His fastest time of 3:58.971 was quicker than last year’s qualifying time, and bodes well for the 24 Hour race in two weeks.
After heavy overnight rain and thunderstorms, it was a cool, damp track which greeted the 61 cars on Sunday morning for the only official test day before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The GTE-Pro class, in which the Corvette Racing entries feature, includes some of the most iconic names in the automotive world and the competition between Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche is a fierce as ever. After a steady start in the morning session, big steps forward were made.
“We made some changes to the suspension and gearbox, and the track was coming in,” said Olly after his fast lap. “The balance of the car was good. We didn’t get a run on new tyres because of rain and yellow flags, but they were reasonably fresh and I wanted to see what we could do. I think the chassis is very close and the engine department is making big steps forward. I’m with the best team in the pit lane and the crew has done a stellar job of preparing the cars.”
Oliver shared the running of the No. 74 Corvette C6R with Tommy Milner for the test sessions as their endurance team mate, Richard Westbrook, was in the USA on Grand-Am duty.
Also on duty, but required to make the trip as he is a Le Mans rookie, was Jordan Taylor in the No. 73 Corvette. After co-driving the GT class-winning Camaro GT.R in the Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 on Saturday, the 21-year-old took an overnight flight to Paris and then hopped on a helicopter to Le Mans. He arrived at the circuit just before the start of the afternoon session at 2 pm, and promptly completed his required 10 laps.
Jordan’s Le Mans debut then ended abruptly in the tyre wall at the entrance to the Porsche Curves. He was uninjured, but the No. 73 Corvette had right-side body damage and did not return for the remainder of the afternoon session.
“Racing takes you from the highest highs to the lowest lows,” Jordan said. “I was living the dream, driving at Le Mans, and the dream just ends when you lose it like that. I know the crew can put the car back together, but it shouldn’t have happened.
“I was only supposed to get my 10 laps in and I guess I got a bit greedy trying to learn the track and get up to speed quicker,” he explained. “My times were coming down every lap, but I went for it in the Porsche Curves and it caught me out. The hit felt bigger than it was, so I’m glad about that, but I feel terrible for everyone.”
Olly and the whole Corvette Racing team will be back in Le Mans for Technical Scrutineering on Monday, 11th June in preparation for the race on 16/17th June.