When the all-new C7.R Corvette race car was revealed at the North American International Auto Show last Monday, a small contingent of personnel from Corvette Racing and Pratt and Miller were on hand to witness the event.
We caught up with Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager, on the show floor and spoke with him about the new race car and the inaugural race of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
It’s been nearly a year since we last talked with Doug and it’s always refreshing to hear what the good Dr. has to say.
We start the video with a quick look at the new C7.R and then we jump right into the interview by asking him if it felt like Christmas. Fehan responded “It’s almost like Christmas everyday when your working at Corvette but today was an especially proud day for all of us, not only on the race team but on the production side as well, winning the North American Car of the Year Award at the Detroit Auto Show was an amazing feat.”
One of the topics we were interested in hearing from Dr. Fehan was about the technological transfer between the race and street cars. This was a special moment though as the Corvette Z06 and C7.R were developed in tandem. At least that’s what we thought. Doug straightens us out by talking about what was learned on C6 and then transferring that technology and knowledge to the C7 program.
We were especially interested in how the C7.R would be able to take advantage of some of its new capabilities. Direct Injection is now on the production Corvettes and that means the race team has it on the returning 5.5 liter V8 race engines. Doug says the new DI should eliminate the need for one fuel stop at Le Mans. And if you’ve follow the Corvettes at Le Mans where the action in GT is always super tight and the difference between winning and second place can be just a few minutes, you’ll realize how big of an impact this could make.
Finally we talk about taking the new car the grueling 24 Hours of Daytona and Doug fills us in on the two new endurance drivers that will come on board in 2014: Ryan Briscoe (#3 C7.R) and Robin Liddell (#4 C7.R).
Here’s our interview with Doug Fehan from the floor of NAIAS in Detroit last week:
The new Corvette Racing C7.Rs will take the track for the first campaign at the 24 Hours of Daytona this Saturday. Follow CorvetteBlogger.com as well be posting updates from the race throughout the weekend.
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving