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Corvette Downplays BoP Weight Increase

Corvette program manager Doug Fehan unperturbed by 10kg weight addition to C7.Rs…

Photo: MPS Agency

Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan has downplayed the weight increase his cars have been given in Tuesday’s GTE-Pro Balance of Performance update ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 10kg weight increase for the pair of Corvette C7.Rs, Fehan revealed, reflects the same weight the cars ran with ballast at the Test Day.

It means the cars will run 11kg heavier than last year when the No. 63 Corvette finished third after a late battle with the class-winning, previous-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

“BoP is always interesting because there are so many different perspectives,” Fehan told Sportscar365.

“Obviously, we would have preferred not to have the 10kg, although I think to some degree, it might be understandable.

“We were running a little bit heavy on our practice day.

“I think maybe as they go forward, they’re using that as a good adjustment point, so that the data they continue to gather on our car would be consistent with what they’ve already collected.

“Scientifically that would make some sense.”

Corvette’s prior heavy running means its cars will enter Wednesday’s Free Practice and opening qualifying session at roughly the same technical difference to the Porsche 911 RSR, which topped the time charts on the Test Day,

The quartet of Porsches are the only cars to have avoided any form of BoP change.

Fehan, however, reported that the Corvette’s fastest lap of 3:54.179 set by Oliver Gavin took place during a slow zone period, meaning it could be closer than its 1.6-second testing deficit to Porsche suggested.

Although Fehan does not expect Corvette to be quickest on Wednesday, he believes a further evaluation of the BoP could take place depending on the times set.

“I pretty much guarantee that we won’t be the fastest,” said Fehan.

“We know where we are, and we know how quick we can go. It won’t be at the top of the chart.

“There are others that have more performance than we do. If it’s within one second, we can make it be a competitive race. If it goes beyond a second, it becomes extremely difficult for us to be competitive over 24-hours.

“After Wednesday night, I think the picture will become more clear. Right now, it looks like there are two cars there that are the fastest – the Porsche and the Ford.

“From a technical perspective, it’s way easier to slow those two cars down than it is to speed everybody else up. But we’ll see what they do.”

Aston Martin Content With Boost Increase

Aston Martin Racing has expressed confidence that the changes applied to the British marque’s new-generation Vantage GTEs will help to bridge its Test Day deficit.

The quickest Aston lap was almost five seconds off the class pace, but its two cars have since been handed a turbo boost increase in the updated BoP.

AMR technical director Dan Sayers told Sportscar365 that the extra boost ratio equates to a 3 percent increase in power.

The Astons also received a 4-liter fuel tank capacity increase to counteract the added fuel used up by the additional boost. 

“It’ll have an effect, for sure,” said Sayers. “It’s part of the way there and it will bring us closer. Whether it will be enough remains to be seen.

“It’s not quite as much as we requested. But they’ve got data on all the cars. It looks like they’ve tried to fine tune the others to a top speed, which is important here.

“In qualifying, we’re expecting to see some of the cars dip into the 3:49s. I think anything for us in the top 10 would be really impressive. It’s going to be fiercely competitive.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Dave

    June 13, 2018 at 6:07 am

    This C7R is like the Ford GT from the 60’s. It keeps winning races against newer, more advanced machinery. It doesn’t have the Le Mans record like the old Ford did (only one LM win for the C7R), but man, it’s still a great racing story. I will almost be sad to see it go when the C8R arrives.

    • David Chaste

      June 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

      This C7 is more an evo version. These are not the original c7r’s. Larbre and another european team have the original c7’s.

      • pearl of wisdom

        June 13, 2018 at 11:19 am

        As were the Ford GT, each year, small changes, something as simple as suspension settings etc. to also be called an evo by your standards.

  2. Paul

    June 13, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Ford will be diffcult to beat, only Porsche #91 close to the 3 faster of them in sub3,55 laps at test day. The BOP changes seems subtle except for the AM

    • Mike

      June 13, 2018 at 9:39 am

      I’ll just repost this. Year on year BOP at LM:

      Vette – +10kg, no power change
      Ford – Same to last year (-1kg)
      Porsche – +9kg, +0.2mm restrictor.
      Ferrari – +23 kg, +0.1 boost ratio across RPM range
      Vette’s were a little too quick last year. Porsche’s a little too slow. Fords a little too slow (so they are probably being shafted this year to be honest…)
      BMW, Aston outliers. However, BMW seem quietly confident.

      • Jake

        June 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm

        your memory is cloudy. Aston, Ferrari and Ford all out qualified the Vettes. They certainly werent too fast, and the Fords certainly not too slow.

        Porsche is way too fast this year, Ford are quicker than last year, Corvette BMW and Aston havent a chance at this point.

        • Mike

          June 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm

          This isn’t about qualifying. This is about race pace. Corvette’s never go for pole…
          Corvette and Aston were quicker than everyone else in the race.

        • Andy Flinn

          June 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm

          Jake, I wouldn’t be so concerned about qualifying. It’s a 24 hour race. Remember, Team Corvette qualified on the pole at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

  3. Jaymo

    June 13, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Can’t wait to see how shocked everyone is when the lightest car in the class with one of the smallest restrictiors suddenly becomes the car to beat, A La a certain green car last year….

    • BirdBrick

      June 13, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Wouldn’t a small restrictor be a disadvantage?

      • Jaymo

        June 13, 2018 at 12:37 pm

        Smaller restriction as in more air to breath = more power

        • Matt

          June 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

          Nah, I know it’s confusing, but in racing terms a smaller restrictor means that it’s a smaller hole to breathe through.

  4. Onaroll

    June 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

    I don’t even know what BoP means but I infer it is some socialistic idea to artificially level the capabilities of the entrants. Like F1. Or NASCAR. I even was appalled to see 250 lbs of steel plate ballast in a US Vintage BMW and six cylinder Healey at a club Sprint. Probably lobbied by the Bathtub Porsche contingent. Car racing is idiotic worldwide and I am yawning about all the irrelevant and ugly machinery in use today.

    • David Chaste

      June 13, 2018 at 10:46 am

      You have to remember a bit of history to come to a solid conclusion. In a alternate dimension called GT1 there was a thriving class of racing meant for manufacturers. All the ACO did was to BOP the engines to within 500 horsepower of each other, and so long as the cars looked like their production counterparts all development was allowed. Teams spent so much that the cars became more expensive than privateer LMP1 cars and Corvette was the only team able to keep up the spending.

  5. Harry Manback

    June 13, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Wait – so is Fehan not admitting to sand bagging??? Where they required to run with the ballast at test day? If not…. then is that not the exact literal black & white definition of sand bagging??? Adding weight for the test when that is the only data the ACO has to gather on that car this season prior to the race, thus making the car slower, thus with the hopes of gaining a BoP to up it’s pace for race week?

    • Jaymo

      June 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      They may have just been messing around with weight for balance of the car and then intended to massage the weight out of the car. 10kg isn’t drastic, that could be the difference between one driver and another

    • Jake

      June 13, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      It could be considered sandbagging, but certainly not any more so than anyone else in GTE Pro. Every year (till this year) Corvette seem to “lead” the test day, only to be knocked back by race time, and then everyone is suddenly 3-4 seconds faster.

      Hence why Porsche is suddenly flirting with sub 3:50’s in the first practice session suddenly. And the Vettes, Astons and BMW’s are high 53 to mid 54’s.

      • Jaymo

        June 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        Because Corvette has NEVER played the BoP game before… never…

        • Jake

          June 13, 2018 at 3:16 pm

          I agreed with you, I dont know what you are getting all pissy about.

          In GTE Pro, its pretty much a requirement.

  6. Sol Shine

    June 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Would appear it’s Porsche’s turn to win Lemans. All you gotta do is look at the BOP. What BS. #FakeRacing

  7. cawpin

    June 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Artificially limiting certain cars to let others keep up is stupid, period. The point of racing development is to sell cars. Doing this BoP thing is just another excuse for bribery to happen.

    • el_gordo

      June 14, 2018 at 3:03 am

      do you like this field or would you rather watch two corvettes race each other

      • Matt

        June 14, 2018 at 8:56 am

        This excuse is so old, and these GTE cars are severely underpowered these days. 550hp is a joke. They should be running at 700hp minimum.

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