Technical checks on Thursday 2 June
Corvette Racing has it covered.
Among the 60 cars expected at the technical checks from Thursday to Saturday morning, the new Corvette C7.Rs will land for the first time of the season in the expert hands of the ACO’s technical marshals. “Of all the LM GTE Pros now compliant with the new regulations put in place this year, we have already seen all the Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Fords, and it’s true for now only the Chevrolet Corvettes have not been checked by us so to speak, even though we were there with our IMSA colleagues during the Daytona checks,” explains ACO international technical delegate Thierry Bouvet.
Already very sleek in 2015, this year the Corvette C7.Rs boast additional aerodynamic features making them look even more aggressive, pleasing to Corvette Racing Team Manager Gary Pratt: “The front splitter, the spoiler and the underbody are different from the 2015 version to comply with the new regulations that give us a slightly bigger window of performance, and I think we will gain two seconds per lap as compared to last year, but I need to confirm that with our engineers. At first glance, you notice right off the size of the spoiler which is now the entire width of the car. This year we built three new cars that we’ve have brought here. You never know what can happen and we want to avoid last year’s situation when we had to withdraw one of the cars. Before being able to repair it, we had to borrow Jack Leconte’s for two races in the U.S. The winning chassis in 2015 was delivered to the AAI team at the beginning of the week and the second car is for sale, but several teams have already expressed interest.”
To the two official Corvettes in the fight against the Ford GTs, 2016 Porsche 911 RSRs, Ferrari 488 GTEs and Aston Martin Vantages entered in LM GTE Pro, will be added two Corvette C7 Z06s entrusted to Larbre Compétition and Team AAI in the LM GTE Am class competing with the Ferrari 458 Italias, Porsche 911 RSRs and Aston Martin Vantages.
Toyota Gazoo Racing at ease.
This morning the Toyota TS050 Hybrid was sporting its Le Mans kit for the first time of the season in pit lane to take part in the technical checks. In the Japanese camp, smiles and confidence were the name of the game after the investigation conducted following engine problems encountered at Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA WEC. “The problem was linked specifically to the Belgian circuit which inflicts as much torsional stress to the chassis as it does the engine due to the compression endured by the car in the Raidillon de l’Eau Rouge,” explains Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon. “Given budgetary resources, we did great work over the winter and the race will be highly competitive.” Toyota Gazoo Racing, like Audi and Porsche, will have many solutions to validate Sunday on the track, which are already in the works for the weekend of 18 and 19 June: “We have ways of anticipating certain factors of the race and the weather is one. The race should take place in average temperatures in our opinion,” explains the French engineer. It’s an important variable when choosing tyres, an essential element the management of which dictates performance.
Murphy Prototypes changes coulours.
Irish team Murphy Prototypes had the final livery this morning on its Oreca 03 R to be driven by American driver Ben Keating, present last year in a Viper GT, and who is bringing with him his teammates, Danish driver Jeroen Bleekmolen and Belgian driver Marc Goossens, to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time in LM P2. Gone is the Irish green dear to Greg Murphy, Murphy Prototypes team owner, and in are the colours of the American television show “Gas Monkey,” very popular in the U.S., which depicts restorations of beautiful vehicles.
This morning, the technicians in charge of filling the tanks at the 24 Hours circuit are conducting the final operations on the refueling system at each pit by purging all 60 pits.
Musical chairs in LM P2, Will Stevens joins G-Drive.
This morning, the G-Drive Racing team entering two LM P2s - the No. 26 Oreca 05 and the No. 38 Gibson 015 S - announced a change to one of its driver line-ups. In the No. 26, British driver Will Stevens (24 years old) who participated in 17 F1 Grand Prix in 2015 with the Manor Marussia team, and who competes regularly in other FIA WEC rounds with the Manor team in LM P2, will race along with Roman Rusinov and René Rast as the replacement for French driver Nathanaël Berthon. Therefore, a spot is available in the No. 44 Oreca 05 with Manor.
M. LAFFEAS/ ACO - Translation by Nikki Ehrhardt / ACO
Photo: Le Mans, France, Circuit des 24 Heures, Thursday 2 June 2016. Corvette Racing Team Manager Gary Pratt - in front of two of the new 2016 Corvette C7.Rs manufactured over the winter in its Pratt & Miller workshops – believes the new LM GTE Pro regulations will save two seconds per lap.Discover all news