Official Vehicle Program, Corvette Bridge, and Corvette World Tribute Highlight New Promotional Partnership
DETROIT – Chevrolet and Road America announced a multifaceted marketing partnership today that will put Chevrolet in the spotlight at one of America’s premier racing venues. Chevrolet is now the Official Vehicle of Road America, the renowned Corvette Bridge will return to the historic track, and the Corvette World Tribute will celebrate Corvette’s rich racing heritage.
“As we celebrate Chevrolet’s 100th birthday, it’s fitting that two icons of American racing, Chevrolet and Road America, join forces,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Road America has played a prominent role in Chevrolet’s racing programs for more than 55 years, and we look forward to even more success at this magnificent venue in the future.”
The scenic 4-mile, 14-turn track known as “America’s National Park of Speed” hosts events that span the spectrum of motorsports, including the American Le Mans Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, AMA Superbike, SCCA June Sprints and National Championship Runoffs, and historic car and motorcycle events.
“Road America is proud to renew a partnership with Chevrolet,” said George Bruggenthies, Road America president and general manager. “Chevrolet’s significant mark on the circuit over the past 55 years will make it a pleasure to promote not only their brand but their successful presence in the American Le Mans Series, GRAND-AM, NASCAR Nationwide Series, vintage racing and club racing. The return of the Corvette Bridge will be a great landmark for our fans at the track and our TV audience.”
A ceremony will be held to rededicate the famed Corvette Bridge, which spans the track at Turn 6. The Corvette Bridge was a signature landmark at the track from 1963-81, and the Corvette logo reappeared on the crossover in 1992. The Corvette World Tribute, to be held on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, following the seventh round of the ALMS, will include a Corvette racers reunion, club and pro series races, a concours, parade laps and other activities. Road America is working with the Registry of Corvette Race Cars (RCRC) to coordinate the Corvette World Tribute.
“Our relationship with Road America provides an opportunity for Chevrolet to showcase its entire motorsports portfolio and to connect with current and prospective customers in an exciting and engaging way throughout the year,” said Campbell. “Chevrolet will activate its sponsorship with trackside displays and promotions in cooperation with Chevrolet dealer organizations at many of the events on the Road America schedule.”
Road America figures prominently in Chevrolet’s racing history. Bill Mitchell, GM’s vice president of design, was an avid racer who fielded the original Sting Ray racer driven by Corvette legends John Fitch and Dick Thompson at Road America. Mitchell chose Elkhart Lake as the venue to preview his stunning Mako Shark concept car in June 1961; the Shark’s sharp-edged body and hidden headlights foreshadowed key features of the production 1963 Corvette. Wisconsin-based racers Augie Pabst and Jim Jeffords excelled in sports car racing in the early ’60s with their Chevy-powered machines. The lightweight Grand Sport Corvette created by Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov rumbled through Road America’s rolling hills with racing luminaries Roger Penske, Jim Hall and Hap Sharp sharing the driving chores. Notable Chevrolet racers who have made their mark on the legendary circuit include Tony DeLorenzo, Jerry Thompson, John Greenwood, John Heinricy, Ron Fellows, and many more. In modern times, Corvette Racing has notched six victories at Road America in ALMS competition.