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Corvette Racing

[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: ALMS Qualifying in St. Pete

by Keith Cornett on April 4, 2008

I took the afternoon off and made my way over to St. Petersburg for Friday’s ALMS Acura Sports Car Challenge practice and qualifying session and I got to say it was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time. The General Admission ticket got me into the stands and paddock area where you can get right up to the teams and watch them go to work.

Olivier Beretta led the GT1 class with a time of 1:09.727 (92.934 mph) to win his 21st career pole position. Johnny O’Connell and the #3 Corvette C6.R team was 2nd in the class at just 0.541 seconds behind the #4 Corvette C6.R. O’Connell’s best lap was a 1:10.268 (92.218 mph). Rounding out the GT1 class was the Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 which ran a best lap of 1:11.532 (90.59 mph).

One interesting part of the video happens at 0:54 seconds when the #4 Corvette is leaving the pits. You will see a yellow Corvette track car and it turns out that it is a Pratt & Miller Corvette C6RS. I saw the front Z06-stlye air vent but the black roof threw me off. Later I saw it parked in paddock and man it is sweet!

I’ve got tickets for tomorrow’s race and will post a recap of the day’s events.

Sponsored By:
Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

[VIDEO] Sebring 2008 – O’Connell Pilots the #3 Corvette C6.R to Historic Win

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[VIDEO] Take a Lap of Sebring in a 2008 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on March 18, 2008

IGotShotgun gets a hot lap in a 2008 Corvette Coupe with Team Corvette Member Jason Altsman at last week’s 12 Hours of Sebring. Jason takes us turn by turn, 17 in all, through the historic 3.7 mile road course as he describes both the layout of the raceway and how the Corvette C6.Rs will perform at the various turns and straight-aways.


[VIDEO] Sebring 2008 – O’Connell Pilots the #3 Corvette C6.R to Historic Win
Sebring 2008: Corvette Racing News Roundup

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Corvette Racing's #3 C6.R at Sebring
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Johnny O’Connell became Sebring’s winningest driver with his seventh class victory in Saturday’s 12-hour race. O’Connell, with teammates Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows ran a flawless race in the #3 Corvette, finishing 8 laps ahead of the #4 C6.R Corvette team and 29 laps ahead of the #008 Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9. The #3 Corvette C6.R completed 328 laps of the 3.7-mile historic road course to finish first in the GT1 class and 9th overall.

O’Connell’s seventh victory broke a longstanding tie with motorsports legend Phil Hill, who had six victories at Sebring:

“It’s huge to break Phil Hill’s record,” said O’Connell. “Phil is the embodiment of everything that was wonderful about that era of sports car racing. When you meet some of your childhood heroes, they’re a disappointment, but when I met Phil, he was the coolest cat in the world. He talked about the beauty of the cars he competed in and the spectacle of this race. When you spend time with someone who is that deep and insightful, you come away with a much better understanding of how special this race is.

“When you win Sebring, you share it,” O’Connell noted. “It’s not about one guy. I got my first ALMS win with Jan in 1999, and I’ve won some 25 races with Ron. I can’t think of two finer gentlemen and race car drivers I’d rather share this win with.”

The fortunes for the #4 C6.R Corvette took a turn for the worse at just under the two hour mark of the race. The Corvette suffered a rear axle problem and needed to make a trip to the transporter where the crew replaced the right half shaft. The repair took just nine minutes but by the time the #4 Corvette made it back out to the track the #3 Corvette had a nine lap advantage.

Next up for Corvette Racing is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg on April 5th. ABC will televise the one-hour, 55-minute event live starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.

American LeMans

Sebring 2008: Corvette Racing News Roundup

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Sebring 2008: Corvette Racing News Roundup

by Keith Cornett on March 12, 2008

Corvette Racing's #4 C6.R at Sebring
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Official Practice Session Times:

The first official practice sessions were held today at Sebring. Corvette Racing’s C6.R Corvettes ran during both sessions and at the end of the day it was the #4 Corvette C6.R setting the lead in the GT1 class with a lap of 1:57.674 while the #3 Corvette ran close behind with time of 1:57.965.

The Bell Motorsports #008 Aston Martin DBR9 is said to be suffering a mechanical problem and is waiting for assistance from the UK.

Corvettes to race on E10 at Sebring

The Corvette Racing team will be racing at Sebring using E10 ethanol fuel instead of E85 as planned. After testing the Corvettes with E85 in February, a post-test inspection showed that the IMSA’s sanctioned E85R fuel was adversely affecting the adhesive used in the manufacture of the Corvette race car’s twin fuel cells.

Corvette Racing team manager Doug Fehan said, “The performance of E85 ethanol racing fuel was firmly established in our initial track test. Now the team is working with the fuel cell manufacturers, IMSA, and our technical partners at the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council to develop an advanced ethanol fuel cell. As a manufacturer team, safety is paramount at Corvette Racing, and we will always err on the side of caution. Just as every new component in a production GM vehicle must be exhaustively tested, every new part that goes into the Corvette C6.R race cars must be tested and validated. It wasn’t feasible to do this in the weeks since the program was announced, but I am confident that we will resolve the situation in a short period of time.”

LG Motorsports #28 Riley C6 Corvette
Photo Credit: Martin Spetz

GT2 Practice Times

In the GT2 Class, the LG Motorsports #28 Riley C6 Corvette ran in both practice sessions and posted a best lap at 2:05.656. The team is placed solidly in the 9th position middle of the GT2 pack with about 3 seconds separating them from the class leading Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The German Porsche team is currently leading the 16 car GT2 class with a posted time of 2:02.594. Four Porsche 911 GT3′s and three Ferrari 430 GT’s make up the top seven times in GT2.

Have you seen the dash cam video of Lou Gigliotti’s Black and yellow Riley Corvette C6 attacking the track at Sebring earlier this week?

GT2 Photo: Martin Spetz

[VIDEO] Sebring – Lou’s GT2 C6 Corvette Dash Cam

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[VIDEO] Sebring – Lou’s GT2 C6 Corvette Dash Cam

by Keith Cornett on March 11, 2008

LG Motorsports #28 Riley C6 Corvette

The debut of the LG Motorsports #28 Riley C6 Corvette in the GT2 class at Sebring this week appears to be going very well. In only its second day of testing, the flames-themed Black and Yellow Corvette has rocketed to just about 1.5 seconds off the class leading Ferrari’s time of 2:02.535. With confidence in the new GT2 Corvette and greater familiarity with the raceway, drivers Lou Gigliotti and Doug Peterson’s times keep dropping with each session. Here are the times from the three sessions:

Session 1 – 2:08.146
Session 2 – 2:06.167
Session 3 – 2:03.909

Video after the jump.

The onboard camera catches Gigliotti putting the #28 GT2 Corvette through the paces during a tires test. The video shows just how absolutely fast this new Corvette is:

I can’t wait to watch how the team stacks up against the unbelievable field that makes up the GT2 class. The Riley Technologies-built Corvette C6 is fast and loud – truly American – and should compete well in its debut race.


Corvettes to Compete in ALMS GT2 Class in 2008

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Corvette Racing Confirms Driver Lineup

by Keith Cornett on February 23, 2008

Corvette Racing's Driver Lineup for 2008

All six drivers of Corvette Racing have returned to campaign in 2008 for the American Le Mans Series Championship and what Ron Fellows calls the Super Bowl of Racing – the 24 Hours of LeMans. And yes, the 4-time recipient of the ALMS Most Popular Driver Award Ron Fellows is returning, joining Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette C6.R. Back to defend their 4-year Championship winning streak are Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the #4 C6.R, with Max Papis joining for the endurance races.

Racing will get interesting again in the ALMS GT1 category with a full time competitor in the form of an Aston Martin DBR9 from Bell Racing. In June the teams face last year’s LeMans winning Prodrive DBR9 and seven others in the LMGT1 class. Corvette Racing has seven consecutive podium finishes at LeMans and you can bet the #4 team is anxious to take care of some unfinished business.

Glad to have all the guys back. It says a lot about the racing program that can keep these caliber of drivers in the fold year after year.

The full press release is after the jump.

Corvette Racing Confirms 2008 Driver Lineup

Chevrolet’s Championship-Winning Team Returns for American Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans

DETROIT – Corvette Racing’s roster of championship-winning drivers will return in 2008 to race the Chevrolet factory team’s twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars in the 12-race American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen will drive the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, joined by Ron Fellows for three endurance races (Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans). Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will drive the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, teamed with Max Papis in long-distance events.

“Continuity and consistency are two of the cornerstones of Corvette Racing’s success, and that is reflected in our longstanding relationships with these championship-winning drivers,” said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “They thoroughly understand the team’s overall objectives, and they are total professionals both on and off the race track. We’re very proud to have these six drivers as part of the Corvette Racing family.”

Corvette Racing’s six drivers have a combined total of 135 ALMS victories, 13 ALMS championships, and 17 class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They’ve been successful in series that span the spectrum of motorsports from karts to Formula 1.

Ron Fellows, the charter member of the Corvette Racing fraternity, has been part of the team since initial testing began in 1997. A four-time winner of the ALMS Most Popular Driver award, the Canadian star will attend selected ALMS races as a consultant and Corvette ambassador when he is not racing. Fellows also intends to compete in selected NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series road races.

“It’s been very special to be a part of Corvette Racing since Day One,” Fellows said. “People around the world now recognize and respect the Corvette brand as a result of the success in top-level racing that the team has achieved over the years. It’s also been very gratifying to see how the race program has been integrated with the production Corvette, first with the sixth-generation Corvette and the Z06, and now with the Corvette ZR1.”

Like every member of the Corvette Racing team, Fellows has his eyes firmly fixed on the GT1 prize at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: “Le Mans is our Super Bowl,” he said. “It’s such an important race, and competing there is something I’m not ready to give up yet.”

Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta are seeking their fourth consecutive GT1 drivers championship in 2008, and the teammates are aiming to win their fourth Le Mans title in five years.

“No one is complacent at Corvette Racing,” Gavin said. “We all know that our jobs are highly sought after, and I begin each season with the thought that we are starting with a clean sheet of paper and I have to prove myself again. Our teammates in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R will be racing the wheels off to beat us, and we’ll be doing the same to beat them as well as the Aston Martin. There are very sharp people in the team who are constantly analyzing every performance, making sure that everyone is at the top of their game.

“Continuity in the lineup means that you know how your teammates think and respond to situations,” Gavin explained. “This familiarity allows each of us to get the job done in the most efficient way, and that’s usually what produces the best result.”

Corvette Racing will make its season debut in the opening round of the 12-race ALMS series, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, on March 15, 2008.

Corvette Racing Drivers
(Note: Detailed driver profiles are available online at

Olivier Beretta, Compuware Corvette No. 4
Birthdate: Nov. 23, 1969
Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Notes: Five-time ALMS GTS/GT1 champion, five class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans, holds ALMS records for most career wins (37) and most career poles (20), two FIA championships, overall victory in 2000 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Ron Fellows, Compuware Corvette No. 3
Birthdate: Sept. 28, 1959
Residence: Mississauga, Ont., Canada

Notes: Four-time ALMS Most Popular Driver award (2004-07), three-time ALMS champion, two 24 Hours of Le Mans class wins, 19 SCCA Trans-Am wins, five NASCAR wins (two NCTS, three NNS)

Oliver Gavin, Compuware Corvette No. 4
Birthdate: Sept. 29, 1972
Residence: Yardley Hastings, England

Notes: Three-time ALMS GT1 champion, 28 career ALMS class victories, four class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans

Jan Magnussen, Compuware Corvette No. 3
Birthdate: July 4, 1973
Residence: Roskilde, Denmark

Notes: Three class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans, 14 career ALMS wins, former Formula 1 driver, twice voted “Most Popular Driver” in ALMS, 2005 Danish Racing Driver of the Year

Johnny O’Connell, Compuware Corvette No. 3
Birthdate: July 24, 1962
Residence: Flowery Branch, Ga.

Notes: Two-time ALMS GT1 champion, 28 career ALMS wins, six Sebring 12-hour class victories, holds ALMS records for most starts (84), most podium finishes (63), most top-five finishes (76) and most top-10 finishes (82)

Max Papis, Compuware Corvette No. 4
Birthdate: Oct. 3, 1969
Residence: Mooresville, N.C.

Notes: Daytona 24-hour winner, two Sebring 12-hour victories, three CART wins, 2004 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype champion


Corvette Racing Moves to E85 for 2008 ALMS Season
Corvette Racing Will Return To ALMS GT1 in 2008

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Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs Sporting the New Jake Scrape

by Keith Cornett on February 21, 2008 shot us a quick note yesterday to check out Corvette Racing’s new C6.R paint scheme. The new livery features a heavy dose of black including the return of the Black Tail. Other area’s receiving attention include the blackout headlights, black BBS wheels and black rocker panels.

Corvette C6.R's Paint Scheme for 2008 Corvette C6.R's Paint Scheme for 2008

But perhaps the most distinctive feature of the scheme is the so-called Jake Scrape, a set of black lines that run on the top of the Corvette from front to back. BadBoy Eddie has put together a contest to see who can guess the genesis of the scrape. I left him my .02¢ that it came from Jakes teeth. But checking the comments, I see someone else guessed that sooner so I am just a Johnny-come-lately to that party.

The Corvette Racing C6.R’s will have a lot in store for them this year. Not only will they have competition for the full season from Bell Racing’s Aston Martin DBR9, but the 24 Hours of LeMans is shaping up to be an epic battle. The LMGT1 class has no less than 10 entries including a Saleen S7, Luc Alphand’s C6.R Corvette and four Aston Martins.

Check out for their 2008 Season Wishlist.


Corvette Racing Fans Rejoice: Aston Martin DBR9 Racing in ALMS GT1
BadBoyVettes Unveil the Rebranded Corvette Racing C6.Rs

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Bell Motorsport's Aston Martin DBR9

It’s the news Corvette Racing fans been waiting to hear. An Aston Martin DBR9 will be launching an American LeMans Series GT1 effort in 2008. The team will be funded by Jim Bell and will race under the Bell Motorsports banner. Jim is a 30 year veteran of sports car racing and an engineer by trade. He will be joined by new partner Michael Fux. Bell has played an integral part of various teams raging from prototype to most recently the Team Transport Porsche 911 GT3 car in last year’s ALMS season. His last GT1 experience came back in 2005 with ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R.

Bell Motorsports’ Aston Martin DBR9 turned up the fourth annual Winter Test at Sebring on Monday wearing the trademark British Green exterior with neon green lipstick and red wheels. The car is listed as #08 and features a GT1 class designation on her sides. According to those who watched the Aston during Monday’s testing sessions, the team is displaying some caution as they warm to the feeling of the car and the track. This particular DBR9 was built in 2005 and sold to a private collector but has never officially raced.

The #08 Aston Martin DBR9 will be going up against the two C6.R’s fielded by Corvette Racing in the GT1 class on March 15th at the 56th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first of twelve ALMS races. Corvette Racing finished 1-2 at Sebring last year despite competition from another Aston Martin DBR9 fielded by Team Modena.

“Aston Martin always has made a premium race car and automobile,” said Bell, team principal, “and there is no better place to showcase a premium brand than in the American Le Mans Series. Having been involved with the Series since its inception, I know it will be an extraordinary challenge but it’s one we all relish and look forward to. We enjoyed competing in the American Le Mans Series with the ACEMCO Saleen S7R against Corvette Racing in 2005 and at Le Mans in 2006. I think we have developed a mutual, competitive respect for one another, and having the chance to rekindle that in 2008 makes me proud and eager with anticipation.”

Competition breeds success and this announcement puts Corvette Racing on notice that if they wish to win their eighth consecutive championship, they’ll have to beat a top notch team with a proven winning ride, the Aston Martin DBR9. And something tells me Corvette Racing’s Manager Doug Fehan couldn’t be happier right now.

Photo Credit: dreycraft

Corvette Racing Moves to E85 for 2008 ALMS Season
Corvette Racing Will Return To ALMS GT1 in 2008

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Corvette Racing Moves to E85 for 2008 ALMS Season

by Keith Cornett on January 16, 2008

E85 Powered Corvette C6.R

The Corvette Racing team announced this year’s 2008 American LeMans Series campaign will be fueled by E85 ethanol, a high-octane blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Last year, the team won its 7th consecutive GT1 manufacturer and team championships on E10, which is just 10% ethanol. With the switch to E85, the C6.R’s becomes the latest in the Corvette family to go green.

According to Steve Wesoloski, GM Road Racing Group Manager, the transition to E85 from E10 will be seemless. “The race cars’ fuel systems were already 100 percent compatible with ethanol,” he said, “so our preparation for the change to E85 in 2008 basically comes down to recalibrating the engines.”

“By showcasing the capabilities of E85 ethanol before an audience of knowledgeable and technically astute race fans, we can demonstrate the benefits of a renewable fuel that helps to reduce dependence on petroleum, helps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and helps to create greater diversity in energy supplies,” Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper said. “Of course, performance is what counts in racing, so E85 ethanol’s higher octane rating than gasoline wasn’t overlooked by the Corvette Racing engineers.”

The first E85 Corvette was Jay Leno’s C6RS Z06 which made a huge splash at last year’s SEMA show. That Corvette was also built by Pratt and Miller, builders of the Corvette C6.Rs. Then we had the announcement in late December of the E85-powered 2008 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. With the trickle-down effect that Corvette Racing has on its regular production-bred siblings, its a natural evolution for there to be at some point in the near future an E85 powered Corvette coming directly from the assembly plant at Bowling Green.

The 12 race season of the ALMS kicks off March 15th at the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.


Two Unique Corvettes to Pace the 2008 Indianapolis 500
Green Gets Mean: The Skinny on Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette C6RS

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Corvette Racing Will Return To ALMS GT1 in 2008

by Keith Cornett on December 13, 2007

Corvette Racing will return to the ALMS in 2008Whew! Corvette Racing announced that they will be returning both factory backed GT1 Corvette C6.R’s to the American Le Mans Series in 2008. In addition to the ALMS 12 race series, the team will be competing at the 24 hours of Le Mans. Since the team returned to the track in 1999, they’ve won seven consecutive GT1 Manufacturers and Team Championships, plus six straight Drivers championships in the ALMS. Corvette Racing currently owns the ALMS record for class victories at 57, plus 40 1-2 finishes.

“Corvette Racing was conceived as a long-term program to showcase the performance, technology, and value of Chevrolet’s world-class sports car,” said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing. “Since the team’s competition debut in 1999, Corvette Racing’s success in top-tier road racing has produced a strong return on our investment, paying dividends in marketing, engineering, technology transfer, personnel development and other areas of our business. Corvette is now a performance icon that’s recognized around the world, and Corvette Racing’s continued participation in the ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be an important element in the global celebration of GM’s 100th anniversary in 2008.” “Our decision to compete in all 12 rounds of the ALMS schedule in 2008 reflects our commitment to our sponsors, our suppliers, and to Corvette enthusiasts worldwide,” said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. “There is a reason why thousands of Corvette owners attend Corvette Corrals at ALMS events and why the autograph line at Corvette Racing is the longest in the ALMS paddock: Racing is an integral part of Corvette’s history and heritage, and we are continuing that tradition.” “Experience teaches us that motorsports is cyclical, and the GT1 category is currently in transition,” Wesoloski observed. “Would we like to see more competition in GT1 in the ALMS? Absolutely! But in the absence of season-long competition, we are absolutely committed to controlling our own destiny. We are pushing hard to develop our chassis and powertrain, to refine our race strategy, and to continuously improve every element of the program. We know that the competition at Le Mans will be intense, and we will use the ALMS series to hone the race cars, the drivers, and the team to prepare for it.”
Corvette Racing will be testing two new Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars in February. The 12 race series kicks off March 15th at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Related:
Corvettes to Compete in ALMS GT2 Class in 2008 Technorati Tags:
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