Corvette needs Sebring BoP exemption to challenge WEC GTE Pro rivals

Corvette needs to be granted an exemption to the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro Balance of Performance in order to compete with its class rivals at next month's Sebring round

Corvette needs Sebring BoP exemption to challenge WEC GTE Pro rivals

Mike Rockenfeller and Jan Magnussen finished a distant sixth, three laps down on the class-winning #97 Aston Martin Vantage, in the new-for-2020 Corvette C8.R they shared at last weekend's Austin round.

Rockenfeller estimated that the Corvette, which was losing 4mph to its rivals in a straight line owing to what team manager Ben Johnson described before the weekend as a "conservative BoP", lost 50 seconds each stint to its rivals.

Only a late battery problem for the #91 Porsche prevented the Corvette from finishing last in the seven-car GTE Pro field.

Given the automatic BoP used by the class is only designed to make changes after two races, Rockenfeller said Corvette will need to be given additional help if the C8.R is to be any more competitive on its next outing in the Sebring 1000 Miles.

"I really hope they do something, otherwise we're just driving around burning fuel and tyres," the Audi DTM regular told Autosport.

"It's not up to me, but the people in the FIA and the ACO [WEC organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest] know what they are doing.

"Personally, I hope we at Sebring can fight for something.

"I don't want us to be by far the fastest car, but hopefully we can have a fair chance so that we can race the guys, and if we do a perfect job we can fight for something in the pack."

Reflecting on the Austin race, Rockenfeller added: "The positive was that we had no issues whatsoever, the car ran really well.

"Obviously we were lacking pace, but the ultimate goal was not to win here, just to do as well as we could.

"It takes a while for everyone to understand the car, there's still a margin on set-up to improve. It was not easy with just two [practice] sessions on that track to do it perfectly.

"But everybody has seen we are really struggling, especially on the straights. Even the [GTE] Am cars were quicker than us when they had the good guys in.

"When you're being lapped and you have no pace, it's not nice. But that was clear before the race; we didn't expect any different.

"There was no chance."

Rockenfeller had not driven the C8.R prior to the Austin weekend, but said he had seen enough potential to think the car will be in a position to win races soon.

"It's not that we are not trying," he said.

"We are here on home ground for Corvette, a lot of fans are supporting us, so it's not like we are happy to be where we are pace-wise.

"But this team has won so much in the past, this car will be fast. It's a matter of time.

"It was already good in Daytona, super-strong, so I expect a lot from the C8.R."

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