Defending Le Mans 24 Hours GTE-Pro winner Jordan Taylor has warned that Corvette Racing may have to take more risks to keep pace with their competitors after the turbocharged Ford GT and Ferrari 488 GTE locked out the top seven positions in qualifying.
Ford’s Dirk Müller took pole position in the dying moments of the first qualifying session on Wednesday evening, his time of 3:51.185 beating team-mate Ryan Briscoe’s benchmark time by three tenths of a second.
Whilst the new machinery Ford and Ferrari set the pace, the normally-aspirated entries from Porsche, Aston Martin and Corvette were left to fight for amongst themselves in the lower reaches of the top-ten.
Fred Makowiecki was the ‘best of the rest’ in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR, 3.7 seconds off Müller’s pace, while the two Corvette C7.Rs were rooted down in 13th and 14th positions.
“It’s a bit frustrating, obviously you always want to have the fastest car because it makes it easier to conserve a little bit,” Taylor said.
“We’ll be flat out from the green flag and will probably have to take a few more risks than everybody else to try to make up some time, but I have all the faith in the world that we can have the right strategy as well.”
Whilst Corvette may not have the one-lap pace of their rivals, following a 0.3 millimeter reduction to their air-intake, Taylor believes that the no. 64 car he shares with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner will thrive in the face of adversity.
“Corvette has gone into a lot of these races without the fastest car and this year we’re in a similar position,” he added.
“We’re on the back foot heading into Saturday and Sunday, but Corvette Racing always responds well to challenges like this and has won eight out of sixteen races despite always having the fastest car. We’ll just focus on our own race, that’s all we can really do at this point.”