A Conversation with Doug Fehan at the 2011 Petit Le Mans

A Conversation with Doug Fehan at the 2011 Petit Le Mans

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A Conversation with Doug Fehan at the 2011 Petit Le Mans

CorvetteBlogger was on the ground last week at Road Atlanta for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans. We had the opportunity to talk with Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan about the 2nd full season of GT racing, the win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and changes for the 2012 program which including building two new Corvette C6.Rs that are 2 inches wider.

Obviously, the big news from this interview is that Pratt & Miller will be building a new car for 2012. Doug says the new rule change allows them be on par with Ferrari which has been allowed to run a wider car since 2010. The additional width will come from enhancing the flares on the cars as the rules still require the team to use the Corvette ZR1’s production fenders and chassis. Doug adds that the new car will be the focus of testing over the winter break which will start for the team later this month.

The other good news is that despite a report from SPEED saying funding for the 2012 season wasn’t yet approved, Fehan says the program for 2012 is all wrapped up, but the team has to look at the details to make sure the dollars are maximized to ensure the team can do all it needs to (like building new cars).

Lastly, Fehan may have inadvertently given us a tidbit on the C7 program. We were discussing the tire wear that plagued the Corvettes at Laguna Seca in September and I asked Doug if he talked with his Michelin tire engineer Lee Willard about that and what his comments were. (Lee Willard is also the man who engineer the Michelin tires specifically for the Corvette ZR1). Doug responded that Lee wasn’t at Laguna Seca and was back in Detroit working on the new tire for the upcoming C7 Corvette.



Related:
Corvette Racing Finishes Fourth in ALMS Season Finale
Corvettes to Start Eighth and Ninth in Petit Le Mans
Corvette Racing: Links for Petit Le Mans
Corvette Racing at Petit Le Mans: The Long and Winding Road Atlanta

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I sincerely hope they make some progress and embrace a more aggressive strategy because short of Sebring and Lemans they were really uncharacteristically off this season

  2. Please keep in mind this was the first year CR was using the “complete” new GT2/GTE class car with the 5.5L engine AND the new F1 paddle shifting. CR has been so successful that they walk around with a bull’s-eye on them for new rules and regs. Hell it was summed up perfectly in Atlanta – they qualify a full second faster than last year – with less of an overall car and still only grabbed the #8 spot on the starting grid. That’s not CR fans picking and choosing talking points to support their perspective -that’s just the cold, hard ugly truth that something is very wrong with the Rules/Regs utilized in ’11.

    The fact that the ALMS recognized the issues and therefore P&M will be delivering a new car that at least should be close in specs with the competition is very promising. From Doug on down – everyone at CR personifies focus, commitment, dedication and success. Given everyone’s relentless pursuit for winning combined with the fact that the field will be a bit more even I think Ferrari, BMW, Porsche an all others will be enjoying whatever the new livery displays on the back of the car. Hopefully a big, nasty looking Jake with his tongue hanging out! Regardless, great job to everyone at Corvette Racing for 2011 – Le Mans victory #7! Perhaps it’s time they consider changing the name from La Sarthe to something more appropriate. Jake’s Playground perhaps?

    Keep it up guys! You represent Corvette Racing which is immensely important to all of us, but I also feel you represent the US and how great we are and can still be. The equipment is very important, ( and we all love the Corvette) but it’s the team’s attitude, drive and execution race after race, year after year that brings home the victories and has made them the one of the most successful racing programs in the world.

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