Corvette Racing Suffers Devastating Last-Lap Loss at Le Mans
Cruel tire puncture disables Corvette Racing’s #63 C7.R from lead with just minutes remaining.
Heartbreak. Only that word could describe the finish to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans for Corvette Racing. A last-lap tire puncture for the #63 C7.R turned what looked like Corvette’s ninth win at Le Mans into a devastating limp to a third-place finish.
Corvette traded the GTE-Pro class lead several times with the Aston Martin Racing Vantage in the race’s second half. The race looked extremely close, with each car employing slightly different strategies. However, each car took its final pit stop at the same time in the race’s final hour, and the Corvette driven by Jordan Taylor emerged less than one second ahead of Johnny Adam’s Aston.
With just over one lap remaining, Adam attempted a pass on Taylor into Arnage corner. The Aston went too deeply into the corner on brakes, and Taylor recovered the lead. But after an excursion through one of the Mulsanne chicanes, Taylor’s Corvette picked up a tire puncture. That allowed Adam to pass, and Taylor was forced to limp the damaged Corvette home on three wheels.
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The #67 Chip Ganassi Ford GT then slipped by in the final corner to steal second place, as well. That the Corvette still finagled a podium with a beat-up shell of a car remains some small consolation. The team car, #64, finished five laps down after having to replace the rear wing and left-rear bodywork. That was good for an eighth-place finish.
The crushing defeat mirrored that of Toyota last year, and also characterized a throwback-style of endurance race that was full of attrition. Nevertheless, Corvette remained a class act to the finish with their congratulations to Aston Martin, one of the Chevy team’s rivals since the GT1 days a decade ago.
— Corvette Racing (@CorvetteRacing) June 18, 2017
Corvette Racing return to the action in less than two weeks with the Sahlen’s 6 Hours at the Glen in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.