Charlie Eastwood bemoans speed issues as Corvette Racing narrowly miss out on top 10 finish at Le Mans

Belfast driver happy with development of car despite technical issues

1000016844.jpg (Richard Prince richard@rprincephoto.com)

BELFAST racer Charlie Eastwood put Corvette Racing’s low-rank finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans down to a top-speed deficit compared to the U.S. manufacturer’s LMGT3 competitors.

Having qualified the number 81 Z06 GT3.R 18th for round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the combined efforts of Eastwood and team-mates Tom Van Rompuy and Rui Andrade saw them claw back three positions at the end of the 92nd instalment of the iconic meeting.

A potential top-10 finish was thwarted when a new nose cone had to be fitted following contact with a rival during the first safety car period, which spanned over four hours, before a further 10 laps of racing with seven hours remaining was lost when Eastwood experienced a power loss issue.

This forced the Irishman to visit the pits where the problem was eventually rectified by mechanics.

They eventually took the chequered flag 13 laps behind the victorious Manthey EMA Porsche 911 RSR of 19-year-old Morris Schuring, Yasser Shahin and Richard Lietz, who followed-up their success at May’s Total Energies Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium by delivering another faultless display.

The sister 82 Corvette Racing car of Hiroshi Koizumi, Sebastien Baud, and Corvette factory driver Daniel Juncadella narrowly missed out on a top 10 result with the TF Sport-run squad on Sunday.

1000016843.jpg (Richard Prince/Richard Prince/rprincephoto.com)

“I am happy to get to the end of the race. It threw close to everything at us, especially with the weather and the conditions. There were a lot of tricky stints – and not one single stint in full dry conditions,” said Eastwood after his fifth appearance at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest meeting.

“In a clean, dry race we were not fast enough but the car is amazing, that is the frustrating thing. We were so much stronger in every corner; in Porsche Curves, we ate every car alive but when we got down to the big straights, we couldn’t keep up It is a shame because everything was going great on our side.

“We just didn’t do the easy bit – which is going down the straights – very well.”

“I am super proud of everyone for all of the work that has been happening – both from the Geneal Motors’ and Corvette Racing side but also TF Sport who help run the car,” Eastwood continued.

“The rate of development that we have had with this car in this space of six months has been insane. Hopefully the development continues and we come back here next year even stronger.”