Corvette Racing hour 17 report

LE MANS, France -- Nearly three quarters of the way through the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette C5-R Racing team is currently running second and third in the GTS class and 11th and 14th overall. After the ...

LE MANS, France -- Nearly three quarters of the way through the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette C5-R Racing team is currently running second and third in the GTS class and 11th and 14th overall.

After the #80 Ferrari 550 experienced a wheel bearing failure and crashed into the outside tire barriers at the Mulsanne corner, the #50 Corvette C5-R claimed second position in its class. Near the 7:00 a.m. hour, the #72 Ferrari 550 went into its garage for what seemed to be a driveshaft failure and lost two positions. The Corvettes were not without problems but the crew has executed well under pressure.

Shortly after 7:00 a.m., Johnny O'Connell pulled his #53 Corvette C5-R into the pits after reporting the same alternator-related problems from earlier in the morning. The Corvette crew changed the gearbox and sent Franck Freon back on the circuit some 30 minutes later. With seven hours remaining in the legendary endurance race, Corvette Racing hopes to maintain position and continue to climb the GTS ladder.

Kelly Collins, #50 Corvette C5-R
"It's important for us to pace ourselves right now. The retirement at Sebring is too fresh in our memories and we don't have to push ourselves right now. I feel comfortable if we stay in the 4:01 to 4:04 time frame, where we can keep a good pace without beating on our car. We've still got seven hours left and we're not going to take the bait from our competition to push any harder."

Ron Fellows, #53 Corvette C5-R
"We've had a bit of bad luck this morning, with our gearbox having to be changed. But we've run the past three 24-hour races virtually trouble free and won them all, so maybe it was our time for a few challenges. We're not going to push that hard right now, and possibly with a few breaks, our boys on the #50 Corvette can chase for the top of the podium."

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon , Kelly Collins
Teams Corvette Racing