Leading Up To Le Mans: Corvette Racing’s Preparation And Practice Before The Race

 

With the racing world’s eyes focusing on the up-coming 24-hour race at Le Mans, all of the teams and fans are preparing for what is always a highly-competitive and exciting race among the best in the world. Our own Corvette Racing team is already there, preparing and posturing for the best positions.

This is the 19th straight year that Corvette Racing has competed in the 24-hour race. They love to race there and the fans there love to have them. Credit: Corvette Racing Twitter page

It takes a lot of work to get ready for any race, and the folks at Mobil 1 The Grid checked in with the team as they prepared for another grueling race, the 12-hours of Sebring. They followed along with the team to show some of the highlights of the process and spoke with Program Manager Doug Fehan and drivers Oliver Gavin and Mike Rockenfeller to get the inside scoop on how everyone works together to win.

The team has been racing the Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans) going on its 19th year and while competitors have come and gone, Team Corvette has continued to endure the long nights, stiff competition, rule changes and adjustments of performance, epitomizing the “never give up” mindset. The history books show their determination and commitment to winning at Le Mans and throughout North America. Listen to Doug Fehan, Tommy Milner & Oliver Gavin talk about the 20 years of Corvette Racing.

Be sure to check out this weekend’s racing on Velocity or one of the online streams and cheer on our team as they take on the world for a full day of racing!

The team has been in France, working to get the cars in optimum trim for this weekend's racing. Credit: Corvette Racing Twitter page

Corvette Racing Drivers' Records At Le Mans:

Mike Rockenfeller: Two victories in eight appearances – 2005 and 2010; third place in 2012

Jan Magnussen: Three victories in 19 appearances – 2004-06; runner-up in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2014; third place in 2017

Antonio Garcia: Three victories in 12 appearances – 2008, 2009 and 2011; runner-up in 2014; third place in 2017

Oliver Gavin: Five victories in 17 appearances – 2002, 2004-06, 2015; runner-up in 2003; third place in 2001 and 2008

Tommy Milner: Two victories in nine appearances – 2011 and 2015

Marcel Fässler: Three victories in 12 appearances – 2011-12 and 2014

Credit: Corvette Racing Twitter page

The fans overseas love Corvettes and Corvette Racing! Credit: Corvette Racing Twitter page

Corvette Racing’s record as a team at Le Mans is equally impressive:

  • 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 20 years: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette.
  • 3: Generations of Corvette Racing entries since 2000 – Corvette C5-R (2000-04), Corvette C6.R (2005-13) and Corvette C7.R (2014-current).
  • 3: Number of wins for the Corvette C5-R – 2001, 2002, 2004.
  • 4: Number of wins for the Corvette C6.R – 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011.
  • 4: Most years between Corvette Racing victories at Le Mans (2011 to 2015)
  • 8: As in Chevrolet’s small-block V8. More than 100 million units have been sold worldwide and is the most successful engine in American motorsports.
  • 8: Class victories at Corvette Racing at Le Mans – all since 2001.
  • 9: Number of drivers who have won races at Le Mans for Corvette Racing – Olivier Beretta, Ron Fellows, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Pruitt and Jordan Taylor.
  • 12: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001.
  • 16: Number of GT Le Mans wins in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing since the start of 2014. That’s the most of any manufacturer and team in GTLM.
  • 19: Number of victories for Corvette Racing’s lineup at Le Mans.
    Oliver Gavin: 5 Jan Magnussen: 4 Antonio Garcia: 3
    Marcel Fässler: 3 Tommy Milner: 2 Mike Rockenfeller: 2
  • 21: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres and Utah.
  • 107: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 99 in North America and eight at Le Mans.
  • 202: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999.
  • 90,130.78: Number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing in its 18 previous trips to Le Mans. That represents 10,698 laps and nearly four full trips around the Earth at its equator.
  • 32,516: Pounds of air freight sent by Corvette Racing to Le Mans – parts, spares, supplies and other items. That doesn’t include the two Corvette race cars, a semi-rig and a spare car!
  • 274,646.76: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. To put that in perspective Apollo 13 – the longest manned spaceflight in history – covered “just” 248,655 miles.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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