• Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans

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    Default Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans

    Corvette Racing Finishes Second and Third in 24 Hours of Le Mans

    American Team Scores 15th Podium Finish in France

    LE MANS, France, June 15, 2008 – For the second consecutive year, Corvette Racing finished second in the GT1 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Johnny O'Connell, Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows completed 344 laps in their No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R, finishing on the lead lap with the winning No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 of David Brabham, Antonio Garcia, and Darren Turner. The No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Max Papis finished third with 341 laps completed.

    The twice-around-the-clock race featured a hard-fought battle for the GT1 title between Corvette Racing and Aston Martin Racing. The No. 63 Corvette C6.R and the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 were in lockstep from the start, trading the lead and separated by less than a lap in the running order for hour after hour. Rain arrived at the Circuit de la Sarthe before sunrise and returned as the race drew to a close, compelling teams and drivers to develop new strategies and make difficult tire decisions in the rapidly changing conditions.

    The turning point came in the 17th hour when the Corvette Racing crew had to replace the No. 63 Corvette's right front brake pads. Although the work was finished in less than 90 seconds, the Aston Martin gained valuable track position. After scoring five wins in seven years, Corvette finished second to Aston Martin Racing for the second year.

    "Once again, we saw one of the epic battles in all of sports car racing," said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. "When you can take two cars, run them for 24 hours, and have them finish just minutes apart, it's an incredible achievement for both teams. We had a brake issue with the No. 63 Corvette and overcame a problem with the alternator in the No. 64 Corvette, and both cars finished on the podium. When we look at Corvette Racing's overall record and performance here at Le Mans, Chevrolet can be proud."

    In the sixth hour, the No. 64 suffered a broken alternator connection that required six minutes to repair. Then at 19:24 into the race, the crew removed and replaced the engine compartment undertray. Papis rejoined the race five minutes later, losing one lap in the process. Both Corvettes made 29 pit stops during the 24-hour race.

    "This has probably been the best we've been able to race for the entire distance," commented team manager Gary Pratt. "We had a good strategy to pick up a lap by running 14-lap fuel stints, but we got hung up by the safety car. In the night and in the rain, the Astons could pull away from us a little, and we couldn't seem to get it back. We started to catch up in the daylight, but then the rain returned. The Corvette Racing team worked hard, we never gave up, and we made it a close race."

    "The effort that Chevrolet and Corvette Racing put into this event is gigantic," said Johnny O'Connell. "Ninety-nine percent of teams would be ecstatic to finish second at Le Mans two years in a row, but we have high expectations and lofty goals at Corvette Racing. Had the weather not gone the way it did, with our strategy of going 14 laps on a fuel stint, the race might have gone our way. The spectators saw the two best teams in sports car racing go toe-to-toe today, and I'm very proud of the effort that everyone put forth."

    Corvette Racing's next event is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., on July 12.

    24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 Results:

    Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Laps

    1. (009) Brabham/Garcia/Turner, Aston Martin DBR9, 344

    2. (63) Fellows/O'Connell/Magnussen, Corvette C6.R, 344

    3. (64) Gavin/Beretta/Papis, Corvette C6.R, 341

    4. (007) Frentzen/Wendlinger/Piccini, Aston Martin DBR9, 339

    5. (72) Alphand/Policand/Moreau, Corvette C6.R, 335

    6. (73) Gouselard/Blanchemain/Pasquali, Corvette C6.R, 325

    7. (50) Bouchot/Bornhauser/Smet, Saleen S7R, 306

    8. (59) Menten/Fittipaldi/Borcheller, Aston Martin DBR9, 302

    9. (55) Kox, Rusinov/Hezemans, Lamborghini Murcielago, 266

    10. (53) Negrao/Hardman/Leventis, Aston Martin DBR9, 82

    CORVETTE RACING QUOTES:

    Olivier Beretta, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: "I'm already thinking about 2009 Le Mans. Everyone at Corvette Racing did a fantastic job preparing the cars. We just had bad luck on the No. 64 Corvette with the alternator and the safety car, and that was two laps gone. When it was raining, I pushed hard, I felt comfortable, and did four or five stints. At Le Mans, the last thing to do is to give up, so I just pushed and hoped that we would have better luck. It's a disappointment to finish second or third, so there is only one place to be – in first. We did that three years in a row with Corvette, I did it five times in my career, and I hope that the sixth one will come next year with Corvette Racing."

    Ron Fellows, No. 63 Corvette C6.R: "I felt that we had the opportunity to win this one. We were well prepared and both teams put up a hell of a fight – and we were second best today."

    Oliver Gavin, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: "This is a race that just sort of got away. I think we were fast enough and any one of the four cars from the Corvette and Aston Martin factory teams could have won today. It just came down to the one that had the cleaner race. We had bad luck with the alternator and then the floor issue. Maybe we were lacking some pace in the night, and got some unlucky breaks with the safety cars. It all adds up to the three laps that we were behind. That's Le Mans for you. We'll be back to fight them next year."

    Jan Magnussen, No. 63 Corvette C6.R: "Standing on the podium at Le Mans is special, but second is not exactly the spot we wanted. We hoped to improve on last year, and we had a nearly flawless race – but unfortunately, so did Aston Martin. In the night they had a little more speed than us, and it was tough to get back that gap. All of the guys worked so hard for this, they deserve a win. We'll just have to work even harder and get a victory next year."

    Max Papis, No. 64 Corvette C6.R: "You need a perfect race to win Le Mans against Aston Martin, and my hat's off to them. Sometimes you win or lose over a small detail, and that's what happened to us. We tried every Michelin tire, from rain to dry to intermediates. I felt that everyone did everything they could. It's great to be able to count on your teammates, to know that everyone who gets in the car will contribute. We came up a little short, but a podium finish at Le Mans is always something special.

    General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

    ###


    CONTACT(S):
    Rick Voegelin
    Chevy Racing Communications
    Phone: + 1-831-761-2201
    Mobile: +33-659-73-97-10


    Serge Vanbockryck
    Chevy Racing Communications
    Phone: + 32-2-673-8186
    Mobile: +32-475-71-88-49
    E-mail: gm.racing@eleven-intl.com


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    I watched 9 hours of the coverage. They are right, it took a nearly perfect performance to win. GT1 and P1 were the only classes to have the 1-2 cars on the same lap at the end of the race. The in-car video was incredible to watch. Racing that fast in the rain, in the dark!

    The full course yellow was caused by a quite spectacular crash of a P1 or P2 car. It wasn't caught on video since it happened at night but there is a sequence of pictures on the Le Mans website. The car was in the air right side towards the ground and ended up rolling once or twice after it came down. I have not seen any word as to the fate of the driver.

    Now, if Aston Martin would come back to ALMS...THAT would be fun racing to watch.
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    And don't forget, the French privateer team Luc Alphond finishing 5 and 6 in Corvettes as well! Four Corvettes in the top six!

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    I think Team Corvette/GM should be ashamed they didn't win their class. They practiced and competed all year specifically to win back this crown while itty-bitty Team Aston didn't race at all.

    GM/Chevy/Corvette should have made LeMans GT1 a "must win" on the world stage.....2nd and 3rd isn't good enough. Still losers. Makes me want to sell my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    I think Team Corvette/GM should be ashamed they didn't win their class. They practiced and competed all year specifically to win back this crown while itty-bitty Team Aston didn't race at all.

    GM/Chevy/Corvette should have made LeMans GT1 a "must win" on the world stage.....2nd and 3rd isn't good enough. Still losers. Makes me want to sell my car.
    Are you being totally serious?

    The Le Mans 24 hour Endurance Race is the hardest, most grueling endurance race in the world.

    The competition within that particular class at Le Mans is extremely tough and the slightest, most tiny environmental factor, or element of chance can make or break a race team from reaching first place.

    The fact that the Corvette Racing team came in second and third consecutively is, in my opinion, a damn fine job - well done.

    Unless you've been behind the wheel of a race car, in the middle of a 24 hour endurance race, you really have no right to be so harsh and critical of the Corvette Racing team or any other team that participated in Le Mans this weekend.

    And if their missing first place this weekend really compels you to want to sell your car, let me know. If I'm not interested in it, I'm sure I can find someone that would be.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    I think Team Corvette/GM should be ashamed they didn't win their class. They practiced and competed all year specifically to win back this crown while itty-bitty Team Aston didn't race at all.

    GM/Chevy/Corvette should have made LeMans GT1 a "must win" on the world stage.....2nd and 3rd isn't good enough. Still losers. Makes me want to sell my car.

    You should know of what you speak. Before you speak! Check out this link.

    http://www.astonmartinracing.com/eng/results/2008/lms

    Team Aston Martin raced twice in the Le Mans Series in Europe before the 24 Hours. Check specifically the results for Monza and Spa. So yes, Aston Martin DID race before the 24 hours.

    If you know the history of American LMS Team Corvette was beating Aston Martin all up and down the track. So much so that Team Corvette was given significant weight penalties so the Aston Martin could be competitive. Even with that, Team Corvette kept winning and Aston Martin quit racing in ALMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    I think Team Corvette/GM should be ashamed they didn't win their class. They practiced and competed all year specifically to win back this crown while itty-bitty Team Aston didn't race at all.

    GM/Chevy/Corvette should have made LeMans GT1 a "must win" on the world stage.....2nd and 3rd isn't good enough. Still losers. Makes me want to sell my car.
    I've been active on the Internet part of the Corvette hobby for the better part of a decade, first mostly on email lists and then, more recently, on the CF and especially here at the CAC.

    In my experience the most foolish posts are ones made by people who either do not check or choose to ignore facts. An example is the post made by "kingforward" above.

    First, the phrase "itty-bitty" is a description of Aston Martin that is so understated it's comical. Reality is that Aston Martin Lagonda, Ltd. is a near one-billion dollar business owned jointly by Kuwaiti investment companies and Ford Motor Co.

    It is not known how much Aston Martin has spent on its current LeMans effort, but its likely to match and perhaps even exceed the sum GM Racing has spend on the Corvette AMLS and LeMans efforts in recent years.

    As stated above, the rules that govern the 24hrs of LeMans have repeatedly been skewed "against" Corvette Racing in a blatant attempt to "equalize" the competition between GM and Aston but the Corvette kept winning...by kicking Aston Martin's sorry ass all over race tracks here and in Europe.

    Finally, the LeMans organizers reached a point where Corvette wasn't beating Aston Martin like a baby seal and DBR9 could win, but only as long as (this year) the Corvette had a brake failure late in the race which required a 90 sec. stop to change front pads. I can't remember what happended last year.

    I'll add that the record shows that "kingforward's" statement about Aston Martin only racing once this season is not correct. In fact, the team ran both of the major endurance races in Europe before LeMans making it, like Corvette Racing, well-prepared.

    My suggestion to "kingforward"? Do some freakin' research before posting.

    I'll add that, while I seldom advocate an existing owner sell a Corvette, in this case I encourage you to "sell your car" and buy a DBS. Perhaps driving the street version might give you an insight as to why not only can the C6.r beat an Aston Martin on the race track, but the production C6 matches Aston Martin on the street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Are you being totally serious?

    The Le Mans 24 hour Endurance Race is the hardest, most grueling endurance race in the world.

    The competition within that particular class at Le Mans is extremely tough and the slightest, most tiny environmental factor, or element of chance can make or break a race team from reaching first place.

    The fact that the Corvette Racing team came in second and third consecutively is, in my opinion, a damn fine job - well done.

    Unless you've been behind the wheel of a race car, in the middle of a 24 hour endurance race, you really have no right to be so harsh and critical of the Corvette Racing team or any other team that participated in Le Mans this weekend.

    And if their missing first place this weekend really compels you to want to sell your car, let me know. If I'm not interested in it, I'm sure I can find someone that would be.
    I totally agreed
    "kingforward" is a fool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    I think Team Corvette/GM should be ashamed they didn't win their class. They practiced and competed all year specifically to win back this crown while itty-bitty Team Aston didn't race at all.

    GM/Chevy/Corvette should have made LeMans GT1 a "must win" on the world stage.....2nd and 3rd isn't good enough. Still losers. Makes me want to sell my car.
    You comments are so ridiculous that I'm sitting here in the UK wondering if I have missed some sort of US humour which is lost anywhere else in the world.

    I was at the race (in my Corvette) and it is astounding that any car can race for 24 hours and finish. Just think how long that is to be flat out all the time. The fact that all 4 Corvettes finished in the top 6 is an incredible achievement. The Aston is very fast and proves to be a worthy opponent when Corvette is racing in Europe.

    I'm glad you're selling your car if it means you are moving to another forum.

    Sorry for the rant, but come on..........

    Rich Rogers

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    New Member pvp64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKragtop View Post
    You comments are so ridiculous that I'm sitting here in the UK wondering if I have missed some sort of US humour which is lost anywhere else in the world.

    I was at the race (in my Corvette) and it is astounding that any car can race for 24 hours and finish. Just think how long that is to be flat out all the time. The fact that all 4 Corvettes finished in the top 6 is an incredible achievement. The Aston is very fast and proves to be a worthy opponent when Corvette is racing in Europe.

    I'm glad you're selling your car if it means you are moving to another forum.

    Sorry for the rant, but come on..........
    Don't worry bout the rant mate, kingfoward is a fool that knows not of what he speaks!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Are you being totally serious?

    The Le Mans 24 hour Endurance Race is the hardest, most grueling endurance race in the world.

    The competition within that particular class at Le Mans is extremely tough and the slightest, most tiny environmental factor, or element of chance can make or break a race team from reaching first place.

    The fact that the Corvette Racing team came in second and third consecutively is, in my opinion, a damn fine job - well done.

    Unless you've been behind the wheel of a race car, in the middle of a 24 hour endurance race, you really have no right to be so harsh and critical of the Corvette Racing team or any other team that participated in Le Mans this weekend.

    And if their missing first place this weekend really compels you to want to sell your car, let me know. If I'm not interested in it, I'm sure I can find someone that would be.
    Nice to see I have gotten everybody's blood to boil.

    2nd and 3rd would be nice if there were 20 cars they were racing in GT1...the only competition was the factory Astons and they lost, period. And yes I race cars and have driven 24 hour races and been to LeMans,etc.

    Corvette/GM threw all their resources in the last year to win that race and didn't....don't be mad at me they were losers. Wouldn't be surprised if Corporate pulled the plug on their racing program too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellow_2002_germany View Post
    You should know of what you speak. Before you speak! Check out this link.

    http://www.astonmartinracing.com/eng/results/2008/lms

    Team Aston Martin raced twice in the Le Mans Series in Europe before the 24 Hours. Check specifically the results for Monza and Spa. So yes, Aston Martin DID race before the 24 hours.

    If you know the history of American LMS Team Corvette was beating Aston Martin all up and down the track. So much so that Team Corvette was given significant weight penalties so the Aston Martin could be competitive. Even with that, Team Corvette kept winning and Aston Martin quit racing in ALMS.
    Yup, your right...I was wrong.
    I thought I heard the announcers say otherwise and knew they didn't race at Sebring, etc.

    I hope everybody can tell I was pumped to see Corvette win GT1/LeMans again and hugely disappointed they didn't.....not ready for another "next year."

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    Nice to see I have gotten everybody's blood to boil.

    2nd and 3rd would be nice if there were 20 cars they were racing in GT1...the only competition was the factory Astons and they lost, period. And yes I race cars and have driven 24 hour races and been to LeMans,etc.

    Corvette/GM threw all their resources in the last year to win that race and didn't....don't be mad at me they were losers. Wouldn't be surprised if Corporate pulled the plug on their racing program too.
    Blood to boil? Not really. It takes more than that for me, however, I admit, ignorance does get under my skin from time to time.

    So, please excuse my ignorance, but you said you've driven 24 hour races and been to LeMans. That's awesome. Please be so kind and enlighten us with who you are, what cars you've raced and when?
    1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 , 350 Stock ZF 6-speed. Stock Bright Red

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    Audi had the same competitive issues and went up against the French Peugeot team that won the pole......Audi found a way to win....and the Corvette team wins the pole and still loses.

    Real Corvette enthusiasts shouldn't "settle" for second best. I was hoping that others would be frustrated with 2nd place too. And I am sure there are outside this "thread".

    Rob, I own 10 Corvettes including a famous LeMans racer,C6 and C6 Z06.
    You and your buddies have started to make it personal and all I'm referencing is a race and race car that GM should have made sure it won for the world stage. Aston made sure.

    good luck CAC....I'm out.

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    Site Administrator Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward View Post
    Audi had the same competitive issues and went up against the French Peugeot team that won the pole......Audi found a way to win....and the Corvette team wins the pole and still loses.

    Real Corvette enthusiasts shouldn't "settle" for second best. I was hoping that others would be frustrated with 2nd place too. And I am sure there are outside this "thread".

    Rob, I own 10 Corvettes including a famous LeMans racer,C6 and C6 Z06.
    You and your buddies have started to make it personal and all I'm referencing is a race and race car that GM should have made sure it won for the world stage. Aston made sure.

    good luck CAC....I'm out.
    Nope. Not making it personal at all. I originally took issue with the comments you made about the quality or lack there of Corvette Racing's ability to win.

    My initial response to you was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob
    Unless you've been behind the wheel of a race car, in the middle of a 24 hour endurance race, you really have no right to be so harsh and critical of the Corvette Racing team or any other team that participated in Le Mans this weekend.
    Your response:
    Quote Originally Posted by kingforward
    And yes I race cars and have driven 24 hour races and been to LeMans,etc.
    I then, quite simply, asked who you are, what 24 hour races you've driven in, where and when?

    Personally, I could care less what you own, and what you own does not translate into what your racing experience is.

    If you're going to be an armchair quarterback and criticize racing teams to the degree that you have, I think it's quite fair of me to request from you, exactly what your racing experience is.
    1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 , 350 Stock ZF 6-speed. Stock Bright Red

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