Image credit: autosport.com
Fresh off a first- and third-place finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Corvette Racing confirmed its lineup for the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Two familiar faces will join Corvette Racing for its attempt at an eighth class victory since 2001 – Ryan Briscoe and Jordan Taylor.
Briscoe will reunite with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen in the No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R for the world-famous endurance sports car race set for June 13-14. The same driver lineup just won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class at the Rolex 24 Hours to open the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Taylor, who drove in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the last three years in the No. 73 Corvette, will team this year with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner for the first time in the No. 64 Corvette.
Both Corvettes will compete in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans – the equivalent of the GTLM class in the TUDOR Championship.
“Le Mans is the biggest challenge an endurance sports car driver or team can face,” said Mark Kent, Director of Racing for Chevrolet. “Over the 15 years that Corvette Racing has been an annual participant at Le Mans, we have captured seven class victories. Winning at Le Mans requires not only a great race car like the Corvette C7.R and outstanding drivers, but also great execution by the entire team. In addition to victories, another measure of our success at Le Mans includes the lessons we learn by competing in this grueling race and how we transfer these learnings to our production vehicles. The Corvette C7.R and Corvette Z06 are perfect examples of technology transfer between the race track and the Chevrolet showroom.”
In the 2014 Le Mans debut for the Corvette C7.R, both cars placed in the top-four in GTE Pro. Garcia, Magnussen and Taylor were runners-up in the No. 73 car while the No. 74 Corvette placed fourth.
Corvette Racing’s six drivers have a combined 12 victories at Le Mans – four each for Gavin and Magnussen, three for Garcia and one for Milner. The group of six has 49 Le Mans starts between them: Magnussen 16 and Gavin 14 (all consecutive starts for both), Garcia with nine, Milner with six, Taylor with three and Briscoe with one.
“The 24 Hours of Le Mans with competitors from across the globe is one of the most important races of the year for Corvette Racing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Our team has been preparing the C7.R race cars for the past 12 months, focused on delivering the right combination of performance, durability and efficiency for this iconic sports car race.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 63 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
(Does winning at Daytona give more confidence for Le Mans?) “Winning at Daytona was a big accomplishment for the entire team. We’ve shown how well the Corvette C7.R and team can perform over the course of a 24-hour race. That’s a big confidence booster heading into such a prestigious event. I’m honored to race Le Mans with Corvette Racing, and I’m thrilled and excited about the opportunity we have to win the race.” (Using past experience) “As the third driver I know I need to be smooth, fast and consistent. I’m comfortable enough in the car to keep a good pace and keep us in contention. A lot can happen in the race. Weather seems to always play a part. The year I did the race, I spent a lot of it on slick tires in rain and drying conditions and anything you could ask for. For one year of experience, I felt like everything was thrown at me. Hopefully there won’t be too many surprises going back there for a second time.”
JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 64 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C7.R
(Moving to the No. 64 Corvette) “I’ve driven with Tommy twice – once in the WEC at COTA and in the Watkins Glen Six Hours where we finished second together. So I’ve known him for awhile. And Olly is one of the guys who helped me get into Corvette Racing to begin with after I raced with him in a Camaro in GRAND-AM GT. I know both guys really well. We may have been in different cars in the past, but at Corvette Racing it’s one team and one goal to win. All the drivers are always working with each other. Another plus is that they’re a bit taller than Jan and Antonio, so I’ll fit in the car a little bit better! That will be nice, especially for 24 hours! But obviously both Tommy and Oliver have won a lot of races and a lot of championships so I’m looking forward to it.”