Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan was presented with the From The Fans Award at the American Le Mans awards ceremony following last weekend’s season finale, the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca. Mike West, crew chief for the #4 Corvette C6.R was named GT1 Mechanic of the Year. Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell won the GT1 drivers championship and Chevrolet took home the GT1 manufacturers championship trophy for the eighth straight year.
Fehan’s win of the From the Fans award is significant because itâ€™s determined by ALMS fans in online voting. The purpose is to award the person who has made the greatest contribution to sports car racing in the year. Fehan was very busy this year as one of the most visible supporters of the Green Challenge initiative. Doug also helped raise more than $6,000 in the Corvette Challenge Bike Race to Fight Cancer which benefited the Lance Armstrong Foundation by racing C6.R driver Oliver Gavin in a lap around Road America.
“Each and every one of our team members knows how to take care of our fans â€“ not only our fans, but all fans,” said Fehan. “Anybody who visits Corvette Racing knows that hospitality is our No. 1 priority. We try to make everyone feel at home.”
Johnny Oâ€™Connell and Jan Magnussen won the GT1 drivers championship. This was the third time Oâ€™Connell won award, and his first with teammate Jan Magnussen. Johnny came within three votes of winning the Most Popular Driver award.
“Jan and I were teamed together in 1999 with another marque, and we never got that second season,” said O’Connell. “I’m so grateful to everyone at Chevrolet for giving us the opportunity to realize what I thought would have happened in 2000. I’m blessed that throughout my career I’ve had great teammates, guys that I could push and that could push me. To all the great champions, whether you won or not, it’s an honor for all of us to compete with you week in and week out.”
The GT1 Mechanic of the Year went to Mike West, crew chief of the #4 Corvette C6.R. The recipient is selected by the pit lane and technical staffs of the IMSA. This was Mikeâ€™s first time to win the prestigious award.
Finally, Corvette Racing claimed its eight consecutive team title in the GT1 class. GMâ€™s Racing Director Mark Kent accepted the manufacturers trophy and said the following:
“Corvette Racing has achieved remarkable results in 10 years of competition in the GT1 category,” Kent said. “The 2008 season marks the end of one chapter in Corvette Racing history, and the beginning of a new chapter as we move into the GT2 category in 2009. We look back at our past success with pride, and we look forward to new challenges with determination to succeed. We anticipate great competition, and I can think of no team that is better prepared for that challenge than Corvette Racing.”
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving