DETROIT - Fresh from a dominating victory at The 12 Hours of Sebring in March, the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with two all-new cars to defend their GTS title. Already the most...
DETROIT - Fresh from a dominating victory at The 12 Hours of Sebring in March, the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with two all-new cars to defend their GTS title. Already the most successful Corvette in history, the C5-R is the two-time defending GTS class champion at the legendary Sarthe circuit and in the American Le Mans Series.
A new red, white and blue livery for both cars will provide a fresh canvas for the team's new car numbers, #50 and #53, which celebrate the marque's reign of 50 years since 1953 as America's sports car icon.
"We're very happy with our new cars," said Oliver Gavin, driver of the #50 Corvette C5-R. "Each time we do an evolution on the Corvette it actually feels more like a single seater or a prototype. Just those little modifications by GM Racing are terribly important on the track. We clearly had the advantage on corner entry and exit at Sebring and I expect it will be a good fight between us and the other cars in GTS, mainly Ferrari."
The Corvette Racing drivers are eager to get back to Le Sarthe, a circuit steeped in history for the C5-R and Chevrolet as well.
"The run down the straightaway into the flat right hander before Indianapolis is one of my favorite sections," said Ron Fellows, driver of the #53 Corvette C5-R. "The first time you do that section is an experience -- you think you arrive at the corner but actually stop short of it, not realizing that you still have to get around to the right. And, of course, there probably isn't a driver in the paddock who doesn't love the Porsche curves."
With 24 straight hours of racing against tough competition from three Ferrari 550 Maranellos, two Saleen S7Rs and others in the GTS class, Corvette Racing will rely on its time-tested machinery, efficient pit work and an experienced driver lineup in hopes of capturing three Le Mans victories in a row.
This year's driver lineup for Le Mans is:
#50 Corvette C5-R
Chassis C5-R 008
#53 Corvette C5-R
Chassis C5-R 009
The new C5-Rs will make their international debut at Le Mans Open Test weekend on May 4, which is a precursor to the 24-hour race in June.