Pre-race weight break ‘not a gamechanger’ for Corvette in Ferrari Le Mans fight

Jordan Taylor says the pre-race weight break handed to Corvette by the FIA Endurance Committee wasn’t a “gamechanger” in its Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro fight with Ferrari.

Pre-race weight break ‘not a gamechanger’ for Corvette in Ferrari Le Mans fight

The #63 Corvette that Taylor shared with Antonio Garcia and Nicky Catsburg finished 41 seconds behind the race-winning #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Come Ledogar after a long chase through the night.

The #51 crew was never headed after Pier Guidi passed Taylor in the 11th hour, but Corvette remained in the hunt on its Le Mans debut with the new-for-2020 C8.R and at one point in the 19th hour was just a shade over 20 seconds behind.

Read Also:

Ferrari had been hit twice by pre-race Balance of Performance changes, targeted at reducing its boost pressure on acceleration and reducing fuel capacity by four litres.

While Corvette also received a one-litre reduction, it also gained a seven-kilogram weight break.

But when asked if it had made a difference, Taylor told Autosport the BoP tweaks had a minimal impact.

“I think for us the weight change wasn’t massive – it definitely was nice and it helped, but that wasn’t going to be a gamechanger,” the 2015 GTE Pro Le Mans winner said.

“We knew what we had going into the race, we had a lot of different options through practice and testing that we tried out set-up-wise and did all the work to see what we wanted to put on the car for the race.

"The weight change didn’t have a huge influence on that.

“But any time when you can get a lighter car it’s going to help on the performance side, so it definitely wasn’t a bad thing.”

Taylor conceded it “always does hurt a little bit when you come that close” to victory, and admitted that the team was surprised by how fast Ferrari had changed its brakes – losing only 40 seconds when the car was brought into the garage in hour 19.

#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE Pro, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE Pro, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

Photo by: Nick Dungan / Motorsport Images

This effectively forced the #63 crew into committing to not changing brakes to remain in the hunt, although Taylor said the team was “pretty confident that we could make it”.

“We kind of thought that when they committed to doing the brake change, we’d be able to jump them,” he said.

“But their change was impressive and it forced our hand to make it to the end on our brakes just because we knew our change would take us a little bit longer and probably would have taken us out of contention.

“We took the risk to go all the way on one set of brakes and thankfully it worked out.

“We went through practice and the test day and got as many hours on the brakes as possible to get wear numbers and understand where we’d be by hour 24 because we didn’t have any experience around here to measure brake wear and brake temps, so I think after the whole week of practice we knew where we wanted to be in the race.

“I think some of the slow zones probably helped us throughout, but the guys were pretty confident that we could make it.”

shares
comments

Related video

GTE Pro Le Mans winner Calado explains pre-race Corvette contact

Previous article

GTE Pro Le Mans winner Calado explains pre-race Corvette contact

Next article

Toyota's Le Mans fuel issue could have been "showstopper"

Toyota's Le Mans fuel issue could have been "showstopper"
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far Plus

10 things we've learned from the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Autosport picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide Plus

Le Mans 2021: The team by team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class Plus

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in Le Mans' underrated class

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Plus

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021