Corvette Racing Continues GT1 Battle in Le Mans
Flawless Runs Keep Corvettes Close at 18-Hour Mark
LE MANS, France, June 14, 2009 -- The battle in GT1 between Corvette Racing's two Corvette C6.Rs has been waged for 18 straight hours in Le Mans. With less than six hours of racing remaining, the margin between the Corvettes closed to 4.87 seconds after both cars had completed their pit stops around the 18-hour mark. Since sunrise, the gap between the leading No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Magnussen, O'Connell, and Garcia and the pursuing No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Gavin, Beretta and Fassler scarcely exceeded two minutes except during pit stop exchanges. The Corvettes were 14th and 15th overall respectively in the 55-car field.
Both Corvettes came through the long hours of darkness without incident. Pit stops for fuel, tire, and driver changes were routine; drivers and tires both ran double stints. Although rain was predicted, the sky above the Circuit des 24 Heures had only a light overcast at dawn. In the cool morning air, Oliver Gavin ran the quickest lap of the race in GT1 with a 3:53.416 time in the No. 64 Corvette C6.R after 17 hours of racing.
An extended caution period that began in the 13th hour again affected the contest between the two Corvettes. The No. 63 Corvette gained track position on its sister car when they were split by the two safety cars.
The No. 73 Corvette C6.R of Luc Alphand Aventures was in position for a podium finish, running third with 254 laps completed.
CORVETTE RACING QUOTES:
Johnny O'Connell, No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R: "The tires are getting better and better, and so is the car. It's still hard work out there. I double-stinted again, but I have some serious aches in my leg and feet."
Oliver Gavin, No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R: "We made an adjustment and that certainly helped the car. We made up a little time on the No. 63 Corvette, but then the safety car came out and we ended up losing all of the time that we'd made up. So it seems that every few hours we get reset back to two minutes behind the other car and then we have to try to chase them down again.
"When I went out again, it was in the 'happy hour' when the circuit is at its best. It's cool, the circuit is rubbered up, and you can see because it's light. The car was really good, with just some small balance problems in a few areas. We had the medium tires on, and that compound worked really well. I could push hard, and knew that I was catching the No. 63 Corvette. When I refueled and went back out, a lap later they came out right in front of me. I thought finally something was working out for us and we're managing to make some real headway. We have a fast car, and deserve to get a result today. We'll see what happens in the next few hours."
Marcel Fassler, No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R: "The car was very good and I could run consistently. There were no problems, and we gained a little on the No. 63 Corvette. I hope there won't be any more safety cars!"