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Corvette Racing

#63 Corvette C6.R at Le Mans

The twin Velocity Yellow C6.R Corvettes belonging to the Corvette Racing team should be very pleased with their performance today in the opening qualifying sessions of the 76th running of the 24 Hours of LeMans. Both Corvettes traded the lead in the GT1 class with each other during the two periods and at the end of the first day it was Jan Magnussen in the #63 Corvette leading the GT1 class with a lap of 3:49.406 while Oliver Gavin is 1.360 seconds behind with a time of 3:50.766.

Q1 Results – LMGT1 Class
Car # Team Car Driver Time
63 Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R Magnussen, J. 3:49.406
64 Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R Papis, M. 3:50.766
50 Labre Competition Saleen S7R Smet, D. 3:50.920
55 IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini Murcielago Hezemans, M. 3:52.175
009 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 Turner, D. 3:52.266
007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 Piccini, A. 3:52.527
72 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R Moreau, G. 3:53.990
73 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R Goueslard, P. 3:55.736
53 Vitaphone Racing Team Aston Martin DBR9 Leventis, N. 3:57.371
59 Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 Borcheller, T. 3:58.193

Today’s qualifying times are much faster than what we saw last year. Although bad weather caused the 2nd Qualifying round to be cancelled, During last year’s 1st Round, Gavin ran the fastest time for Corvette Racing at 3:52.130 which was good for a third place start while Magnussen’s 3:52.657 put the #63 Corvette C6.R on the grid at 5th place.

The 2nd Qualifying Session picks up again tomorrow afternoon and you can follow the action at LeMans.org


Source
LeMans.org
Photo Credit: LeMans.org Michel Jamin – ACO/Nikon

Related:
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing’s Team Photos
LeMans 2008: Corvette Racing’s Drivers Reflect on First LeMans Visit
LeMans 2008: Corvettes Take To The Track For Test Day

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Corvette Racing’s group of drivers for the 24 Hours of Le Mans has a record any team in the paddock would envy. The six pilots have combined for 144 class wins in the American Le Mans Series and 17 at Le Mans with Corvette Racing winning five times since 2001. Despite all the success, the memories, history and significance of Le Mans still resonate throughout the team.

Olivier Beretta
Olivier Beretta
“My first experience at the track in 1995 was wonderful, but the race was not. Le Mans is such a famous event, but I had only watched it on television and had no idea what it was really about. I was happy to be here, but the race did not go well for us. Our Courage did not pass the technical inspection and was not allowed to start the race because it was too light, so it was a big disappointment. But after that, every year at Le Mans has been a wonderful experience.”


Ron Fellows
Ron Fellows
“I first went to Le Mans in 1999 with Herb Fishel (GM Racing director), Joe Negri (GM Racing Road Racing Group manager) and John Rice (engine development manager). After our first Daytona-Sebring experience with the Corvette, we planned on racing in Le Mans in 2000, so Herb and Joe asked me to go to Le Mans to get a feel for what it was like.

“On the morning of the race, the race director gave me a ride around the circuit in a Corvette. It was very cool to have some level of understanding when I came back the following year to race. Le Mans is very different – the way the paddock works, the scrutineering process; it’s all quite different than what we have in North America.

“I remember my first four laps in 2000 – it was like, ‘Wow, here we are!’ The run from Mulsanne down to Indianapolis was amazing. To do it in a street car is one thing, but when you’re going 190 mph it’s like driving in a tunnel.”


Johnny O'Connell
Johnny O’Connell
“My first Le Mans was in 1994 with the Nissan team, when we won the GT1 class. The most impressive thing was driving down Mulsanne before the race in a rental car. Just seeing the length of it, seeing how similar everything was to the movie Le Mans. When you go to Le Mans for the first time and see the Dunlop Bridge and all of the historic landmarks, it drives home the significance of this race. It felt even more special to me than going to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Le Mans is a magical place, and every year here you learn something. Your first laps here are special, and you never forget them. Winning in my first year at Le Mans was a great experience, and to have won it a couple of more times since then is really good.”


Jan Magnussen
Jan Magnussen
“My first Le Mans was in 1999 when I shared a Panoz with Johnny O’Connell and Max Angelelli. Just driving at a track that has so much history was a great experience. It was my first endurance race, so I had no idea how long 24 hours really was. Halfway into the race we were about 40 laps down after several long pit stops with big problems. By six o’clock in the morning I was so tired – I hadn’t slept at all because it was all new and I wanted to experience it all. That’s when I realized there was still 10 hours to go!

“When I went home, I told everyone that was the last time I’d ever do Le Mans. But things change, and now Le Mans is my absolute favorite race of the year. Le Mans is the greatest race, but it helps when you’re with one of the best teams.”
 

Corvette Racing returns to the track on Wednesday for 2 days of qualifying and practice sessions. The 24 Hours of LeMans gets underway at 3pm local time on Saturday, June 14th. SPEED TV will be carrying much of the race live.


Source
Motorsport.com

Related:
LeMans 2008: Corvettes Take To The Track For Test Day
LeMans 2007: #63 Corvette C6.R Finishes in 2nd Place

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[VIDEO] VetteGirl.TV Video Series Makes Debut

by Keith Cornett on June 5, 2008

VetteGirl.TV Video Series

Becky Anderson is a typical mother of three, but after meeting Patrick Gramm of Digital Corvettes and Vette Dogs fame, she trades in the minivan for Patrick’s 2002 Z06 Corvette race car. “Becky has no qualifications whatsoever to be a Corvette race car driver, except for her enthusiasim and desire to go really fast.” This is the set up for the first episode of Vette Girl, a new weekly video series that chronicles Becky’s pursuit of speed. According to some of the comments from Patrick, the show has grand aspirations for 40 episodes this year.

Here’s the first episode which has Becky taking the broken Z06 to the shop and acutally gets a lesson on performing some of the mechanical upgrades herself:

New episodes of Vette Girl’s racing adventures will be shown on DigitalCorvettes.com when available. Also, check out the forums for discussing the videos.


Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Vette Dogs Corvette TV Show Makes Debut

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LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies GT2 #28 Corvette

As the next ALMS race doesn’t take place until after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we’ll take a look back to last weekend’s GT2 class at the Utah Grand Prix. The LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies #28 Corvette driven by Eric Curran and Lou Giglotti were in the hunt for their first podium finish for much of the race. The team is continuing to show improvement week to week and even the commentators from SPEED were impressed.

Performance adjustments allowed the team to shed some weight off the #28 Corvette and the car appeared to be much faster than some of the races we’ve seen over the previous weeks. As for the final results, the team came in 7th in the GT2 class which was their best class finish yet.

We’ll continue to follow Lou and the #28 Corvette as it battles the dominant Porsches and Ferraris in the ultra-competitive GT2 class.


Source:
SPEED

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: #3 C6.R Scores Third GT1 Win at Utah

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Corvette Racing in Salt Lake City

Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen cruised to their third victory of the year at Sunday’s Utah Grand Prix at the Miller Motorsports Park outside of Salt Lake City. The #3 Corvette C6.R finished the two hour thirty minute race with a one-minute, 4.9-second victory over their #4 Corvette C6.R teammates Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin. O’Connell and Magnussen now hold an eight point lead (86-78) in the GT1 Drivers Championship.

This was a race that really wasn’t a race as the teams used the 3.048 road circuit as their final test and tune-up for next month’s 24 hours of Le Mans. Keeping the two Corvettes out of danger was the top priority and luckily they did just that. It was such a non-race that SPEED gave the Corvette Racing team just two and half minutes of direct coverage.

The two Corvette C6.Rs are now on their way back to Detroit where they will be cleaned up and then shipped to France later this week.

Corvette Racing’s next event is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Le Mans, France, on June 14-15. The 76th running of the classic 24-hour endurance race on the 8.5-mile Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans will begin at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EDT). Portions of the race will be televised live on SPEED.


Source:
SPEED
Photo Credit: American LeMans

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races
Corvette Racing: O’Connell, Magnussen Win GT1 at Long Beach

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Corvette Racing in Salt Lake City

Olivier Beretta dug deep on his third and final qualifying lap to win the GT1 Pole in Sunday’s Utah Grand Prix with a fastest lap of 1:43.869 (105.641 mph), edging his teammate Johnny O’Connell in the #3 C6.R by just .175 seconds. The pole win was the 22nd for Corvette Racing’s driver from Monaco.

The battle for the GT1 pole was split in the first two laps with Beretta winning the first lap and O’Connell winning the second.

“Mike West, my crew chief, told me on my second lap that I was behind Johnny, so I said to myself, ‘OK, this is the last lap, I must do the maximum that I can,’” said Beretta. “My Corvette C6.R was perfect, so the quick lap time came.”

The road course at Miller Motorsports Park has been once of the favorites of the Corvette Racing team in recent years. This year, the course has been reconfigured to a 3.048 circuit.

“It’s good to be quick for three qualifying laps, but the car must be quick and comfortable for the whole race,” Beretta noted. “This is the last preparation for the big race in Le Mans, so we have been testing and everything is working well. There is always strong competition between the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette on the track, but we are always working together to find out what can help us for Le Mans. That is the one race we really want to win.”

The Utah Grand Prix is the final ALMS race before the team packs up and heads to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June. The twin Corvette race cars are scheduled to be flown across the Atlantic just days after the Utah race.

“The cars have came through unscathed so far, and that’s our main objective this weekend,” reported Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “We’ve achieved good top speeds with the cellulosic E85R ethanol at this track so the new fuel is working really well for us. We’re also working on muffler development in view of the sound restrictions at Le Mans, and it looks like we’ll have good horsepower when we go to France.”

In GT2, LG Motorsports/Riley Technologies #28 Corvette finished with a fastest lap of 1:49.057 (100.615 mph) to start 9th out of the 14 cars that qualified.

The American Le Mans Series Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by The Grand and Little America Hotels, the fourth round of the 11-race ALMS, is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 18. SPEED will broadcast the two-hour, 45-minute race live at 3 p.m. EDT.


Source:
Photo Credit: American LeMans

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races
Corvette Racing: O’Connell, Magnussen Win GT1 at Long Beach

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GM Red Flags Corvette’s Le Mans Evo C7R Racer

by Keith Cornett on May 16, 2008

Conceptualized Mid Engine Corvette Evo C7R

The future of GM’s Corvette Racing program is cloudy once again with the decision by the corporation to shelve its mid-engine Le Mans “Evo” platform. The C7R (conceptualized above by Automobile Magazine) was expected to be the first American manufactured race car in 44 years to compete for the overall win at Le Mans, the world’s most prestigious endurance race. The move last month by ACO, the Le Mans rule-makers to backtrack on plans to launch the Evo class leaves Corvette Racing without a ride after the 2010 racing season, and my oh my what an awesome ride that would have been.

Back in 2007, new rules were adopted for Le Mans starting in 2010 that would have combined the GT1 and LMP1 into the “Evo” class. The Evo racers would have featured cars designed with closed cockpits in a move to emphasize more of the relationship between the racy road cars and their production siblings instead of the open cockpit formula styled cars currently running in the LMP1 class. However current LMP1 contestants including Audi and Peugeot complained loud and hard about the rule changes to the point that the ACO rules committee will allow them to continue in their current configuration, albeit modified to reduce overall top speeds, for years to come.

As usual, there are conflicting stories and finger-pointing as to the status of the Evo program with Sweet Pete De Lorenzo of AutoExtremist.com saying that the class is very much on and that the “brain trust” at GM was halting the program because a mid-engined Corvette wouldn’t have a direct connection to the production Corvette. His “rant” against GM’s preference for NASCAR above all other forms of racing is a great read for those of us who prefer the road racing efforts epitomized by the success of Corvette. GM’s road-racing program director Steve Wesoloksi said the Evo program has only been suspended due to the questionable regulations surrounding the revised Le Mans classes. And while cost concerns were a factor, he does say the door is open to resuming the Evo program should the class move forward.

Corvette Racing has essentially been racing itself the last two years because of these pending rule changes. With the Evo racer shelved and no competition likely in the GT1 class, a move down to the GT2 class is now looking more certain. GM’s contract with Pratt & Miller runs through 2010 so its likely we’ll see the team racing the familiar C6.Rs for at least the near future.

Wesoloski also said the FIA, Europe’s counterpart to the ALMS, and the ACO are working with GM, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin to produce a single GT class based more on the specifications of production cars, which would allow the companies to compete head-to-head. So despite the loss of the Evo Corvette, another Corvette-based racer is likely to be on the horizon to take on the best the world has to offer.


Source:
Autoweek
Automoble Magazine – Photo Credit

Related:
Autoextremist: GM May Greenlight Mid-Engine C7 Corvette
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races

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[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Sounds of Long Beach

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2008

We’ve got a few weeks before the next ALMS race but lucky for us our friends at Bad Boy Vettes have put together a music video to help us pass the time.

Corvette Racing will be in Utah on May 18th for the Larry H. Miller Dealership’s Utah Grand Prix, held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. SPEED will be covering the 2 hour forty-five minute race live beginning at 3 pm EST.


Source:
BadBoyVettes.com

Related:
Corvette Racing: O’Connell, Magnussen Win GT1 at Long Beach
Corvette Racing: Magnussen Scores Pole at Long Beach
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races

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Corvette Racing in Long Beach

Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen fought it out on the streets of Long Beach with their counterparts in the #4 Corvette C6.R and emerged victorious for the third stop of the American LeMans series. O’Connell and Magnussen’s #3 Corvette C6.R scored a 1.374 second victory over Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the No. #4 Corvette. With the win, Johnny O’Connell becomes just the third driver in the ALMS to score 30 victories.

“I first raced in Long Beach in 1986, so to finally get a win here 22 years later is very special,” O’Connell said. “Corvette Racing is the team that’s the most important in my career, and to show the performance of E85 ethanol racing fuel here in Southern California is a very cool moment.

“I was giving it everything I had,” O’Connell reported. “You see the competition in the pits between the two crews and how close it was between the Corvettes on the track, so it doesn’t take a big field of cars to make it an exciting race.”

Magnussen started on the GT1 pole and with Gavin close behind both drivers had to content with heavy traffic and debris along the 1.968-mile temporary race circuit. The teams pitted together under a caution after the first hour of the 100 mile race. The #3 Corvette with O’Connell made it out of the pits first and settled in to duel with the #4 C6.R and Olivier Beretta over the next 37 minutes. The lead stretched to 6.7 seconds at one point but Beretta was making up ground at the end. With the amount of traffic and lack of time remaining, O’Connell was able to hold Beretta off for the win.

“Long Beach always proves to be a great event,” commented Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan.” The two Corvettes battled all day long, both crews executed flawless pit stops, and the engineering team developed great strategies. We had another perfect run with cellulosic E85 ethanol, so it was just a great day for Corvette Racing and for the environment.”

The victory at Long Beach gives O’Connell and Magnussen a four-point lead (66-62) over Gavin and Beretta in the GT1 Driver’s Championship.

Corvette Racing will see its next action on Sunday, May 18 for the Utah Grand Prix held at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Racing begins at 1:00 PM Mountain Time and Speed with televise the two-hour, 45-minute event live at 3 p.m. ET.


Source:
Photo Credit: American LeMans

Related:
Corvette Racing: Magnussen Scores Pole at Long Beach
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: A Day at the Races

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Corvette Racing: Magnussen Scores Pole at Long Beach

by Keith Cornett on April 18, 2008

Corvette Racing in Long Beach

Corvette Racing’s #3 C6.R will be sitting on the pole this weekend for the Tequila Patron ALMS race at Long Beach thanks to Jan Magnussen. Magnussen put together a qualifying lap on the temporary circuit Friday at 1:17.059 (91.940 mph) shattering last year’s qualifying time by 1.086 seconds. Oliver Gavin and the #4 Corvette C6.R were second in the class with a lap of 1:14.465 (91.458 mph).

Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 did not have a qualifying time listed on today’s results.

“It was a really enjoyable lap – I was out there close to the walls, braking late, and riding the curbs,” Magnussen said after notching his seventh career ALMS pole. “I’m sure I could have massaged the lap a little bit and improved my time, but then you get into the gray area where you might have a faster lap or you might have a broken car. “We’ve been fast since we got here,” said the Dane. “We were faster than last year from the get-go.”

Magnussen employed a five lap strategy that appeared to pay off.

“I was very cautious during the first three laps because we’d set the tire pressures a little low to try to have a couple of stabs at the pole,” Magnussen explained. “It worked out well – when the Michelins came in, my Corvette was perfect.”

The Tequila Patron ALMS race at Long Beach starts at 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 19. ABC will broadcast the 100-minute race tape-delayed from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 20.

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