Back at the site of its first test nearly a year ago, Corvette Racing’s two Corvette C7.Rs qualified sixth and eighth in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class Saturday. Oliver Gavin was the quickest Corvette driver with a lap of 2:04.650 (116.910 mph) in the No. 4 C7.R that he drives with Tommy Milner.
Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R set a best lap of 2:04.738 (116.827 mph). He and teammate Antonio Garcia lead the GTLM driver’s championship with a class-best four victories this season, all in succession. In addition, Chevrolet leads the class manufacturer’s standings.
In addition to its initial test last August, Corvette Racing tested at Road America in early May ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The two Corvette C7.Rs ran in a lower downforce package than what it is using this weekend. Corvette Racing also has been consistently good in race trim this year, and the team’s focus has been on optimizing the balance of the cars over longer green-flag runs.
John Edwards set the fastest time in GTLM qualifying at 2:03.747 (117.763 mph).
Oliver said afterwards: “It seems that we made some steps forward with the car, and each time we made an adjustment it was a move in the right direction but we certainly need to find a little bit more. I remember that here, a few years ago, the top seven or eight were all within two or three tenths and now there’s over a second between us in P6 and the guy on pole.
“It’s kind of frustrating but it’s that way. People want to see close, wheel-to-wheel racing but at the moment it seems that’s as good as we’re going to get. In terms of race pace, it looked in the practice session before hand and in qualifying that the longer we ran the better we were so that bodes well for tomorrow but we’re still working with one particular handling characteristic – both cars are the same – which we’re trying to get on top of.
“It’s encouraging that the pace is there now between the two cars, and very similar, and we’ve got over the little hump we had from Laguna onwards, but we’re still having to work very hard to beat the guys at the front of our class because of things that are out of our control.
“I think that Chuck (Houghton, Corvette Racing engineering manager) and all the guys on the No. 4 car have maximized all they can over the weekend, and we have made good use of our time on track. We haven’t been hit by too many problems or issues, so I feel that we are a ready as we can be for the race.”