Looking for something cool to do for New Years? Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving has opened up registration for their popular New Year’s Eve Rapid Precision Maneuvers (RPM) event on Thursday, December 31, 2009 from 8 am to 12 noon. The New Year’s RPM program is a four-hour course featuring a timed autocross even, accident avoidance and lead and follow time on the 15-turn, 1.6-mile Bondurant track.
The Corvette Racing team was at Road Atlanta for three days last week for tire testing. Oliver updates us on who was there and the process of picking tires for next year’s GT2 campaign. We also learn from the video that Jan Magnussen broke his tailbone in the accident with Jorg Bergmeister’s Porsche at Laguna Seca. The team is trying out a new seat to prevent that type of injury from occuring in the future.
Sports Car Insider recently had a chance to ask Corvette Racing’s Program Manager five questions covering both personal and business aspects of his life. One of my favorite questions is what would Doug be doing if he wasn’t involved in racing. Check out Sports Car Insider to see his answers.
Sports Car Insider
La Carrera Panamericana is a 7 day/2,000 mile road rally run in stages along Mexico’s Panamerican Highway. Here are two Corvettes that recently competed in the classic south-of-the-border race.
American Le Mans fans have voted Corvette Racing’s first GT2 win at Mosport in August as the series story of the year. If you remember, Mosport was just the third race in the GT2 class for the new ZR1-based Corvette C6.R. It was also Johnny O’Connell’s 100th start in an ALMS race. The #3 Corvette C6.R fended off an epic challenge by the #62 Risi Ferrari in the closing minutes at Mosport, but Jan Magnussen was able to stay in front for the win.
I received this youtube video link from John in California. The amateur video shot from the stands shows the conclusion of the ALMS race at Laguna Seca. The video clearly captures what we believed the sequence of events were all along: Magnussen was in front of Bergmeister in the Flying Lizards Porsche and was pulling away. Contact between the two cars caused the #3 Corvette C6.R to spin in front of the #45 Porsche and hard into the inside wall.
ISMA, the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series said on Monday that Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Flying Lizards Porsche driver Jorg Bergmeister were placed on a two-race probation starting with Sebring at the start of the 2010 season. The two drivers were issued probation for their parts in the “avoidable contact” that resulted with Jan Magnussen crashing at the finish line at Laguna Seca. The penalty for any further offenses during the probation period will result in a minimum two-race ban from competition.
The American Le Mans Series held their annual awards banquet in Monterey and it was announced that Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan was honored with the “From the Fans” award. The award is Fehan’s second straight From the Fans award which is based on input from fans through voting at AmericanLeMans.com.
Although GT1 was unrecognized in the official ALMS season awards release, our friends at BadBoy Vettes remind us that it was Gavin and Beretta who came out on top of the GT1 drivers. To do so, they had to beat the best in class!
Corvette Racing wrapped up the 2009 ALMS season with a bang yesterday at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. However, since the race is tape-delayed, we’re holding off on our post race coverage until after the race airs this afternoon. If you want to see what Doug Fehan calls some of the best final laps in racing, tune into SPEED today at 2:30 PM EST and check back with us later for a full report.
With about 9 minutes left in the Monterey Sports Car Challenge, Jan Magnussen and the #3 Corvette C6.R came up behind the class leading #45 Flying Lizard Porsche driven by Joerg Bergmeister and the race to the checkered flag was on. In dramatic fashion, the two GT2 cars traded positions and paint a number of times before the final seconds when after a punt by Magnussen in turn 11, both cars turned up the straightway and raced toward the finish line. Magnussen clearly had the faster car but Bergmeister held a line that put Mags hard into the inside wall just shy of the finish line.
Following the crash, Jan was taken to the trackside medical center where he was examined and released.
“It was really good, hard racing,” said Magnussen. “I didn’t think I even had a chance after I had to give the position back. Going into the last corner I was too far away to make a proper attack, but Joerg parked the car. I didn’t see that, so I slid up and hit him a little â€“ he went sideways and I managed to get on the inside. It was a drag race up the hill, and I managed to get ahead of him. Then he turned me into the wall, and he kept turning in. Then I spun around the nose of his car.”
The Porsche was credited with the 1.037-second victory while Magnussen’s crash propelled him across the finish line for second place. The #4 Corvette C6.R had its own set of unique issues and finished 12 laps down in 10th place.
Following an epic battle such as this, you’ll hear both camps defending the actions of their drivers. Porsche fans say that Mags deserved it as he was driving too aggressive. Corvette fans will say that Bergmeister was blocking for much of the final laps and the push on turn 11 was justified. What I saw was two racing teams who both wanted to win and both were racing hard down to the final flag. I actually think we are seeing the beginning of a great rivalry.
The last two points to make:
- 159 days until the 12 Hours of Sebring
- Jake Never Forgets!
The offical press release from Corvette Racing.