Corvettes overshadowed at 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans
Corvette fans had high hopes based on victory in 2015, improving performance of Larbre team and AAI, recent addition led by 5-time winner Johnny O’Connell, 52.
In the end, best result was 7th for # 63 Corvette (C7.R-005) in GTE Pro class
Tommy Milner in the # 64 (C7.R-004) crashed out about halfway through the race at the Dunlop curve, driver error, no excuses, honesty always appreciated. Watch video action
The # 50 Larbre Corvette (C7.R-002) lost 40 min to repair damage after sliding into a gravel trap with 4 hours to go. The mistake by Yutaka Yamagishi cost double points in the WEC GTE AM class standings dropping to 8th from 5th.
The # 57 AAI Corvette (C7.R-001) piloted by O’Connell, Oliver Bryant and Mark Patterson ran steady to finish 9th in GTE Am.
Drenching conditions brought out for the first time ever the safety car to start the race.
All teams switched to dry tyres for the balance of the race. The Corvettes average 14 laps (about 120 miles) requiring 25 pit stops for re-fuel. Teams allotted 16 sets of tyres, typically change every other stop. New brake pads about every third stop.
Corvette results compiled by Wayne Ellwood
Bitter protests erupted over the GTE Pro results as Ford defeated Ferrari again on the 50th anniversary of the legendary 7 liter Ford GT40 1-2-3 sweep in 1966.
The biggest story was the most heartbreaking loss in Le Mans history. On the final lap after 23 hours and 55 minutes of racing, the # 5 Toyota Gazoo Hybrid LMP1 quit and gave up a glorious overall win to the # 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1. Instead of notching only the 2nd win at Le Mans for a Japanese team it turned into the 18th win for Porsche.