It seems that in 2014, the ACO has the Balance of Performance about right for the GT cars; however an anomaly this year is that the PRO and AM cars are capable of similar times, unlike previous years. Part of the reason for this is the cars, particularly the Ferraris and Aston Martins, are not different from the 2013 cars. (The AM Class cars must be at least one year old, hence the reason Larbre Competition are not running in the class this year in a Corvette). The other part of the reason is that at least some of the drivers in the so-called AM Class are a lot more professional (faster) than they used to be.
All of the body panels for both C7.Rs ready for assembly on the pit lane at Le Mans
The two new Corvette Racing C7.R Corvettes running this year in the 82nd Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be competing in their second 24 Hours race this year, having both competed in the inaugural race of the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The #73 Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor qualified 2nd in the GT PRO Class with a time of 3:54.777 set by Antonio, and the #74 of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook qualified 4th with a time of 3:55.190 set by Olly. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia set the GT PRO Class pole time of 3:53.700, and the GT AM Class pole went to the #81 AF Corse Ferrari with a time of 3:54.665.
The slowest car in the GT PRO class was the #91 Porsche 911 RSR with a time of 3:55.745, so the whole field was covered by just over two seconds, and from Antonio back by less than a second. It should make for a fascinating race, helped by the prospect of the AM Class cars being in amongst the PRO Class cars, at least at the start and whenever the faster drivers are in the cars. The weather – always a factor at Le Mans – is also predicted to include thunderstorms late on Saturday just to add to the excitement.
Crew Chiefs Brian Hoye (left) and Dan Binks looking relaxed and confident before the big race tomorrow.