Corvette Racing is making its long-awaited return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, only days following its most recent IMSA race at Road America. This year’s Le Mans is significant for many reasons, but two loom largest: it’s the first time in France for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, and this year’s race marks Corvette Racing’s return after missing the 2020 due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It ended a run of 20 consecutive years at Le Mans that started in 2000. In that time, the program claimed eight victories with three different generations of Corvette, all with the engine in the front.
This year things are different. The debut of the mid-engine Corvette C8.R is a highly anticipated one, especially given its success since its first race in January 2020. Corvette Racing swept the GT Le Mans (GTLM) Manufacturers, Drivers and Team titles of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship a year ago, and the team finished 1-2 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona to start the 2021 season.
Corvette Racing’s lineup has combined for seven victories: Garcia with three; Milner with two; and Tandy and Taylor with one each, and there's no reason to suggest more might get added to that number next week.
Antonio Garcia, long time Le Mans competitor said “It always is nice to go back somewhere when you’ve been away for a year, so it’s great to be back at Le Mans. One of last year’s biggest disappointments was not going to Le Mans. Conditions were what they were. We couldn’t go with the schedule shuffling, and in the end it wasn’t possible to go. It would have been beneficial. That knowledge of the C8.R around Le Mans would be an advantage going into this year’s race. But we can overcome that. Even this is our first time there with this car, we’ve done many races in IMSA with the C8.R. There are a lot of laps and miles already on it.”
Text & Images: Corvette Racing