FIA WEC: Silverstone Preview
photo credit: Paolo Briatico
The month of April is upon us, which means only one thing: Its time to go racing! After a busy off season, all the hard work and preparation has lead to this weekends kickoff of the FIA World Endurance Championship (or FIA WEC for short). Several of the Worlds top makes will take to the track in anger at the Silverstone circuit in England. Returning again for this year is a familiar face in the GTE-AM category, with the French squad of Larbre Competition. After a very successful campaign with a brace of C6R GTE machines (including victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans), the team return with a brand new "V8 beast": The C7.R.
Fresh from its stint at this years Daytona 24 Hours, the former Corvette Racing C7R Chassis has been acquired by Jack Laconte's squad to take on the GTE-AM category. After picking up the car in Detroit, the team completed a successful shakedown at the bumpy Sebring Circuit in Florida. Joining the team for this year, are former 8 Star Ferrari drivers Paolo Ruberti, and Gianluca Roda. A welcome addition for this season, is that of reigning GTE-AM Champion (& former Aston Martin Racing driver) Kristian Poulsen.
In preparation for this weekends enduro, the French squad completed a brief (but successful) 2 day test at their local circuit of Val de Vienne, in France. As for what is ahead for the team? This season, the calendar for the FIA WEC is certainly grandiose in scale. After Round 1 in the UK, the calendar will take teams and drivers to Spa in Belgium, followed by the famous 24 Hrs of Le Mans. Once the Summer break concludes, The cars will rejoin at the end of August at the Nurburgring in Germany, before heading to the US at Austin Texas (in September). FIA WEC will "hop the globe" again, to the Island of Japan at the Fuji circuit in October, while in November it will move to Shanghai China before the grand finale in Bahrain.
photo credit: Paolo Briatico
2015 Season Team Quotes:
"I am ready and well motivated for this new challenge: Corvette is fascinating car and I am proud on being part of the only lineup taking it on track in FIA WEC. During winter we did a great preparation work in testing and we get to Silverstone confident in having what it takes to run a good LMGTE AM championship. The objective is to score points in all the races, especially in the 24 hours, and make consistency one of the pillars on which to base our classification".
“I am happy to be with Larbe Competition for 2015! The experience so far with the team has been great! The team are fantastic and extremely competent, and Jack (Laconte) is massively passionate about his work as team manager. The car has taken a little getting used to but, now I’m more familiar with it, as the Corvette seems really responsive to even the slightest set-up change. I think Paolo, Kristian and I will work really well together and I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on in the championship.”
“Its great to be back in the FIA WEC. The Corvette felt really good during pre season testing, which there were no problems. The team looks really strong this year and my co-drivers have a lot of experience, so hopefully we have a good chance of winning some races, and perhaps even Le Mans and the championship. I’m very much looking forward to the season getting underway at Silverstone this weekend.”
Jack Leconte, Team Manager:
“Four years ago our partnership with Corvette Racing began with the C6.R at Sebring. Over the years, we have nurtured our relationship with the US manufacturer and achieved tremendous results together. For that reason we were really excited to trial the new C7.R on track. The car has great potential, as has already been proven after its class win at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours in late-January. The engineers and mechanics massively benefitted from their trip to Detroit, once they’d acclimatised to the difference in temperature between Florida and France!
“With regard to the drivers, we’re delighted to welcome one of the reigning LMGTE Am champions, Kristian Poulsen, to our team. As for Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti, we’re obviously familiar with their talent behind the wheel seeing as the pair of them finished just behind us two years in a row in both ILMC and WEC. All in all, we’re delighted with the strength and consistency of our 2015 crew."
Live coverage for this weekends event can be viewed at www.fiawec.com as well as our twitter feed: @Corvettems