Corvettes at leMans 2017 'Just wasn't our day' for Le Mans win - Taylor






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    Corvettes at leMans 2017 'Just wasn't our day' for Le Mans win - Taylor



    'Just wasn't our day' for Le Mans win - Taylor

    Sunday, 18 June 2017
    By RACER Staff / Image by JEP/LAT

    While Corvette Racing climbed the Le Mans podium for the second time in four years, its third-place finish by Jordan Taylor, Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen was a tough pill to swallow.
    Taylor dueled with Jonny Adam in the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage to the line after the final round of pit stops, with Taylor initially proving untouchable. But Adam's multiple attempts to take the lead paid off when Taylor made a mistake into the second Mulsanne, causing a slow puncture on the car. Adam then got by at the Ford Chicanes at the start of the final lap.
    The C.7R limped across the line third, having also been passed by the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK entry driven by Harry Tincknell, the ninth class win for the American marque denied at the last moment.

    "Obviously it was a disappointing finish," Taylor said. "But if you look at the whole 24-hour race, we weren't always up front. So leaving with a podium finish is something we can be proud of. When you come so close, extremely close, that is the frustrating part. I think we showed a never-give-up attitude.

    "We went two minutes down early in the race and fought back from there. A lot of people doubted that we could bring it back. I think everyone executed well and unfortunately it just wasn't our day."

    The No. 63 Corvette overcame an early-race tire puncture, as well as a brake change near the 10.5-hour mark Corvette says it took approximately 75 seconds to do all four wheels and the engineering team got the car back on the same pit strategy as the race leaders just after dawn Sunday.

    "If you have a small mistake, your plan changes and this turns into a catch-up race," Garcia said. "That's what happened to us. It took us 18 or 19 hours to catch back up to the leaders after the small puncture in my first stint. Another small puncture took out the opportunity for us to win this race. We had two of them at exactly the wrong moments. It's a shame.
    "After all the good work and strategy calls we made today, it's disappointing. We were in the right spot to win. It was a fair fight with the Aston Martin. We had a chance but it didn't happen. We come here to win this race. There is no other place we want to be. It's a shame for the entire team. We all worked very hard in preparation. Both Jan and Jordan did fantastic jobs driving. There were just a number of things that went against us."
    Added Magnussen: "The race was one where everyone was so close and so evenly matched. When Antonio had a cut tire and had to come in early (in his second stint), that put us behind everybody and on a different strategy. That also meant that we would not be catching the slow zones in the same everyone else and that really started to bite us. So we fell further and further back. Until we got back on the same strategy as everyone else, it was an uphill fight.
    "But the car was good and the team worked fantastic the whole time. Antonio and Jordan drove perfect throughout the whole race. When we perform like this as a team, it's difficult not to be disappointed with the outcome. A podium at Le Mans is pretty decent; it's just not what we came for."
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