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post Mar 17 2011, 01:04 PM
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New Season Brings New Challenges for Corvette Racing

Season-Opening 12-Hour Sebring Endurance Race Is Toughest Test for New Cars, New Technology, and New Drivers
SEBRING, Fla. - Corvette Racing will begin the 2011 American Le Mans Series at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 19, with two new cars, two new drivers, and a wealth of new technology.

The team has constructed a pair of new Compuware Corvette C6.Rs to take on the world-class competition in the GT category. Based on the GT2 Corvettes that the team introduced in 2009, the new race cars have benefited from months of development and testing.

"2010 was an extremely productive year for Corvette Racing from the standpoint of gathering information," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "The team learned a tremendous amount about the production-based LS5.5R engine package, the aero package, and the chassis setups - all of which were brand new to us. The winter was spent distilling that information, running it through various matrixes, and coming up with what we think are going to be very competitive race cars in 2011."

The ALMS regulations now allow the use of paddle shift transmissions in the GT category, and Corvette Racing has adopted this new technology. Similar to the paddle shifters that are available in production Corvettes, the race cars' fingertip shifters allow the drivers to change gears with both hands firmly on the steering wheel. The team has integrated this new system with the electronic controls for the production-based 5.5-liter GM small-block V-8 engines that power the Corvette C6.Rs.

"It's been pedal-to-the-metal all winter long," said team manager Gary Pratt. "The base chassis is identical to the design we've raced previously, but we've worked on all aspects of the cars, from aerodynamic refinements to driver safety and comfort."

"The paddle shift system is new technology for us, and our engineers have worked very hard on the communication system that links the new engine management system and the shift system. We've also adopted a new power control system that automatically performs many of the functions that used to be done manually, such as turning on the reserve fuel pump and switching the batteries during pit stops."

"We also installed new driver displays and new steering wheels with all of the controls on the wheel," Pratt explained. "The steering wheel system is more user friendly, and drivers of various sizes can reach the switches more easily."

Two of the six drivers are new to Corvette Racing’s international driver lineup in 2011. Tommy Milner, 25, of Lake Mary, Fla., will share the No. 03 Corvette C6.R with Olivier Beretta of Monaco for the full season; Spaniard Antonio Garcia is the third driver for endurance events (Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans). Richard Westbrook, 35, of London, England, will be teamed with Jan Magnussen (Denmark) and Oliver Gavin (UK) in the No. 04 Corvette C6.R in the long-distance races.

"The paddle shift is a big plus, particularly in the braking zones," said Gavin. "You can get hard on the brakes, then downshift really quickly. Going up through the gears, the shifts are smooth and solid. In terms of consistency and reliability, the system is a really good step forward."

This year's Sebring enduro marks Corvette’s 55th year in international road racing. John Fitch and Walt Hansgen drove a Corvette to a ninth-place finish overall and a Class B victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1956, the first step onto the world stage that established Chevy’s sports car as a contender in top-level competition. Corvette Racing first participated in the Sebring 12-hour race in 1999, and scored seven Sebring victories in the high-tech GT1 class (2002-04, 2006-09).

Today Corvette is competing in the production-based GT category against its showroom competitors. The 19 entries in the GT class include two Corvette C6.Rs, a Ferrari 430 GT, two BMW M3 GTs, four Ferrari F458s, a quartet of Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, one Panoz Abruzzi, two Jaguar XKRs, two Doran Ford GTs, and a Lamborghini Gallardo. An additional five cars are entered in the GTE AM class, which requires at least one amateur driver in the lineup, including a Corvette C6.R from the French Larbre Competition team (last year's No. 3 Corvette).

"The competition is going to be intense," said Fehan. "We'll face powerful new Ferraris, redesigned BMWs that won last year's manufacturer championship, and the defending driver champions in a Porsche. I can tell you this, nobody is going to go 9-0 this season!"

"Beyond the value of racing against Corvette's market competitors, every bit of the technology that we pick up on the race track goes into the next Corvette production model, and eventually the next generation Corvette," Fehan said. "We're not going to disappoint Corvette fans on the race track, and we're not going to disappoint Corvette customers in the showroom."

The season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will put the new hardware, new drivers, and new technology to a grueling test. The race will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and end 12 hours later at 10:30 p.m. The race will be shown live on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. ET. ABC will provide coverage from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.


[VIDEO] Corvette Racing's Video Series Returns for 2011: Episode 1 – Paddle Shifter Testing at Road Atlanta






Corvette Racing broke new ground last year with their Track to Street video series that chronicled the 2010 ALMS and 24 Hours of Le Mans campaigns. The series focused on everything from individual race results to the racing technology that is transferred to the regular production Corvettes (hence the name Track to Street). So it is good news for Corvette fans that GM Racing is continuing the series for the 2011 season which according to our watch, started the day after the #4 Corvette's dramatic win at Petit Le Mans last October.

One of the major new rules for the GT class in 2011 is the ability to use paddle shifters. In Season 2's first episode of the Track to Street video series, the team is shown testing the new paddle shifter setup in a black Corvette C6.R at Road Atlanta:



That testing and subsequent tests already appear to be paying dividends. At the annual Sebring Winter Test last week, Corvette Racing's C6.Rs were the fastest GT cars in each of the 4 sessions.

Corvette Racing's next event is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Sebring, Fla., on Saturday, March 19. The season-opening 12-hour race will be shown live on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com starting at 10 a.m. ET. ABC will televise race highlights from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.

CLICK ME for the 2011 Corvette Racing Schedule and other goodies



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post Mar 17 2011, 01:05 PM
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[VIDEO] A Conversation with Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan




As a new year of racing in the American Le Mans series gets underway with the 12 Hours of Sebring, we had the opportunity to talk with Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan. In this wide-ranging interview, we asked Doug about paddle shifters, E10 vs E85 for Sebring and the driver changes made during the off-season. We also managed to sneak in a question about the C7! Check out the video



The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and end 12 hours later at 10:30 pm. The race will be shown live on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. ET. ABC will provide coverage from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.



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post Mar 21 2011, 01:45 PM
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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing Series Episode 2: Engine Build




In the second episode of the 2011 Track to Street season, we go in-house to learn about the Corvette race engine development and build process within GM. The production engine serves as the foundation for the GT engine that will power the Corvette Racing cars in this weekend’s season-opener at Sebring, and throughout the season. Take a look and see what separates one engine from another.





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post Mar 21 2011, 01:46 PM
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[VIDEO] Say Hello to Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner




Say hello to Tommy Milner, the newest driver in the Corvette Racing lineup. Tommy will be taking over the full-time driving duties with Olivier Beretta following Johnny O’Connell’s departure to the Cadillac Motorsports program which was announced in December. Milner brings youth AND experience to the #03 Corvette C6.R. At just 25 years old, Milner has five years of seat time racing in the American Le Mans series including the last two years in the white BMW’s with Rahal-Letterman. With 51 starts and 17 podium finishes, the only that is missing from his impressive resume is a checkered flag.



Milner was impressive to talk with and so far the reviews from his new teammates have been extremely positive. Welcome him to the fold and let’s cheer him on to his first victory.

Make sure you check out our ongoing Sebring photo gallery on Facebook. They just uploaded several new photos and they’ll be posting the first look at the Corvettes on display at the Corvette Corral a little later this evening.

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and end 12 hours later at 10:30 pm. The race will be shown live on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. ET. ABC will provide coverage from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20.




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post Mar 21 2011, 01:48 PM
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[VIDEO] Behind the Scenes at Corvette Racing with #03 C6.R Crew Chief Dan Binks






Most Corvette Racing fans see him on TV or at the track, but very rarely do we hear from him. Dan Binks is the Crew Chief of the #03 Corvette C6.R and on the Wednesday leading up to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, we stopped by the Corvette garage to speak with him. We discussed the new paddle shift system, E10 vs E85, testing of a proximity alarm system as well as his impressions of new driver Tommy Milner.





Make sure you check out the ongoing Sebring photo gallery on Facebook


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post Mar 21 2011, 01:49 PM
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Corvette Racing Finishes Third and Fourth in Season-Opening Sebring Race

Corvettes Overcome Incidents and Accidents in 12-Hour Endurance Test
SEBRING, Fla. - Corvette Racing raced around the clock to finish third and fourth in the GT class in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the season-opening round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series. The No. 03 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Tommy Milner, Olivier Beretta, and Antonio Garcia completed 312 laps and finished third, 49.294 seconds behind the class-winning BMW. The No. 04 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, and Richard Westbrook was fourth across the finish line with 311 laps.

The Sebring 12-hour was a test of determination for the Chevrolet team. The No 3 Corvette C6.R started ninth on the grid and finished on the podium; the No. 4 Corvette C6.R overcame a three-lap deficit after an accident at the two-hour mark.

"Today's result was absolutely a team effort," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "In endurance racing you have to work as a team every minute, and Corvette Racing did that. We have more work to do, but this team never gives up."

The No. 04 Corvette C6.R made a fast start as Oliver Gavin started second on the GT grid and passed the pole-winning Ferrari 430GT on the first lap.



"The Ferrari went wide and I got by him," Gavin said. "Once the Ferrari's tires came in, he started to catch me - any amount of dust on the track and our performance started to suffer. Then with new Michelins after the first pit stop, we were back in the hunt and could race anybody."

Gavin handed off to Jan Magnussen at 1:48 under a full-course caution, but the Dane encountered misfortune as soon as racing resumed. Running third at the restart, contact in Turn 17 with Patrick Long's Porsche caused both cars to spin. The following Ferrari F458 of Johannes van Overbeek then spun, colliding with the Corvette and damaging its right rear suspension. The Ferrari subsequently retired, while Magnussen manhandled the Corvette to the pits for repairs. Six minutes later, the Corvette crew had him back on track, albeit two laps down to the GT leader.

"I got a better run going onto the straight, and Long moved to the right to block me," Magnussen said. "No big deal, I went around him on the outside. I think he was bouncing over the bumps, and bounced into the side of my car. I can't be upset with him, but I was upset at the situation."

Long was subsequently penalized for avoidable contact, and the Corvette was penalized for crewmembers working on the car while the pits were closed, losing yet another lap.

Meanwhile the No. 03 Corvette methodically moved up from its ninth starting spot. Olivier Beretta handed off to Tommy Milner, who showed his stuff in his first stint as a Corvette Racing driver. The 25-year-old raced former Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella hard, and took the yellow Corvette from seventh to third in GT.

"Most of my teammates have driven Formula 1 cars, and it makes the race that much more fun when you have the best drivers in the world," said Milner. "I was able to settle into a rhythm, find the balance, and push from there. Maybe I was a little too racy for my first stint, but I wanted to settle in and get the nerves out."

Richard Westbrook also showed his mettle in his first start with Corvette Racing in the No. 04 Corvette C6.R. "Everyone at Corvette Racing wants to do so well - it's Chevrolet's 100th anniversary, and we really want to put in a great performance," Westbrook said. "Unfortunately Jan had contact in the second stint, but we kept pushing - there was nothing else we could do."

The race settled down in the middle stages as the six Corvette drivers cycled through their rotations. The No. 03 Corvette maintained its pace with the frontrunners on the lead lap, while savvy pit stop strategy and speed brought the No. 04 Corvette to within a lap of the leaders.

Shortly after seven hours, Milner pitted the 03 Corvette for a new windshield after the tearoffs had blown off, leaving a layer of sticky adhesive. After falling back to sixth, he charged back through the GT field to third at the end of his stint.

"That was probably the hardest I've had to work in a race car to see out of the windshield," Milner reported. "The crew changed the entire window in nothing flat, and that was great because the car was really, really good. When the sun went down, it definitely picked up grip."

As the sun set at Sebring, the race pace quickened. Antonio Garcia turned in a strong performance to pull the No. 03 Corvette as high as third on the cooling track.



"The car was getting better and better throughout the race," said the Spaniard. "I was racing with a Porsche in the first half of my stint and worked the tires hard getting by him, but at the end I ran decent lap times with worn tires. We were in the fight, running as close as we could to the front, and we had to be able to fight for a good position at the finish."

After 10 hours of racing, Beretta had the No. 03 Corvette in second, and Gavin was back on the lead lap in the No. 04 Corvette when the class leader pitted.

"The traffic was very bad sometimes," said Beretta. "If you were in a good spot you could go quick, if not you just tried to survive, not make a mistake, and use your brain."

Gavin drove a double stint in the late hours before handing the No. 04 Corvette off to Magnussen for the final run to the checkered flag.

"Today was a real uphill battle after the accident took us out of contention for the victory," Gavin said. "After we changed tire compounds I thought we'd have a shot at the podium, but it was perhaps a bit too early. This was one of the wildest 12 hours I've ever raced. I'm proud to be part of the Chevy team, and proud to bring the car back to within a lap of the leader. Jan and Richard drove brilliantly today, with a bit more luck we might have won."

"We didn't have the ultimate speed to match the BMWs and Ferraris today, but we did have execution and we did have strategy," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "When you combine those in an endurance race, it's going to show, and that's what this team did. This is a solid foundation for the season, and a result we can be proud of."

Corvette Racing’s next event is the American Le Mans at Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, April 16.

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring GT Results (Top 10):
Pos./Drivers/Car/Laps
1. Priaulx/Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 312
2. Farfus/Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 312
3. Beretta/Garcia/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 312
4. Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook, Corvette C6.R, 311

5. Fisichella/Bruni/Kaffer, Ferrari F458 Italia, 311
6. Bergmeister/Long/Leib, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 310
7. Law/Neiman/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 306
8. Robertson/Robertson/Said, Doran Ford GT, 294
9. Ortelli/Makowiecki/Deletraz, Farrari F458 Italia, 292
10. Brown/Cosmo/Bell, Ferrari F458 Italia, 268


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post Mar 21 2011, 01:57 PM
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Corvette Airs New TV Commercial During ABC’s 12 Hours of Sebring Broadcast

As Corvette is the title sponsor of Sunday Afternoon’s ABC Sport’s broadcast of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, it only makes sense to educate viewers how closely related the production cars are to the ALMS GT racers. To do so, GM showcases the Corvette ZR1 while spokesman Tim Allen tells viewers that when they decided to take 638-horsepower Corvette racing, they had to dial back the power just to be fair to Porsche, Ferrari and BMW.
For Corvette’s competition on the track and in the showrooms, sometimes the truth hurts. lol.gif




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post Mar 23 2011, 04:46 PM
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Corvette Racing kicked off the 2011 American Le Mans Series with two new cars and two new drivers at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. After 12 hours of going pedal to the metal, the twin C6.Rs finished third and fourth in GT. The No 03 Corvette C6.R with Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia earned the podium and was the only non-BMW to finish on the lead lap. The No 4 Corvette C6.R with Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen and Richard Westbrook fought off several potential setbacks and spent much of the race climbing out of a three-lap deficit to end in fourth place.


The GT class showed again that anything can happen. The Corvettes battled BMWs, Porsches and Ferrari throughout the day and into the night. Leaders fell and challengers emerged. Sometimes lady luck is on your side and then the next minute she’s wiping your face in the dirt. But that is racing. I hope that these images we took captured the “Take No Prisoners” mentality that drives the crew of Corvette Racing.

Click the image above to see galley on Corvette Blogger.com


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post Mar 30 2011, 03:27 PM
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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing Series Episode 3: Inside the GT Fight at Sebring






In the third episode of Corvette Racing’s Track to Street series, we go behind the scenes as the team kicks off the first race in 2011 at the 12 Hours of Sebring.





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post Jun 11 2011, 10:18 AM
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Tommy Milner: The Long and Short of Long Beach

Corvette Racing New Guy's Guide to the First Street Race of the Season

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Sebring and Long Beach are the yin and yang of the American Le Mans Series. Last month's season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is the longest event on the ALMS schedule; the upcoming two-hour American Le Mans Series at Long Beach on April 16 is the shortest. The distance between the former bomber base in central Florida that hosts the Sebring enduro and the glittering bayside circuit in Southern California is measured not only in miles but also in culture and style. Long Beach is a street race, a beach party, and a celebration of spring.

With only a single two-hour practice session before qualifying and the race, the Long Beach schedule is as compressed as a beachfront condo. The ALMS drivers will be first out on the green track on Friday morning, and will end the day with qualifying. They won't see the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary course again until they take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.

So does Corvette Racing new guy Tommy Milner feel any pressure going into his second race with the series' most successful sports car team? Hardly.

"I'm excited about going to Long Beach and getting back in the Corvette," said Milner, who will share the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R with co-driver Olivier Beretta, a two-time winner in the GT1 class at Long Beach. "Sure it's a short weekend, but Corvette Racing was strong there last year and I'm looking forward to seeing how the C6.R works for me."

Milner had an up-close view of the Corvette C6.R's performance last year on the Long Beach circuit. His former team elected not to change tires during his pit stop, a move that vaulted Milner from fifth to first. But as his used tires lost their grip, Milner lost his grasp on victory. First he was passed by eventual race winner Patrick Long, and then by Corvette driver Jan Magnussen, who was on fresh rubber. Magnussen was also on a mission as he moved up from sixth to second in the closing laps, and Milner had to settle for his second consecutive third-place finish in Long Beach.

"Long Beach is all about track position," Milner explained. "Obviously pace is important, but track position is crucial because it's so difficult to pass there. By not changing tires, I ended up in front for quite a few laps. Pat Long gave me a little push and moved me out of the way, and by the time Jan got to me, I was done. Jan still had a hard time getting by me in a car that was a lot faster than mine. This time I think I'll have the faster car and I won't have to be defending!"

Although Milner professes his love for high-speed tracks, he appreciates the charms of America's most celebrated street course. "There is something about really hustling a car in the narrow confines of a street track and pushing the envelope right up to the wall that is a lot of fun," said the 25-year-old racer from Lake Mary, Fla. "One of my favorite corners in Long Beach is the Fountain Turn because you can almost trim the hedge around the fountain with the right fender."

The scarcity of track time in Long Beach doesn't daunt the determined young driver. "At Sebring you have all the time in the world to practice, and when you get to the race you still wish you had one more practice session," he laughed. "It's the same at Long Beach – I always wish I had another session, but I'll go into the race feeling confident that I have a good car. That comes down to working with your team and engineers to get exactly what you want out of the car."

"Since I joined Corvette Racing, we've always been able to get a car that's comfortable to drive and quick early on, so I don't have any concerns about the short schedule in Long Beach," Milner noted. "The first hour is almost a throwaway because there's not much grip and the way the car behaves changes dramatically throughout the session. We have to be methodical about how we make changes, and not get too carried away with how the car is handling initially. The track will come to us."

While many of his contemporaries will be partying in Long Beach, Milner is going to be all business in his first street race with Corvette Racing.

The two-hour American Le Mans Series at Long Beach will be shown live on ESPN3.com starting at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. local time on Saturday, April 16. ESPN2 will provide television coverage from 5 to 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 17.






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post Jun 11 2011, 10:19 AM
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Corvette Racing Qualifies Second and Ninth for Long Beach Street Race

Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen finished second in last year's American Le Mans Series race on the Long Beach street circuit, and that is where he will start Saturday's two-hour race on the bayside circuit. Magnussen posted the second quickest time in the GT class at 1:19.137 (89.526 mph) in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, just .047 seconds behind the pole-winning BMW of Joey Hand. Tommy Milner qualified the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R ninth in the 14-car GT field at 1:20.724 (87.766 mph).

Corvette Racing rebounded from a troubled practice this morning that saw the No. 4 Corvette lose nearly half of the two-hour session to a drivetrain problem and the No. 3 Corvette have a close encounter with the tire barrier in Turn 8. With minimal track time, the Corvettes went into qualifying on a split strategy.
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American Le Mans Series at Long Beach GT Qualifying (Top 10): Pos./Drivers/Car/Time
1. Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 1:19.090
2. Gavin/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 1:19.137
3. Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 1:19.447
4. Bergmeister/Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:19.463
5. Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.065
6. Sharp/van Overbeek, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:20.167
7. Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:20.176
8. Miller/Maasen, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1:20.646
9. Beretta/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 1:20.724
10. Junqueira/Da Matta, Jaguar RSR, 1:20.924





There is no better place for the world`s most exotic racers than the streets of Long Beach in southern California. It has been standing-room only since the Series` first trip in 2007 and this year will be no different. Corvette Racing finished 2nd in GT in 2010. Will this be the race where they earn their first win of 2011?


Event: Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach
Location: Long Beach, CA
Race Length: 120 Minutes
Track Length: 1.986 Miles
Turns: 11

For ALMS Long Beach Links: Click Me









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post Jun 11 2011, 10:20 AM
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Corvette Racing Takes Second and Fifth in Streets of Long Beach

Gavin and Magnussen Finish on GT Podium, Milner and Beretta Charge from Back of the Grid

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Corvette Racing survived two hours of close combat to finish second and fifth in the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach. Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin took the second spot on the GT podium in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R when the race finished under caution. Tommy Milner and Olivier Beretta fought their way from the back of the grid at the start to fifth at the finish in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The BMW of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand was first across the stripe under the yellow flag.

Not even Los Angeles' notorious rush hour could rival the traffic on the historic 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary course. With 29 starters on the concrete-lined circuit, close calls and contact were commonplace, although only two full-course cautions slowed the race. Gavin started the No. 4 Corvette second on the GT grid and held that position through the opening segment, which was interrupted by a lengthy full-course caution. When racing resumed he took the lead with an opportunistic move.

"I had a very eventful stint with lots of bumping and banging and cars spinning in strange places," Gavin said. "The start was pretty standard, everyone got a bit strung out, and then the LMPC cars were getting in the way. It all started when the BMW behind me disappeared. On the next lap he was turned around at the fountain turn! The race leader went the wrong way, I went the right way, and I got myself into the lead."

Hand's BMW and Patrick Long's Porsche subsequently got around the Corvette, but Long soon encountered the wall and the Porsche eventually retired. As green-flag pit stops began shortly after the one-hour mark, Gavin handed off the No. 4 Corvette to Magnussen.

"I was pushing absolutely as hard as I could, and I was cutting the margin," said Magnussen, who ran the fastest lap of the race in GT and trimmed the BMW's lead to six seconds before the race-ending caution period. "There was a lot of traffic, and in a race like this you have to take so many chances. After the race I had a walk around the car and looked at all the places where I'd tapped the walls. It's a shame we weren't closer at the finish, we could have had a good fight."


Milner was on a mission when the race began, moving from 14th in class to fourth before the pit stop sequence put Beretta behind the wheel of the No. 3 Corvette. The car was moved to the back of the grid at the start after a post-qualifying change of tires.

"I got lucky with the first yellow flag because we'd just cleared all of the Challenge cars and LMPC cars," Milner said. "The car was great, and although it was a little banged up, it was still quick. That's just street racing - everyone gets bunched up."

Beretta brought the No. 3 home in fifth after a relatively uneventful run. "I'm happy for the team - we got our second podium in two races which is really important, " Beretta said. "Tommy did a good stint, he was very clever, and the car was quite fast. Then it was just using my brain to keep the position and put the points in the pocket."

Gavin and Magnussen are now second in the unofficial GT class points standings with 36 markers, and Beretta and Milner are third with 31. Mueller and Hand lead with 50 points.

"When you can leave Long Beach with two cars intact, you've accomplished something," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "The fact that we were able to finish second and fifth make this a very satisfying day. Now it's on to Le Mans!"

ESPN2 will televise coverage of the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach from 5 to 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 17.Corvette Racing's next event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, on June 11-12, 2011.

American Le Mans Series at Long Beach GT Results (Top 10):


Pos./Drivers/Car/Laps

1. Mueller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 81
2. Gavin/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 81
3. Melo/Vilander, Ferrari F458 Italia, 81
4. Henzler/Sellers, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 80
5. Beretta/Milner, Corvette C6.R, 80
6. Junqueira/Da Matta, Jaguar RSR, 79
7. Auberlen/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 79
8. Law/Neiman, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 78
9. Brown/Cosmo, Ferrari F458 Italia, 77
10. Pastorelli/Schwager, Lamborghini Gallardo LP, 75



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post Jun 11 2011, 10:21 AM
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From Long Beach to Le Mans: Corvette Racing's Overseas Odyssey

Le Mans Test Day Sets the Stage for Sports Car Racing's Main Event

LE MANS, France - This is only a test - but it's an important one. Corvette Racing will participate in the Le Mans Test Day on Easter Sunday, April 24. This one-day outing on the legendary French circuit will play a key role in the team's preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12, 2011.

"Every lap at Le Mans is valuable," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "It's impossible to test there outside of the race environment because the course uses several miles of public highway. When you have even one day to gather information it's extremely beneficial, especially when your competition is going to be there. Corvette Racing's objective is to maximize the value of our time on the Le Mans track and then apply that when we return for the race in June."

Once a fixture in the run-up to the 24-hour race, the stand-alone test day had been suspended for several years. Its return to the calendar in 2011 posed a logistical problem for teams competing in the American Le Mans Series, which hosted its second round in Long Beach, Calif., last Saturday.

"The schedule makes it difficult, expensive, and risky to get the cars and equipment from Long Beach to Le Mans in time for the test," said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt. "Everything would have to be crated up and flown from LAX on Sunday morning after the ALMS race. Even a short delay in customs or air transport could mean that the shipment wouldn't arrive in time for the test."

"Fortunately one of our customers, Larbre Competition, has a Corvette C6.R that is available for the Le Mans test," Pratt explained. "This is a chassis that we ran last year in Le Mans, and that Larbre raced at Sebring last month. It's the same spec as our current cars and the Larbre team will compete with it in the GTE-Am class at Le Mans. Combining our resources for the test day and sharing the information that we gather will be a win-win for both organizations."

Corvette Racing's four full-season drivers - Tommy Milner, Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, and Jan Magnussen - will attend the Le Mans test, along with key Corvette Racing personnel. At the top of the to-do list is the requirement to qualify Milner to race at Le Mans after a three-year absence. He went to the 24-hour classic in 2006 and 2007 with the Panoz team.

"I'm 25 years old, I've been to Le Mans twice, and yet it's been so long since I've raced there that I have to do 10 laps to qualify again to drive," Milner said with a laugh. "I'm looking at the test as a briefing on what it's like to drive at Le Mans in a Corvette C6.R. It will be a great opportunity to get comfortable in the car and to get seat time without the pressure of the race week."

Olivier Beretta, Milner's full-season teammate, agreed: "It is very important to go to Le Mans when you have the rare opportunity to drive on the same track that you will race on," he said. "The only difference will be the weather, but Europe has been very warm recently and I hope the good weather will stay for another week. Then after the test we will have more time to think about and get ready for race week."

Driver Jan Magnussen will be reunited with an old friend at the Le Mans test day. "We'll be using my car from last year, so I should know it well," said the Dane. "The weather during April may not be representative of the conditions during the race, but the test is a opportunity for the drivers to get back into the rhythm of Le Mans. It is a different track to drive because you have to attack in certain places and not in other places, so it's helpful to get a few laps and work on the setup. Corvette Racing has always done a very good job of looking at all of the data and being right on when the race is there."

Oliver Gavin will be teamed with Magnussen at Le Mans this year, a combination that scored three consecutive GT1 class wins in 2004-06. "It's fantastic to be going to Le Mans because any time running on that track is precious," Gavin noted. "You've got to make the most of it because it's such a unique circuit and such a unique environment. It's great for Larbre Competition to work together with Corvette Racing. You think you've got loads of time with a full day to test, but it whizzes by so quickly. Each driver is keen to get as many laps as possible, and you've got to make the most of it. I'm sure the engineers will have a very detailed plan for every second of the test day."




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post Jun 11 2011, 10:22 AM
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Corvette Racing Completes Successful Test Day in Le Mans

Tommy Milner Sets the Pace in Preparation for Legendary Endurance Race

LE MANS, France - Corvette Racing completed a successful test day at Le Mans on Easter Sunday. Corvette Racing's four full-season American Le Mans Series drivers - Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Olivier Beretta and Tommy Milner - used one of the team's European customer cars to collect valuable data for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12.

The immense 8.468-mile circuit includes sections of public roads in the Sarthe region of western France, so the reinstatement of the traditional test day after a two-year hiatus was welcomed by the team and drivers alike. Although Corvette Racing will compete in the 24-hour race in the GTE-Pro class - reserved for professional teams - today the team used Larbre Competition's No. 50 Corvette C6.R that is entered in the GTE-Am class - for one-year-old cars with at least one gentleman-driver - and came away fastest in the category.

"Everything worked according to plan," said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt. "Tommy Milner completed his mandatory 10 laps at the beginning of the morning session to qualify for the race, and then the other three drivers cycled through the Corvette C6.R to cover all the areas we had planned to work on. Only a rain shower in the morning and an incident between Olly Gavin and a competitor kept the car in the garage on two occasions. Despite those interruptions, we got the data we needed and tested all of the items we had on our list."

With exceptionally warm weather reigning over the western part of Europe for over a week, thunderstorms and isolated showers had been predicted for Sunday's eight-hour test. However, the track remained dry for most of the day.

Drivers who haven't raced at Le Mans in the past three years are required to complete 10 laps to be eligible for the practice sessions in June. Milner, who last drove at Le Mans in 2007, quickly dispatched that obligation.

"I got out on the track at 9 a.m. sharp to get in my mandatory 10 laps," Milner said. "It was easy enough, even if the track was still quite dirty at that time. Le Mans is not too difficult a track to get used to again. Tertre Rouge can be a bit hairy, the run up to Indianapolis corner is daunting, and the Porsche Curves will grab your attention for sure, but the rest of the track is pretty straightforward."

Milner confirmed his confidence by setting the car's fastest lap of the day near the end of the afternoon session at 4:04.222. "That was fun," he beamed, "especially after not having been here for so long. The car has been really easy to drive all day and will be even more so by June."

Oliver Gavin made the trip to Le Mans from his home in the UK in a production Corvette ZR1 and was impressed by the power of the road car. Gavin worked his way through different setups in the racing version until his shift was cut short.

"I was coming up to Mulsanne Corner at the end of the straight behind one of the Ford GTs, when the driver suddenly braked earlier and a lot harder than expected," Gavin explained. "I moved to pass him on the inside, but when I was right alongside him, he turned in, too. We hit each other wheel-to-wheel, which damaged the steering rack on our car and lost us half an hour for repairs."

"We completed our entire test day schedule," Olivier Beretta said, "and we had a great day in almost ideal circumstances. We didn't look for performance per se, but instead worked on the suspension, the aero, the tires, and the chassis. We checked all the boxes and will continue to work hard until we're back here in June."

Jan Magnussen concurred with his colleagues: "It was a bit of a special day today because we didn't use our own car and had to share this one between the four of us. But we learned a lot and the engineers will analyze the data back in the factory. When we come back in June we will have a much faster car, I'm sure."

The 79th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will begin with technical scrutineering on Sunday, June 5, and Monday, June 6, followed by practice and qualifying on Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9. The race will start at 3:00 p.m. local time on Saturday, June 11.




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post Jun 11 2011, 10:23 AM
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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing Series Episode 4: Inside the GT Fight at Long Beach

In episode 4 of Corvette Racing’s Track to Street series, we follow the team to Long Beach, where the smallest mistake could take a team out of contention completely. The two-hour race is considered a sprint in comparison to the twelve-hour Sebring relay or the holy grail of all races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is next up on the schedule. Check out the ongoing battle that ensues on the all-concrete street course and see where the team ends up when all is said and done.






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post Jun 11 2011, 10:24 AM
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10 Years After: Memories of Corvette Racing’s First Le Mans Victory






A Look Back at Corvette Racing’s Breakthrough Win in 2001

You never forget your first – especially when it’s the first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Today Corvette Racing is recognized around the world as a powerhouse in international endurance racing, but a decade ago, the members of Chevrolet’s factory sports car team were innocents abroad.


Memories of that first Le Mans victory in 2001, contested in a wet and chaotic race, are etched in the minds of the men and women who were there. The lessons learned during that rain-soaked day and night of racing formed the foundation for Corvette Racing’s six GTS/GT1 class wins in the world’s most prestigious sports car race. On June 11-12, Corvette Racing will run for its seventh class title at Le Mans, and its first in the GTE Pro (formerly GT2) category.

Corvette Racing had launched an expeditionary force to Le Mans in 2000, a race contested in searing heat. The American team finished third and fourth, an auspicious result in its first foray to France. Corvette Racing returned in 2001 with updated Corvette C5-R race cars and a revised driver lineup. Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Scott Pruett piloted the No. 63 Corvette to victory in appalling conditions, while Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins, and Franck Freon were second in the No. 64 Corvette C5-R, giving Chevrolet the first of its four 1-2 finishes in the French classic. Fellows, O’Connell and Pruett finished eighth overall, equaling the performance of John Fitch and Bob Grossman in Briggs Cunningham’s iconic No. 3 Corvette in 1960.

“The race in 2000 was the hottest Le Mans on record,” said Fellows. “We were fast, we learned a ton, and we had a few mechanical gremlins to overcome. Then one year later, 2001 was one of the wettest races, and it was an adventure.

“One of the very few times I’ve been in an argument with (team manager) Gary Pratt was in the pits prior to the start of the race,” Fellows recalled. “Gary was adamant that I needed to start on slicks like everyone else, but I insisted that I wanted intermediates. I said, ‘I don’t care, I want ‘em.’ So the sister car started on slicks, and I was on intermediates.

“After the first three laps, the track was drying quickly, and I thought I’d made a huge mistake,” Fellows said with a laugh. “Suddenly coming around Arnage, I saw a wall of rain ahead of us. There was a monsoon coming out of the southwest, and cars were going off everywhere.

“The cars around me were floating and spinning, but I could still maneuver because I had grooved tires. Somehow I got through the chaos without getting hit, and we moved way up in the overall standings in first 20 minutes.”

Johnny O’Connell called on his previous experience at Le Mans to get him through the treacherous conditions. “I have a vivid memory of Le Mans in 2001, going out at night in the pouring rain,” O’Connell recalled. “I came out of Tertre Rouge at full chat, hit a puddle, went sideways, caught it, and wanted to lift. Then I said to myself, ‘They’re not paying you to lift, stay in it.’ The spray was blinding, and I drove through the night with one eye looking out the side window to find my braking points. That rainy night was phenomenal, scary, and exhilarating – a spectacular race.”

Fellows agreed: “The level of concentration required to race in the wet was just overwhelming,” said the Canadian ace. “None of us were physically tired, but we were mentally exhausted. The troughs in the pavement left by the heavy trucks on the public roads were filled with standing water, and the puddles were the biggest issue. The straights are normally a place you can relax, but just keeping the car on the road was a real challenge. I attempted slicks in the night, went out and came right back in. It was impossible.”

The Corvette team went to Le Mans riding a wave of confidence after a 1-2 finish and an overall victory in the season-opening Daytona 24-hour race.

“The team had an unbelievable air of confidence after the success that we had at Daytona,” O’Connell noted. “When everything is right in a team you feel it, and there was a very strong, positive energy. The curve ball was the ungodly amount of rain. We’d won in the rain in Daytona, so we knew we were good in the wet. I think everyone had faith that this race was going to come our way, and sure enough, it did.”

While the drivers were sanguine, program manager Doug Fehan had his doubts.

“In those days, we were using a conventional transmission mounted behind the engine, and its reliability was marginal with the horsepower we had,” Fehan revealed. “We were nervous about that. In addition, some type of harmonic vibration was destroying the starter motors; if the car spun and the engine stalled, there was a 50-50 chance that it wouldn’t restart. It was a huge issue.

“The rain worked to our advantage because the race pace was dramatically slower, which reduced the stress on the gearboxes. By the 20th hour, we had an insurmountable lead and a certain victory as long as the cars were running at the finish. We brought the cars in, went through the transmissions, dried out the starters, and sent them back out for the final hour. Then I had a moment of sheer panic when I was told that a GT car was ahead of us, but the officials reassured me that Corvette was still the leader in GTS.”

Another lesson learned was the importance of perfect execution in the pits.

“We missed an overall victory in Daytona by 32 seconds,” Fehan explained. “Thirty-two seconds is pretty easy to find in 24 hours, and not necessarily on the race track. It became vividly apparent that every movement in the pit lane had to be choreographed, every action needed to be as efficient as possible, because a 24-hour race can come down to just a few seconds.”

The team also gained an appreciation of the unique demands of the immense 8.5 mile Le Mans circuit.

“The Corvette C5-R had a fairly narrow body in 2000 – we had tremendous straight-line speed, but didn’t have the cornering and aerodynamic characteristics that come with a wide car,” Fellows noted. “We came back in 2001 with a wider body. The car had a little more drag but a much better aero platform. We were slower on the straights, but quicker overall in 2001.”

With its first Le Mans victory, Corvette Racing reached an objective that had been set years earlier.

“In 1997 I sat down with Herb Fishel, who was then the director of GM Racing, when he laid out his vision and outlined his plan to win Le Mans,” Fellows remembered. “Four years later it came to fruition. I’ll never forget standing on the victory podium in the rain, with throngs of people on the track. It was a breakout year for Corvette Racing, and that first win was very special.”

Corvette Racing’s next event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, on June 11-12. The race will start at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET). SPEED will televise the race live, supplemented by live video streaming on SpeedTV.com. Check local listings for broadcast times.


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post Jun 11 2011, 10:25 AM
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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner at the NCM Bash

Tommy Milner joined Doug Fehan and Dan Binks for a luncheon with the Corvette Racing team at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash. In this video, driver Tommy Milner talks about his experiences so far in his inaugural year in the C6.R as well as giving the enthusiasts in the crowd some highlights of his brief but highly successful racing career.


Milner has been very impressive in the first two races at Sebring and Long Beach. Now the focus is on Le Mans. Milner has raced twice before at Le Mans, but not within the last three years. ACO rules required him to run 10 laps during the Le Mans test in April. Fehan tells the story that at then end of every session, there is always one driver who had the fastest time. At the end of the Le Mans test, it was Milner who was the fastest of the four C6.R drivers and that’s why Fehan calls him “Plug and Play”.





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post Jun 11 2011, 10:26 AM
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Corvette and SPEED Take Fans Inside the 24 Hours of Le Mans






Extensive Live TV Coverage Bolstered by Online Video Stream from Inside Corvette C6.R

LE MANS, France, June 6, 2011 – Race fans will have an all-access view of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with exclusive features that include “riding along” with Corvette Racing for the entire race. SPEED will televise 17 hours of live coverage on June 11-12, and via a partnership with Corvette Racing, fans can go to www.speedtv.com/corvette to view the hours not televised. Online coverage will include a special live video stream providing a constant look from inside one of the two Corvette C6.Rs that will be seeking a seventh class win at Le Mans.


The 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, will start at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) on Saturday, June 11. The live web stream of the race on www.speedtv.com/corvette will air coverage without commercial interruption for hours of the race not carried on television.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious and demanding events in all of racing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We jumped at the opportunity to work with SPEED to provide fans expanded coverage from Le Mans, with an inside view of how Corvette will battle its peers, the world’s best sports cars.”

The live streaming video feed will be from the cockpit of the No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R piloted by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia. The special web coverage will also include links to an in-depth video tour of the legendary Le Mans circuit in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R with commentary from Oliver Gavin, who will be seeking his fifth class win for Corvette at Le Mans this weekend.

“It’s not often you can work with a partner that has the ability to also create and offer a better viewing experience for our audience,” said Bobby Akin, SPEED Vice President of Advertising Sales. “SPEED and Chevrolet have been working together on Le Mans on air and online enhancements for many years, and to actually be able to reach out to our audience through a multi-platform online package is amazing.”

Corvette will compete in the renamed GTE Pro (formerly GT2) class this year at Le Mans, facing fierce competition with entries representing Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, Lotus, and Aston Martin.

The No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Beretta, Milner and Garcia finished third in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Gavin will be teamed with Jan Magnussen in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R at Le Mans, a pairing that won the GT1 title three consecutive years in 2004-06. Richard Westbrook will be the third driver.




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post Jun 11 2011, 10:31 AM
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Corvette Racing Qualifies Fourth and Sixth for 24 Hours of Le Mans






Team Focuses on Race Day Preparations in Final Qualifying Sessions

LE MANS, France, June 9, 2011 – At midnight in Le Mans, the field was set for the 59th running of the world’s greatest sports car race. Corvette Racing will start fourth and sixth in the 18-strong GTE Pro field in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Back-to-back two-hour qualifying sessions tonight determined the final qualifying order, but the Corvette Racing crew concentrated on preparing for the upcoming 24-hour endurance test.


Both Compuware Corvette C6.Rs stood on their lap times set on Wednesday night. Jan Magnussen qualified the No. 74 Corvette C6.R fourth at 3:59.519, and Olivier Beretta turned the sixth quickest time at 3:59.633 in the No. 73 Corvette C6.R. The No. 55 BMW M3 GT claimed the GTE pole with a fast lap at 3:57.592.

“We didn’t really make qualifying runs tonight, but focused instead on the race setups,” said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt. “The track was covered with oil in the final two-hour session, so there wasn’t any reason to try to run quicker. We did a good job on Wednesday night, qualifying the cars fourth and sixth, and those are good starting positions. Now we want to have cars that can run well for 24 hours, so we’ll concentrate on the final prep tomorrow and be ready to race on Saturday.”

The No. 73 Corvette crew elected to install their race motor and new brakes during the one-hour break between sessions, while the No. 74 Corvette crew installed a fresh gearbox. The new parts were run in during the closing hours of qualifying. With no track activity scheduled on Friday, the team has a full day to complete their pre-race preparations.

“We sorted out some issues throughout both qualifying sessions today,” Magnussen said. “At the beginning of the second session we wanted to go for a fast lap with a baseline race setup, but that didn’t work out. P4 and P6 on the grid for this race is good. It would have been great to start from pole, of course, but the race is a different story. We’re happy with where we are now as the car seems to come to us the longer we run.”

Magnussen’s teammate Oliver Gavin agreed: “We made some progress and the car felt good at the end of the run, and that was on old tires,” he reported. “It bodes well for the race that we can produce competitive lap times on used tires.”

“We had some handling issues initially and worked on solving them,” said Richard Westbrook, third driver in the No. 74 Corvette C6.R. “That’s part and parcel of the buildup for Le Mans, getting these things out of the way.”

Tommy Milner had the only incident of the evening when he kissed the tire barrier at Mulsanne Corner. The crew replaced the nose section on the No. 73 Corvette C6.R and soon had the car back on track.

“The crew did an awesome job, they got me back out again quickly and I was able to turn my fastest laps of the week,” Milner said. “In the end we had a respectable lap time and we’re moving in the right direction, which feels good. I wasn’t able to string many laps together in the previous practice sessions, so getting a long run tonight helped me to settle in.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run on June 11-12. The race will start Saturday at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET). SPEED will televise the race live, supplemented by live online video streaming at www.speedtv.com/corvette. Check local listings for broadcast times.


24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Pro Top 10 Qualifying Times:
Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Time

55 Farfus/Muller/Werner, BMW M3 GT, 3:57.592
51 Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander, Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:58.040
56 Priaulx/Muller/Hand, BMW M3 GT, 3:58.426
74 Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook, Corvette C6.R, 3:59.519
89 Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen, Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:59.519
73 Beretta/Milner/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 3:59.633
77 Lieb/Lietz/Henzler, Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, 3:59.662
59 Ortelli/Makowiecki/Melo, Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:59.901
75 Goossens/Holzer/van Lagen, Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, 3:59.962
79 Hancock/Dolan/Buncombe, Aston Martin Vantage, 4:00.747




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post Jun 11 2011, 11:27 PM
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2011 Le Mans: Inside Track with Corvette Racing Drivers






How does a Le Mans driver prepare for the big race? Hear Corvette Racing drivers’ stories of what it is like to be on and off the track at the biggest and longest race of the year.



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Motor & Transmission By John Kuiper Race Engines.
Suspension & Brakes By Ron Missian Motor Sports.
To See My Build Album Click On Any Of The Below Pics.

Priscilla, Queen Of The Vettes
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 20th January 2018 - 07:13 AM