We’ve been hearing rumblings in recent weeks that Chevrolet was set to unveil a new prototype car for the 2012 racing season. Yesterday at the storied Daytona International Speedway, those rumors gave way to the real deal as Chevy pulled back the cover on an all new 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype. The new Corvette Daytona Prototype will make its racing debut in the 50th anniversary of the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series Rolex 24 at Daytona next January 26-29, 2012.
It was a manufacturer-friendly design rule change for 2012 that allowed Chevrolet to go all in on the new Corvette Prototype. The new prototypes are allowed a smaller cockpit and streamlined roof, along with the ability to customize the body to make them appear more like the street cars they are named after. Unlike previous Daytona Prototypes, this car is much sleeker and the Corvette design cues are evident everywhere. When looking at this car, you will think “Corvette”.
Here is the introduction video by Chevrolet showing the Corvette under construction this summer at Pratt & Miller:
GM’s Racing director Mark Kent stated that the new 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype was a multi-faceted effort involving Chevrolet, Corvette designers, Pratt & Miller and GRAND-AM. He went on to say that inspiration for this new Corvette was the IMSA GTP Corvette Prototype raced by Hendrick Motorsports in the 1980s.
Four teams have signed up to campaign the new Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2012:
- Spirit of Daytona Racing;
- SunTrust Racing;
- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and the
- Action Express Racing teams
One of the drivers for Spirit of Daytona Racing is none other than Antonio Garcia, the endurance driver for the #3 Corvette Racing C6.R. Garcia should some laps in the car today as the Corvette Prototype participates in GRAND-AM testing at Daytona International Speedway.
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports was on hand for the unveiling and said the following:
“Sports car and endurance racing is an outstanding platform for manufacturers like us to test and learn. The design of this race car incorporates iconic Corvette styling cues and will be immediately recognized by sports car enthusiasts and fans of GRAND-AM Road Racing,” Campbell said. “We are excited to see the Corvette DP compete in the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona next January.”
The Corvette Daytona Prototype is more than just a DP with Corvette cues. The new car is powered by a 500 horsepower Chevy small-block V8 so that deep throaty V8 sound that Corvette Racing fans are accustomed to will also be one of the hallmarks of the new Corvette Daytona Prototype.
Corvette fans who follow GRAND-AM racing are no doubt excited by yesterday’s announcement and unveiling, but the bulk of ALMS fans we’re connected with have expressed some reservations in seeing a Daytona Prototype with the Corvette name attached.
What are your thoughts on this new Corvette Daytona Prototype?