Gavin Sets the Pace in GTE Pro in No. 74 Corvette C6.R; Taylor Walks Away from Encounter with Tire Wall in No. 73 Corvette C6.R
LE MANS, France, June 3, 2012 - Corvette Racing ended the Le Mans Test Day first and fourth in the GTE Pro category. Oliver Gavin ran the quickest lap in the two four-hour sessions at 3:58.971 in the No. 74 Compuware Corvette C6.R, more than half a second quicker than the car's qualifying pace last year. The No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R covered the 8.5-mile circuit in 4:00.062, the fourth fastest time in the production-based class, before being sidelined by an encounter with a tire wall.
"We made some changes to the suspension and gearbox, and the track was coming in," said Gavin after his fast lap. "The balance of the car was good. We didn't get a run on new tires because of rain and yellow flags, but the tires were reasonably fresh and I wanted to see what we could do. I think the chassis is very close and the engine department is making big steps forward. I'm with the best team in the pit lane and the crew has done a stellar job of preparing the cars."
At the top of the team's to-do list was qualifying rookie Jordan Taylor to drive the No. 73 Corvette at Le Mans. After co-driving the GT class-winning Camaro GT.R in the Chevrolet Grand-Am Detroit 200 on Saturday, the 21-year-old racer took an overnight flight to Paris and then hopped on a helicopter to Le Mans. He arrived at the circuit just before the start of the afternoon session at 2 p.m., and promptly completed his required 10 laps.
Taylor's Le Mans debut then ended abruptly in the tire wall at the entrance to the Porsche Curves. Taylor was uninjured, but the No. 73 Corvette had right-side body damage and did not return for the remainder of the afternoon session.
"Racing takes you from the highest highs to the lowest lows," Taylor said. "I was living the dream, driving at Le Mans, and the dream just ends when you lose it like that. I know the crew can put the car back together, but it shouldn't have happened.
"I was only supposed to get my 10 laps in and I guess I got a bit greedy trying to learn the track and get up to speed quicker," he explained. "My times were coming down every lap, but I went for it in the Porsche Curves and it caught me out. The hit felt bigger than it was, so I'm glad about