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Jun 12, 2014 - 07:22 PM
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IMSA Invasion: Both Corvette Racing Entries To Start Inside Top Four In 24 Hours Of Le Mans
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 12, 2014 - 07:21 PM
Feature Articles
IMSA Invasion: Both Corvette Racing Entries To Start Inside Top Four In 24 Hours Of Le Mans


Staff Report, NASCAR Wire Service

LE MANS, FRANCE - Corvette Racing’s quest for an eighth class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will get off to a solid start when the French flag waves at 3 p.m. local time on Saturday (9 a.m. ET), as both cars turned in top-four qualifying results Thursday evening.

Antonio Garcia posted a best time of 3 minutes, 54.777 seconds around the 8.469-mile Circuit de la Sarthe in the No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to qualify second in the GTE Pro class. Garcia will share the car with full-time TUDOR United SportsCar Championship drivers Jan Magnussen and Jordan Taylor in the twice-around-the-clock race.

After struggling in the first three practice and qualifying sessions, the No. 74 Corvette managed to sort out its issues in the final qualifying session to take fourth on the GTE Am grid. Oliver Gavin posted a best time of 3:55.190 in the No. 74 that he co-drives with Tommy Milner and Richard Westbrook.

"We were certainly a little on the back foot coming into the session this afternoon and this evening with the way stuff had gone," Gavin said. "We had the [gearbox] problem yesterday and were really struggling for track time, but we managed to make some progress and got ourselves out of a bit of a hole."

 

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Gianmaria Bruni qualified on the GTE Pro pole position in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia with a best time of 3:53.700. The overall pole position went to Kazuki Nakajima in the No. 7 Toyota Hybrid LM P1 prototype at 3:21.789.

In the GTE Am class, the No. 77 Porsche entry shared by Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long wound up seventh in the final qualifying rundown after posting top-five results on Wednesday. Long turned in the team’s best lap at 3:57.004.

Participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for TUDOR Championship regulars Cooper MacNeil and Jeroen Bleekemolen was put in some doubt in Thursday’s first qualifying session, as their No. 79 Porsche co-driver Bret Curtis crashed heavily. Curtis was transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

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