Garcia leads Corvette attack on first day
Corvette Racing’s two Chevrolet Corvette C7.R race cars sit fourth and ninth in the GTE Pro class after Wednesday’s first qualifying session at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. An additional pair of two-hour qualifying sessions are set for Thursday and will help determine the grid for this year’s twice-around-the-clock enduro.
Antonio Garcia was the fastest driver for Corvette Racing. The Spaniard set a best time of 3:56.443 (128.935 mph) in the No. 73 Corvette C7.R that he shares with Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor. It put Garcia 1.689 seconds behind the provisional pole-sitting Ferrari.
Tommy Milner set the best time in the No. 74 Corvette C7.R that he drives with Oliver Gavin and Richard Westbrook – a lap of 3:59.446 (127.319 mph).
The crew of the No. 74 car had to change the gearbox during Wednesday evening’s four-hour practice session after Milner lost drive late in a lap during the closing 45 minutes. By the time the car arrived back in the garage, the Corvette Racing crew had a spare transmission, hoist and tools laid out to complete the swap. The repairs took less than an hour.
The day featured a number of lengthy red flag periods due to heavy crashes and damage. Race organizers ended qualifying 30 minutes early.
The first of Thursday’s two qualifying sessions is set for 7 p.m. CET/1 p.m. ET. Corvette Racing will go for its eighth class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001 at 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 14 with live coverage throughout on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, the FOX Sports Go mobile app and FOXsports.com – which will stream live Corvette Racing in-car camera feeds and a pit camera for the full race in the U.S.
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“It’s been an interesting day in that we’ve never had that many red flags on the first day of practice and qualifying at Le Mans. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. Normally we go through our entire to-do-list of changes and things to try, but now we only managed maybe 20 percent of that. We didn’t have much track time, but we will still have to analyze all the data - mainly from out- and in-laps. Still, the car feels very good and is very comfortable to drive. We’re definitely heading in the right direction. Hopefully we’ll have more track time tomorrow.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
“The best way to put today is that I’m looking forward to tomorrow. There were lots of little things here and there. The car right at the end was pretty good after some setup changes and after we fixed the issue with the driveline. It felt a lot better but I could never get a lap because of traffic and cars going off. We tried to get Richard (Westbrook) some laps in the car but couldn’t make that happen. So we’re all looking forward to tomorrow now.”