Le Mans: Corvette, Dempsey, Scuderia Corsa make for heavy American podium presence

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LE MANS, France – It was a banner day for the U.S.A. at the Circuit de la Sarthe this Saturday and Sunday.

Corvette Racing captured a popular, comeback, emotional and overdue victory in the GTE-Pro class, while five American drivers finished on the podium in the GTE-Am class.

For Corvette, the win came after a thrilling back-and-forth bout with its trio of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor in the No. 64 Corvette C7.R against the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella, the defending race champions.

But gearbox problems resigned the Ferrari to the garage in the second-to-last hour and Corvette emerged triumphant at the end of a trying week, where the No. 63 Corvette C7.R with Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe had to withdraw after an early week accident caused by a mechanical issue.

“I am proud of how the No. 63 and No. 64 drivers, engineers and crew came together to rally around a single Corvette C7.R entry for the race after Thursday’s unfortunate incident,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “They prepared thoroughly and had each others’ back all race long. Perseverance, teamwork and execution were keys to the winning effort.

“It was very emotional to be in the garage with the entire team when the checkered flag dropped,” he added. “The Corvette Racing team simply never gave up.”

Said Gavin, who won his fifth Le Mans and first in nearly a decade since 2006: “Winning Le Mans is always a fairy tale story. The way everything turned out over the week, with the No. 63 Corvette having its issues and not being able to start the race… the way the team all came together and led us into the race and enabled us to have this fantastic result today, it’s just amazing.

“It’s just been one of those days where you’re waiting for something to spring up, like another hurdle to come in your way to stop you from taking a victory. It was a spectacular race for Tommy and Jordan and myself – one of those events where you’re having great races with Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche but in the end we were the strongest car and we ended up coming away with victory. This is my fifth victory here at Le Mans, and I’m absolutely thrilled to come back here with Corvette Racing. I’m a very happy man.”

The GTE-Am, battle, meanwhile was shaping up to only see one American entry on the podium, but wound up with two.

A last hour crash for the class-leading and erstwhile dominant No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 promoted the No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari F458 Italia to the class lead, and brought both the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR and No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia onto the podium after their own scrap had been for third.

For Patrick Dempsey, it marked his first Le Mans podium in four attempts (2009, 2013, 2014) in the car he shared with past Le Mans class winner Patrick Long, Porsche’s lone American factory driver, and Le Mans debutante Marco Seefried.

Meanwhile Scuderia Corsa’s trio of Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Jeff Segal podiumed in their Le Mans debut. Bell and Sweedler add the Le Mans podium to class wins at Daytona and Sebring.

Other American entries included Extreme Speed Motorsports and Krohn Racing in LMP2, both of which finished, while Riley Motorsports came up just shy of a finish in the final couple hours with gearbox issues on its mighty Dodge Viper GTS-R.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s