With an eye toward its eighth class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001, Corvette Racing continued to work toward the ideal race setups for the two Compuware Corvette C6.Rs on Wednesday. Both cars ran through a predetermined programme on the opening day of track activity for the world’s greatest endurance event, but the day didn’t go without its frustrations.
Antonio Garcia set the team’s fastest time in the No. 73 Compuware Corvette at 3:59.526, good enough for eighth on the provisional grid in GTE Pro. Olly was next in the No. 74 Corvette at 3:59.860. But just as during the official Test Day on June 9, much of the focus remained on fine-tuning both cars for the race that begins Saturday.
The strength of the GTE Pro class was evident Wednesday with the top seven cars within 0.915 seconds with provisional pole position at 3:55.658. So there is room for improvement for Thursday’s two final qualifying sessions.
“I don’t think anyone is completely happy with the performance today,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing Program Manager. “The good news is that we turned a significant number of laps compared to our competitors. But on the flip side, our competitors enjoyed an advantage on lap times and speeds. Fortunately we know what it takes to win Le Mans, and that is perseverance and endurance. That is the advantage of having won this race seven times before. Our guys will use that experience and feedback to improve the car for tomorrow’s final qualifying session.”
Olly said: “When you look at the outright lap time, we’re 3.5 to four seconds off and no one wants that. But we have won at this event when we’ve been off our fastest competitors. We have the best team in the pitlane to do this. We have the most reliable car. We have a great setup. And of course we have won this race many, many times. I have great faith in how we are going to go out and run the race. We have to keep a logical approach, keep our heads about us and work the problem to go through all the variables. We will come up with a solution and a plan for tomorrow.”
Next time on track will be this evening (Thursday) between 7-9 pm local and then for the final qualifying session between 10pm and midnight.