Sunday, June 12, 2011


America’s sports car wins GTE Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scores seventh win for Chevrolet.
Driven by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia, the # 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R, above, relentlessly pursued the class-leading Ferrari 458 Italia. American driver Tommy Milner overtook Ferrari driver Toni Vilander with two hours and 10 minutes to go, and steadily increased his lead as he completed his double stint. Garcia then took over the yellow and black car for the final hour and the run to the finish.
The # 73 Corvette C6.R completed 314 laps and finished two minutes and 29 seconds ahead of the runner-up Ferrari. It was Corvette Racing’s seventh class win at Le Mans, and its first in the GTE Pro category. It came as Chevrolet celebrates its 100th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the team's first Le Mans victory in 2001. It was the sixth Le Mans title for Beretta, the third for Garcia, and the first for Milner.

"This is my first time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but I've watched Corvettes race here my whole life," said Mark Reuss, President GM North America. "To come here for the first time on the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet and to have another Corvette victory is beyond words."
The contest was a dramatic one, as the No. 74 Corvette C6.R of Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, and Richard Westbrook, above, suffered a stunning reversal of fortune. After leading for nearly 16 hours, the car was extensively damaged in a crash in the 17th hour. Although Magnussen was uninjured in the high-speed shunt, the car was retired on the spot.
Team Chevy's Corvette Racing has scored six wins in the GTS/GT1 class at Le Mans (2001-‘02, 2004-‘06, and 2009). The team moved to the GT2 class in 2010, which was renamed GTE Pro in 2011.

24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Pro Top Five Finishers:
1. (73) Beretta/Milner/Garcia, Corvette C6.R
2. (51) Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander, Ferrari F458 Italia
3. (56) Priaulx/Muller/Hand, BMW M3 GT
4. (77) Lieb/Lietz/Henzler, Porsche 997 GT3 RSR
5. (76) Narac/Pilet/Armindo, Porsche 997 GT3 RSR

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