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.”