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Corvette Racing Gets 24 Hours of Le Mans Race Preview with Circuit de la Sarthe Venue

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Team Chevy's Corvette Racing Team prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the soaked Circuit de la Sarthe. Drivers navigated the Corvette C6.Rs through intermittent downpours, sporadic showers and frequent red-flag periods.

Corvette Racing Drivers suited up for the Circuit de la Sarthe test
Corvette Racing Drivers suited up for the Circuit de la Sarthe test

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday, June 14
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday, June 14
Despite the wet weather in the Loire Valley, the 8.481-mile circuit was virtually trouble free for the Corvette Racing Team. Driver Max Papis set the fastest time between the two factory Corvettes at 3:55.520 at the start of the four hour afternoon session. Johnny O’Connell posted the quickest time in the No.63 Compuware Corvette C6.R at 3:55.877 during the same period.
Compuware Corvette C6.Rs run K&N air filters during competition
Compuware Corvette C6.Rs run K&N air filters during competition

Corvette C6.Rs ready for 24 Hours of Le Mans
Corvette C6.Rs ready for 24 Hours of Le Mans

The Corvettes ended up third and fourth among the 10 entries in the GT1 class behind the No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 and the No. 50 Saleen S7R.

“I think we maximized the opportunities that we had in the Loire Valley,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “When weather like this happens, it is to our advantage because we’re well prepared.”

The No. 64 Corvette turned 39 laps, and the No. 63 completed 42 circuits. A sudden shower and a final red flag at 5:30 p.m. ended the session 30 minutes before its scheduled conclusion.

“With the track half dry and half wet, it was an eye-opening driving experience,” said Papis. “I feel confident about the race.”

This was the only opportunity for teams to test on the Le Mans course, which includes stretches of public highways in France. Corvette Racing runs a special K&N Engineering air filter. “Dirt is a huge problem in street races,” said Crew Chief Dan Binks. “K&N protects our engines from the debris and gives us an edge during the competition.”

There are four Corvettes among the 10 entries in the GT1 class. Joining the two factory entries is a pair of Corvette C6.Rs entered by Luc Alphand Aventures. The Corvettes will face Aston Martin DBR9s, a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Saleen S7R for the GT1 trophy.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will start on Saturday June 14 and finish on Sunday June 15. SPEED-TV will televise the start and finish of the race.

Follow Corvette Racing throughout the season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail tech@knfilters.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.