In a recent article highlighting Corvette Racing’s Green initiative, GM Road Racing Group Manager Steve Wesoloski said the development of the GT2 Corvette is on track and should be ready to test for the first time in mid to late March.
As the C6.R racing program readies for the 2009 season, the American Le Mans Series and Michelin announced their partnership for the Michelin Green X Challenge. It was last year that Corvette Racing adopted cellulosic E85 and in doing so helped transform the image of Corvette from a gas guzzler to an energy efficient race car. Wesoloski says GM will continue the Green initiative as the GT2 race car will offer additional efficiencies:
“Certainly there have been lessons learned,” Wesoloski said. “There is a cross over with the production powertrain group as they are taking a lot from the V8 engines we race to make them compatible with E85. Those are things we learned from racing. Another thing we are doing with the GT2 car is weight. We have embraced the aluminum frame from the Z06 and ZR1. You can put these materials in the race car and (embrace) new technologies.”
“It’s going to be a long time before the auto industry finds the one magic solution,” he admitted. “In the meantime we’re all looking for answers. This (cellulosic E85) is one. We’re saying you don’t have to be afraid of ethanol. It’s good enough to race and good enough to drive to soccer practice. And we’re not touching the food chain. We’re trying to send that message, and using a cellulosic process is a big deal.”
Based on Wesoloski’s time frame for testing the GT2 Corvette, I’m wondering if its possible we’ll see the new car at Sebring. And why not? The 12 Hours of Sebring happens March 21st and with the entire Pratt & Miller team in Florida for the event, why not get the car on the track a day or two after the race (and after the GT2 competition has left) for a couple of test sessions. I’m also sure the C6.R fans would go ga-ga if they could get up close and personal with the new GT2 Corvette that is expected to carry on the winning tradition of the GT1 program.
American Le Mans racing kicks off its 11th season at the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 21. SPEED will televise the race live from 10 am – 12 noon and then from 2-11 pm EST.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving