View Full Version : [GM Press] Corvette Racing Aims for Third GTS Le Mans Victory

06-14-03, 07:56 AM
FOR RELEASE: June 13, 2003

<div align="center"><b>Corvette Racing Aims for Third GTS Le Mans Victory </b></div>

<div align="center"><i>Defending GTS champions fine-tune setup and suspension configurations </i></div>

LE MANS, France - The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette C5-R Racing team will start the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race on June 14 from the 24th and 26th positions on the 50-car grid, claiming the third and fifth best positions in the GTS field. The team of defending GTS champions will rely on its time-tested machinery, efficient pit work and an experienced driver lineup in hopes of capturing three Le Mans victories in a row this upcoming weekend.

"We've been trying to maximize the setup on both our Corvettes to find the best balance of quickness and reliability for the race," said Steve Wesoloski, Corvette Racing's lead chassis engineer. "It seems that we've found a configuration that our drivers in the #53 Corvette are happy with, and while our #50 team had a few attempts on qualifying tires we got involved in a lot of traffic. We know we'll have a battle with the Ferraris and we are all looking forward to Saturday."

Thursday night's pair of two-hour qualifying sessions represented the final time that teams were able to improve their starting positions for Saturday's race. Both sessions were marked by unclean track conditions and a number of incidents; the Corvettes experienced a few minor challenges with the #53 team changing their gearbox between the two sessions and the #50 car breaking a header pipe in the second session. Both Corvettes are confident they have found the best possible tire setup for Saturday's race.

Said Andy Pilgrim, driver of the #50 Corvette C5-R: "I had about ten timed laps today and five yesterday, which is fine for me in terms of preparedness. I feel ready, despite the fact that it's hard to really equate tonight's track condition with race day; everyone is pushing so hard to qualify and as a result the track is fairly dirty. Despite the broken header pipe on my last run, the car felt fine and I was happy to run 4:01 - 4:02 lap times in heavy traffic."

Ron Fellows, added: "Our engineers had us out chasing a chassis setup and although I was not initially happy with the way the car felt, we're going to be ready. I had possibly a bit too much oversteer on high-speed entry and I had to be a bit careful on a few corners. The track changes throughout the race and regardless of how good the track is right now it's not likely to be like that for 24 hours. Johnny and Franck and I can't wait for Saturday."

<B>GTS Final Qualifying Results</b>
<table border="1" width="100%"><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt; font-weight: 700">Pos. </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt; font-weight: 700">&nbsp;Car
No. </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt; font-weight: 700">&nbsp;Drivers
</font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt; font-weight: 700">Team </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt; font-weight: 700">Time</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">1 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;88 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Davies, Enge, Kox Veloqx Prodrive </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Ferrari 550 M </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">3:53:278</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">2 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;80 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Burt, Davidson, Turner Veloqx Prodrive </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Ferrari 550 M </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">3:54:725</font></td></tr><tr><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">3 </font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;50 </font></b></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;Gavin, Collins, Pilgrim Corvette Racing </font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;Corvette C5-R</font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">3:55:613</font></b></font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;72 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Alphand, Dor, Policand Luc Alphand Adventures</font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Ferrari 550 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">3:56:216</font></td></tr><tr><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">5 </font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;53 </font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;Fellows, O'Connell, Freon Corvette Racing </font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">&nbsp;Corvette C5-R</font></b></font></td><td><font style="font-size: 9pt"><b><font face="Arial">3:58:941</font></b></font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">6 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;64 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Erdos, Chaves, Newton Graham Nash Mtsprts </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Saleen S7-R </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4:01:163</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">7 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;66 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Konrad, Seiler, Brun Konrad Motorsports </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Saleen S7-R </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4:01:331</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">8 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;86 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Bouchut, Goueslard, Zacchia Larbre Competition </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Chrysler Viper </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4:01:927</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">9 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;61 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Hezemans, Kumpen, Hart Carsport America </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Pagani Zonda GR </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4:04:437</font></td></tr><tr><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">10</font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;68 </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">Dupuis, Thevenin, Marques Scorp Motorsport </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">&nbsp;Chrysler Viper </font></td><td><font face="Arial" style="font-size: 9pt">4:04:822</font></td></tr></table>

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Mike Stoller


Reilly Brennan
248.642.2700 x225

Serge Vanbockryck

06-14-03, 11:08 AM
As of 12:00 pm ET, C5-R #53 is in 4th place in GTS class with the 3 Ferraris leading the class. Earliier in the day, C5-R #50 driven by Johnny OConnell, experienced a loose throttle linkage and as a result is behind 3 laps but running strong.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

06-14-03, 08:11 PM
You can see automatically updated results at www.lemans.org Just click on the British flag

06-15-03, 07:35 AM
At this time, it is 8:30am ET and there is 1 1/2 hours left to go in the race. Both C5-Rs, #50 and #53 are still in the race. #50 is coming into the pits and Oliver Gavin is taking over the driving from Andy Pilgrim.

#50 is ahead of #53 in the race. And the Ferrari has a 15 lap lead ahead of the #53 car.

Unfortunately, it looks like Ferrari may have the class win for GTS.

06-15-03, 08:18 AM
The leading ProDrive Ferrari has just come into the pits and pulled into the garage. They currently have a 14 lap lead ahead of Corvette.

The pit crew are cleaning it and going over the whole car to make sure that nothing is wrong with it and to insure they take the class win.

06-15-03, 08:27 AM
The #53 Corvette is coming into the pits - Ron Fellows is in the car. He is in 2nd place behind the ProDrive Ferrari.

This is a routine pit stop - changing tires, adding fuel.

And #53 is heading back out of the pits and on the track.

37 minutes remaining in the race.

06-15-03, 08:36 AM
The ProDrive Ferrari that was in the pits is fired back up and making its way back out on the track for the GTS class win.

06-15-03, 08:46 AM
As of 9:43 am ET with 17 minutes left:

#53 is 2nd in GTS, 11th overall
#50 is 3rd in GTS, 12th overall

The Corvette Racing team has received an award for the Best Technical Assistance Team.

06-15-03, 09:08 AM
The race is over.

Bentley takes the checkered flag for the first time in 73 years.

The ProDrive Ferrari takes 1st in GTS.

Corvette C5-Rs have come in 2nd and 3rd place in GTS behind the Ferrari.

On behalf of everyone here at the Corvette Action Center I'd like to congratulate the C5-R Corvette Team for a job well done. They had a couple unfortunate mishaps such as the loose throttle linkage on the first lap of the race on #50 and the ProDrive Ferrari team proved to be extremely difficult competition to beat.

They may not have come in first in class but they are on the podium signifying 50 years of Corvette and a job well done!!

06-15-03, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Rob
They may not have come in first in class but they are on the podium signifying 50 years of Corvette and a job well done!!

Agreed!! Great job! :Steer

06-15-03, 05:41 PM
Just to be on the Podium at LeMans is a hell of an accomplishment. Congrats to the Corvette Team. But credit is also due to the ProDrive Ferrari. Took them a while but they finally did it. It was the fastest GTS car and all it needed was the reliability. They got that now too.

Now GM needs to step up to the plate and come up with a package that can either keep up with the Ferrari or beat it in 2004.

06-15-03, 05:53 PM
At the same site, there are several good pictures of the Team Corvette cars in action.

Once you are in the results section, click on the team, then there is a tab to click on photos.

BTW: According to press releases at the site, only 1 Ferrari team finished.