CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: First Laps at Le Mans for C8.R
No. 64 Corvette heads team’s Test Day pace; No. 63 recovers after electrical issue
LE MANS, France (Aug. 15, 2021) – At long last, Corvette Racing sent the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for its first laps around the Circuit de la Sarthe during nine hours of testing Sunday ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Tommy Milner led the Corvette Racing effort in the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R on Sunday with a lap of 3:53.440 (130.550 mph) in a highly competitive GTE Pro field. Less than a half-second separated the top seven cars, which bodes well for a thrilling race in less than a week’s time.
Milner shared the No. 64 Corvette on Sunday with Nick Tandy; the duo will welcome back Alexander Sims into the fold following a prior racing commitment earlier in the day.
The No. 63 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Corvette C8.R had an up-and-down day that included an engine change following an electrical issue that stranded Antonio Garcia on-course in the third hour of the morning session. Four hours later and after hard and thorough work, the No. 63 re-emerged from the garage to continue its test program.
Nicky Catsburg, driving with Garcia and Jordan Taylor, was the quickest driver in the 63 entry at 3:54.281 (130.115 mph). The trio are back together after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this season.
Corvette Racing will return to the track Wednesday for two free practice sessions and qualifying.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans on Aug. 21-22 with the green flag set for 4 p.m. CET and 10 a.m. ET. MotorTrend TV will air the race live with the MotorTrend App adding coverage of official practices and qualifying on Aug. 18 and 19. Live audio coverage will be available from Radio Le Mans starting with Sunday’s Test Day
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 64 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We had a bit of a slow start today with some issues here and there. But the afternoon was really strong for us on the 64 side. As far as setup goes, we didn’t do lots of work – thanks to a lot of that being done on the simulator. It really felt like we have been racing this car at Le Mans for many years. That’s my first impression. Setup-wise and balance-wise, things felt pretty good. There’s still some work to do, for sure. But I’m happy with where we are. We were able to get more tire data and more car data so that when we come to the race here in a few days that we can find-tune the setup and get everyone comfortable and happy with the Corvette.”
NICK TANDY, NO. 4 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “It’s been a long day and we’ve had a few hiccups – things to iron out. But that’s why you do a test before the race week where we try to do a roll-out and fully use that test day. We managed to work through a good program of what we wanted to get through on the 64 side. It would have been nice if the 63 had run fully and we could have compared what we had planned to test throughout the day. Nevertheless, the good thing with the heat and weather today is that we were able to run different tire compounds and have a comparison of that. Of course we missed having Alexander here. I know he will seamlessly transition into the team for the first practice session Wednesday. What that did mean is that Tommy and I got to focus on what we were doing between the two of us rather than driver familiarization work, which we will do Wednesday. It won’t take Alex many laps. I think the most positive thing for me is how comfortable the C8.R is to drive around this circuit. I know and Corvette Racing knows what requirements are needed for a car on this type of circuit – fast, relatively low-grip, big braking zones and a pretty flat track, if you like. The car is everything I expected. It gives me good visions going into race week of being able to operate at a very high level for a number of stints without too much hassle. That is what endurance racing is all about… going round and round as consistently as possible.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I would have liked to do some more laps for sure since it’s the first year with the C8.R in Le Mans. But mostly out of the box it felt pretty decent, pretty good. We know which way to go; the things we worked on in the simulator seem to be working, which is a good thing. We’ll now try to get as much data as possible from both cars and work our way forward toward this week.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “We didn’t do as many laps as we wanted to get in today, but the guys did a good job to give us as many laps as possible. It’s the first day of the new car at Le Mans, so every lap is important to get our data and to understand where we’ll be next week. Each driver got some laps – in traffic and in clean air – which is important for the race. We probably have a lot of things we want to tick off the list still come free practice, but I think it’s good to get this under our belt, get a couple of days off and look at all the data and understand where we are.”
NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 63 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “Not an easy day with the issue in the morning session which took a long time to repair, but the guys worked super hard and luckily we managed to get out near the end of the afternoon session. We got some laps in, the car felt pretty good. The sister car was running all day so we’ll be able to get some valuable information from them and we can learn from that. In summary, we survived the Test Day feeling pretty good, so we’re all good for the race.”