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Corvette Racing Takes Second Place at 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Endurance and a flawless run put Corvette Racing on the podium in the 75th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen drove their No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R to a second place finish in the GT1 class and sixth overall in the world’s most famous sports car race.

Corvette Racing at Le Mans, photo by Greg Johnson Corvette Racing at Le Mans, photo by Greg Johnson
Corvette Racing has 8 consecutive podium finishes at Le Mans, photo by Greg Johnson
Corvette Racing has 8 consecutive podium finishes at Le Mans, photo by Greg Johnson
“It’s the biggest road race in the world,” said No. 63 car Crew Chief Dan Binks. “I use to dream about going to France for Le Mans. This is as good as it gets.”
Three Drivers took No. 63 to Second Spot, photo by Greg Johnson
Three Drivers took No. 63 to Second Spot. photo by Greg Johnson

Corvette Racing uses K&N Engineering Products, photo by Greg Johnson
Corvette Racing  uses K&N Engineering Products, photo by Greg Johnson

Rain hit at the start of the 22nd hour. The team put full rain tires on the Corvette and when the deluge began the GT1 field slowed by more than a minute per lap.

The No. 009 Aston Martin DBR9 had about a one-lap lead as the cars raced to the afternoon finish line. At the wheel of the Corvette Fellows was gaining as much as 30 seconds per lap. Nearly an hour before the end of the race rain caused a safety car period. As a result, a 10 minute final dash was not enough time for Corvette to beat Aston Martin.

“At the end I thought the rain could save us until the safety car put an end to that,” said Magnussen. “Ron was so fast at the end, he was fired up and it was cool to watch him. He was gaining seconds every lap, and we were calculating when he would catch the Aston Martin. It was a great race between two strong rivals.”

The No. 63 Corvette C6.R made 27 pit stops during the race and completed 342 laps, a distance of nearly 3000 miles. “We run a special K&N Engineering Air Filter,” said Binks. “In France, dirt is a huge problem. There is a lot of gravel and they put kitty litter on the track to soak up the oil. K&N protects our engine. The only thing we had to do to the No. 63 at the pit stops was change out the tires and put in fuel. It started up every time. The car had a flawless run.”

The runner up finish ended Corvette Racing’s three year winning streak. The team finished third in 2000 and second in 2003. “We’ve used K&N every year,” said Binks. “We get really good filtration.” Corvette Racing has 8 consecutive podium finishes on its resume.

Corvette Racing’s next event is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut on July 6 and 7.

Follow Corvette Racing's progress throughout the racing 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.