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Corvette Racing Leaving The ALMS?

by Keith Cornett on December 18, 2006

Corvette Racing at Leguna Seca“Challenging” is the word Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager, uses to describe the 2006 racing season. Not only did Corvette compete with Aston Martin and other challengers in the GT1 class, they also had to compete against a sanctioning body that at times last year appeared to have it in for Corvette Racing. Balance of Performance adjustments were continually assessed against Corvette Racing throughout the 2006 campaign. Starting with 122 lbs at the beginning of the season at Sebring, the sanctioning body of the ALMS ramped up those adjustments to 199 lbs, plus smaller air restrictors and fuel tanks following Corvette’s 24 Hours of Le Mans win. With one race remaining and the outcome of the season on the line, the sanctions body handed down their seventh adjustment of the season: Both Corvette and Aston Martin would race a 2,535 pounds total, but Corvette would have a smaller engine restrictor. Aston Martin’s 009 won the GT1 Class and Corvette Racing’s No. 4 and No. 3 cars came in 2nd and 3rd at Laguna Seca. Corvette Racing, having amassed enough points earlier in the season, was able to win their 6th GT1 Manufacturer’s Cup. But despite the win, the battle with the ALMS Sanctioning Body may have taken its toll. When asked about next year, Doug Fehan replied “Right now, no decision has been made.” Fehan also would not rule out a jump to a European or Asian series. “We look for formats that allow us to demonstrate Corvette’s durability, reliability and performance… Corvette is a global brand… Expanding markets in China and Asia make it attractive to run a race in Beijing or Shanghai, for example.” Europe’s Le Mans or FIA series are also being considered. “Le Mans remains the cornerstone of what we do.” said Fehan. Fehan expects a decision to be made sometime around the first of the year. It’s our hope that Corvette Racing can stay in the ALMS, however, they must be allowed to compete without performance adjustments. Raising the bar breeds better racing teams. Lowering the bar signals defeat. Let’s hope the ALMS recognizes their errors. Otherwise, they risk losing a major manufacturer to a competing series. Source:
NCM’s America’s Sports Car Magazine
Pratt & Miller (image)
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