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Posted: 06/22/13 08:21 PM
CORVETTE RACING AT LE MANS: Halfway Report
Compuware Corvette fighting the good fight through 12 hours
LE MANS, France (June 22, 2013) – The halfway point of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has come and gone, and Corvette Racing remains in the GTE Pro fight after 12 Hours. The No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R with Richard Westbrook at the wheel ran seventh at the race’s midpoint. In the No. 73, Antonio Garcia was completing a triple-stint just before the 12-hour mark and sat eighth.
Garcia took over for Jan Magnussen, who had a double-stint to open his second round of the event. Jordan Taylor began the run from hour seven through 12 with a triple-stint as well. Luck didn’t appear to be with Magnussen, Taylor and Antonio Garcia. The trio found itself beset by being separated from its other GT competitors by the safety car on three consecutive yellow-flag periods.
Bad fortune also followed the No. 74 Corvette at the half-way point. It ran seventh in class despite having to pit twice for suspected tire issues and once for what Westbrook and Oliver Gavin said felt like a fuel pressure issue. The crew uploaded a fix to the ECU to help manage the engine under acceleration, which corrected the problem.
Tommy Milner ran a double-stint into darkness with a different tire compound on his Michelin tires, which helped him keep pace with the rest of the field.
The next Corvette Racing update will be an 18-hour report at 9 a.m. local time/3 a.m. ET.
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I had a good two-and-a-half stints with a caution in the middle, which we used to change the brake pads. We tried some different tIre compounds, which went well. Right now we’re just trying to keep it within one lap (of the leaders) and on the track without making any mistakes, and see where we are when the sun comes back.”
ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“I just spent four hours in the car, mainly because of the lengthy safety car period which allowed me to stay in longer. The car feels better. I had the class leader in front me in my first stint, and then the second- and third-place cars in my second stint and in both cases I could easily follow them. We don’t have the pace to catch and pass them, but we can follow them and put in some decent laps. Now it starts raining again, and I know what it’s like at this point in the race for it reminds of 2008, but I must say I’m happy I can have a rest now instead.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“Those were pretty small problems that haven’t hurt us too much. We have a great crew and they turned it around quickly. We highlighted the problem with what felt like a fuel pressure issue, and they got that fixed really quickly. We also had a rear tire issue, which happens at Le Mans. There is a lot of debris. Our plan is to keep going around. We will see where that takes us.”
TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R
“We went to a different compound tire and the car feels better in the nighttime than in the daytime. The track is fully dry, and that plays a part in it. The car felt better and was more competitive so we won’t lose as much time as before. Antonio was doing a (3):57 and I was doing (3):58s. Right now that is comparable to what everyone else is doing. That’s encouraging but we are still quite a ways down. If we can run with some of the faster GT cars, at least we can keep up with them. If nothing else, we can use their speed to make us go faster.”