Corvette Racing at Imola: Strategic Dynamics and Team Effort

Written by Adrian Beecher

At the renowned Imola Circuit, the air is charged with anticipation as TF Sport’s two Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R teams gear up for the World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Imola. After a challenging qualifying session, the focus has shifted towards harnessing a robust race pace, aiming to advance through the competitive LMGT3 field.

Tom Van Rompuy, piloting the No. 81 Corvette alongside Rui Andrade and Corvette factory driver Charlie Eastwood, secured the 11th fastest qualifying time in class with a lap of 1:43.897. Their collective performance is particularly notable considering Van Rompuy’s pole position in the season opener at Qatar, indicating the team’s potential to excel with the Corvette’s growing capabilities.

Behind the No. 81, the No. 82 Corvette, manned by Hiroshi Koizumi, Sebastien Baud, and factory driver Daniel Juncadella, will start from the 13th spot. This trio, which achieved a commendable finish in the extended 10-hour race at Qatar, is poised to leverage their combined experience to climb the ranks.

Extensive Preparation and Team Insights

Leading up to the race, TF Sport conducted thorough testing at the 3.05-mile, 19-turn Imola circuit, optimizing their strategies and setups. Despite dominating in practice sessions, shifting track conditions during Saturday’s sessions prompted a strategic recalibration.

Driver Perspectives and Tactical Approach

Tom Van Rompuy reflected on the adjustments since Qatar, stating, “While some of our updates have proven effective, others are still being refined. We might lack some top speed, but our focus is on achieving a strong race setup.”

Charlie Eastwood highlighted the team’s adaptability: “Every session brings us closer to mastering this new Corvette. Although today’s final practice was challenging, we are becoming more adept at handling variable track conditions.”

Rui Andrade commented on the team’s progress: “Despite a setback in balance today, our performance in Friday’s sessions was strong. We’re still learning with every race, aiming for a cohesive performance tomorrow.”

Conversely, Hiroshi Koizumi expressed confidence in the car’s endurance capabilities: “Our strength lies in maintaining pace over longer runs. We’ll focus on sustaining a solid performance throughout the race.”

Daniel Juncadella discussed ongoing technical refinements: “We are continuously developing the car, especially in terms of engine driveability and power management. The challenges are consistent across the field, but our car feels great in corners.”

Sebastien Baud, thrilled about his European race debut in the WEC, is aiming high: “The car feels excellent, and the setup is ideal for Imola. Managing traffic will be key, but we’re targeting a top-five finish, hopefully reaching the podium.”


As race day approaches, with a scheduled start at 1 p.m. CET on Sunday, TF Sport’s teams are fine-tuning their strategies to ensure that both the No. 81 and No. 82 Corvettes perform optimally. Fans can catch live race coverage on MotorTrend, the FIA WEC app, and other streaming services, promising an exciting display of endurance racing prowess and strategic navigation through the demands of the Six Hours of Imola.

Image Credit Chevy Racing

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