Corvettes Take Le Mans!

"The car's a lap down, but we can make that up," said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt with six hours remaining in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pratt's words proved prophetic as the No. 73 Compuware Corvette C6.R driven by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia relentlessly pursued the class-leading No. 51 Ferrari 458 Italia, cutting the margin by seconds every lap. 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 No. 73 Corvette C6.R completed 314 laps and finished two minutes and 29 seconds ahead of the runner-up Ferrari. The victory was the seventh class win at Le Mans for Corvette Racing, 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 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.