
|March 21 2016 02:42:06 AM EST||Richard Prince|
|The 12hrs of Sebring is a special race. Some say it is more brutal than 24hrs at any other track. Only the best of the best are successful, and Corvette Racing has seen success and failure at this old airfield.|
Corvettes qualified 5th & 6th. The gap between 1st & 10th was 0.7 seconds.
Photo by Jan Magnussen PR
Right out of the gate the GTLM battle was fast and furious. Lead changes between BMW, Porsche, and Corvette were exchanged frequently in the opening hours. Then, for the first time in 18 years, it started raining.
Photo by Michelin
Cars were spinning off at every corner. The #3 Corvette nearly was taken out by an out of control Lamborghini in T17. The rain then slowed but lighting started. The corner workers were called in to safety reasons, therefore the race had to be red flagged.
Once the race eventually got going again, the #4 Corvette, driven by Marcel Fassler at the time, had an off and collected some debris in the front grill. This caused an unscheduled pitstop. Then another unscheduled pit stop for rain tires put the #4 Corvette 1 lap down.
Photo by Fox Sports
A dry line started forming and the battles raged on. Coming down the front straight. the #3 Corvette and #911 Porsche were racing for the class lead. They split a GTD car with the Corvette on the outside dry line and the Porsche on the inside wet line. In the heat of the battle, the driver of the Porsche though he could late brake Jan Magnussen into T1 not realizing he was on the wet side of the track. He had no hope of slowing down and plowed right into the Corvette sending both cars hard into the tire wall in T1.
VIDEO: 2016 Sebring - GTLM Leaders Crash
Photo by Nigel Scott Dobbie
Unfortunately for Jan Magnussen, he continues his unintended roll at the Corvette crash test driver, but the good news is both drivers walked away unharmed. The crew got the car back to the garage and in 35 minutes time had the car back out on track, although 36 laps down. The Porsche never returned.
VIDEO: CR Crew Pushes #3 Out of the Garage to the Applause of the Fans
All hope was now on the #4 Corvette. One lap down and in P8, but still strong and fast. The team never gave up and one of many FCY gave then the wave by to get back on the lead lap.
Photo by Sportscar 356
With 2 hours left in the race, Tommy Milner had fought his way back up into the lead of the GTLM class. He was consistently pulling in laps 1-2 seconds faster than any other GTLM car on track, and in changing conditions. Inevitably, caution after caution came out and Tommy's lead, as much as 20 seconds, was taken way time after time. At the end, Corvette Racing had the fastest car on track and Tommy Milner brought the #4 Corvette C7.R home to victory.
Photo by Mobil 1
-This marks Corvette Racing's 10th victory at Sebring.
-Corvette Racing wins Daytona & Sebring 2 years in a row.
OLIVER GAVIN, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE WINNER:
“The race started with us not knowing how much pace we were going to have compared to our competition. Then Tommy and Antonio were both marching up the order. Tommy got us into the lead with some great pit stops and some good strategy. Then of course the rain came and we had that big stoppage. It is hard to get yourself focused after that. But you do, you manage, you use your experience and you get going again. Then it was a case of us battling away with a few things – some bits and pieces – the weather; the track; the tires – generally the conditions. I got the car back onto the lead lap and got us into the top-three. Then I handed it over to Tommy and he did a great, great job. I knew we were in great position toward the end of my double-stint because I knew the car was good because it was underneath me. It had a little bit too much understeer hear and there, but the car was really strong. We got back on the lead lap and into the right spot. Tommy could then get it and run to the end. He had been on fire all day. I had to do exactly what he did at Daytona which was sit on the pit box and watch and fret and pace and stress about is there going to be another yellow. Or is this going to happen, or is that going to happen? Is the last pit stop going to go okay. The guys did a brilliant job with that. Once again the team had their stresses and strain through the day. Jan’s accident was huge and it just shows the quality of the car and the ability of the team to bounce back from that and get that car back out. It was just an exceptional day again. This is 60 hours of racing that we’ve won with the No. 4 with Le Mans, Daytona 24 Hours and now Sebring 12 Hours. That is just amazing that we have been able to do that in the last 12 months. I am very, very happy with the performance of the whole team.”
TOMMY MILNER, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE WINNER:
“What a race. We sort of had an up-and-down race. At the start of the race the car wasn’t super quick, but we weren’t bad by any means. We had a great pit stop there and got me to the lead. Then the rain came, and we weren’t super good in the wet for sure… third or fourth quick there for sure. But then when I got in at the end, I’ve NEVER had a race car that good. That Corvette was absolutely on rails and I could tell as soon as I left pit lane… I knew we had a fast race car. I just immediately knew – the car felt that good. We didn’t have the best car at the start; certainly not in the rain. But at the end we had THE best car – here we are P1. I’m super, super happy for these guys – for Oliver and Marcel. And for all the crew guys. They have worked super hard. Just fortunate to be in the car there at the end and get to have some fun like that.”
MARCEL FÄSSLER, CORVETTE RACING NO. 4 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – GTLM RACE WINNER:
“It’s an amazing day. Two events with Corvette Racing and two wins. I’m really, really happy and proud to be a part of this winning team. Looking back at my race, it was quite tough after the red flag for me. I had never driven this track in the wet, especially not in a GT car. It was difficult to find the right racing line early but after that I felt OK. On my last stop, I think we went a little too early on slick tires, and it was really tricky for me to stay on track. Unfortunately I went off and hit one of the banners. We had to stop because the engine was getting warm. So yes it was a tricky situation. We lost some laps but we were able to catch up. Oliver and Tommy did a really good job out there. It was great to watch them, especially Tommy. I think he did half the race which was really impressive and an unbelievable job. The team made no mistakes and the car was a rocket.”
Photo by Jamie Price
ANTONIO GARCIA, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“When the rain came, it was a bit of a disaster. It looked from the outside like it was hero time for everybody wanting to take a risk. I wasn’t that keen on doing that. I stayed safe but aggressive. I stayed in touch with the leaders. But it was very, very difficult with the conditions. I don’t know how the 25 BMW and I didn’t crash at the end of the straight. We were literally navigating for half a straight not controlling the car at all. I was able to come to a full stop before the tire barriers. Luckily some other GT cars avoided me spinning, and I had a couple of cars going by sideways and backward. I avoided the wall but unfortunately the pits were closed at that time so we had to go back around on slick tires.”
JAN MAGNUSSEN, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“It’s such a huge shame for everyone on the team really. The weather made it really difficult out there. The decision to go to slicks felt wrong, but we did it. After awhile I could see that times were coming down and I could build a little bit of temperature. I kept working at it. I don’t know how far back we were but we were a long way but caught everything up. We got into the lead there for a very short while and then it all went south. It’s a shame. (Kevin) Estre (911 driver) came and apologized. That’s nice enough but it doesn’t change the fact that we are in here building the car. I really, really feel bad for the crew because man we were fast.”
MIKE ROCKENFELLER, CORVETTE RACING NO. 3 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R – FINISHED NINTH IN GTLM:
“Congrats to the No. 4 team. They did a great job. Like Daytona, we had a chance to win the race but it didn’t work out. The result for me was quite frustrating, but overall it was great to be with this team and to be part of it. I tried to everything I could. Two races… unfortunately not the results I was hoping for. But in Sebring we had all the chances. We had a car that could win especially in the dry. That is a positive.”
Photo by David James
DOUG FEHAN, CORVETTE RACING PROGRAM MANAGER:
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all – with the tremendous wins at Le Mans and Daytona – Corvette Racing comes back from one of our cars being taken out and the other two laps down with six hours to go and standing here in Victory Lane… it’s a great team, great drivers, tremendous strategy and engineering, flawless execution on pit stops. It takes an effort like this to win in this race and in this series. We’re racing against the world’s best. And today we demonstrated why Corvette Racing is the world’s best GT racing team.”
|2016 Sebring 12hr: Race Info|
|March 19 2016 02:59:28 AM EST||Michael Goodwin|
|With Victory Comes Inspiration|
|February 18 2016 09:40:40 PM EST|
|With any great accomplishment or victory, inspiration follows. In this case, Corvette Racing's amazing 1-2 finish at the 2016 Rolex 24hr inspired many artists to recreate the moment using their media of choice.|
Artist: Andy Blackmore
Artist: Jake Yorath
Artist: James Gibson
Artist: Doug Garrison
Artist: Scott MacKenzie
Artist: Draw Once
Artist: Racing Line Designs