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Corvette Racing

GM Confirms Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06

by Keith Cornett on February 1, 2007

The much talked-about Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette will make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this month GM announced today. Confirming the rumors that started late last year, the signature Z06 Corvette features the Z06 with Artic White exterior, red interior and the long standing red driver side GT1 hash marks that first appeared 11 years ago on the limited edition Grand Sports. Only 399 of the hand-signed special-edition Corvettes will be offered. In other words, when they’re gone, they’re gone. Ed Peper, Chevrolet General Manager said this about Ron Fellows:

“Ron Fellows is also a part of Chevrolet’s racing heritage, and he has been instrumental in the remarkable success of the Corvette Racing team in the American Le Mans Series. The special signature-series Z06 model that bears his name will forever link him to one of the greatest eras in factory racing, which has produced six consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers championships, and counting.”
The Special Edition Corvette will be on display alongside the new Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvette Convertible at the Chicago Auto Show February 8th – 18th.
Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette
Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Z06 Corvette
GM Press Release: The Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06: Marking his championship tenure with Corvette Racing’s GT1-class domination in the ALMS, Corvette racing living legend Ron Fellows is celebrated with a specially prepared 2007 Corvette Z06 production model. All are distinguished by Arctic White paint (including the door handles) that is accented with a racing-style fender stripe and Ron Fellows’ autograph. The front fender graphics are reminiscent of the identifying graphics of the Corvette GT1 race car. They feature double Monterey Red Metallic stripes with Machine Silver borders and Fellows’ autograph in a contrasting Victory Red shade, along with the callouts of the championship years when he was at the wheel. There is also a maple leaf logo motif incorporated with the graphics, a nod to Fellows’ Canadian heritage. Indeed, the red-over-white color scheme of the car’s paint and graphics represents Canada’s colors. This special Corvette Z06 is the first signed special edition in Corvette’s 54-year history, and is the first Arctic White Z06 ever offered. Only 399 are planned for production: approximately 300 for the United States, 33 for Canada and 66 for other export markets. Exterior cues include a full-width racing spoiler and a unique windshield banner. Additional standard equipment includes the well-equipped 2LZ package and chrome wheels. Special interior appointments include:
  • Red seats, center console, door panels and instrument panel
  • Red, leather-covered armrest with a Corvette-signature “cross flags” logo that is hand-signed and numbered by Ron Fellows
  • Tech pattern interior trim An accomplished road racer, Ron Fellows is inextricably woven into the Corvette Racing team’s success. He helped test and develop the first Corvette C5.R race car and recorded the team’s first win in 2000. Fellows also grabbed the ALMS GTS class championship in 2002 and shared that position in 2003 and ’04. Fellows has been a part of all six consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers championships for Chevrolet, and was voted the most popular ALMS driver in 2004 and ’05. Additionally, he has slipped behind the wheel of NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevy Monte Carlo SS race cars when the series hits road courses. He’s also scored a pair of NASCAR Craftsman Truck series wins, three NASCAR Busch Series wins, 19 SCCA Trans Am wins and was the GM Player’s Challenge champion in 1989. The Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06 will be available this spring. It carries an MSRP of $77,500, including destination. OnStar and the navigation system are the only options; and when equipped with them, the price is $79,945.
    Source:
    General Motors Related: Is A Ron Fellows Edition Z06 Corvette On The Way? Technorati Tags:
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  • Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500

    by Keith Cornett on February 1, 2007

    For the ninth time in its history including the last 4 years in row, Corvette will serve as the official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500. Since making its debut at the brickyard in 1978, Corvette has also paced “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. This year’s 91st Indianapolis 500 takes place on May 27, 2007. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Chevrolet will be producing 500 special-edition replicas for sale to the public. This will be the first time since 1998 that Chevrolet has produced a replica Indy 500 Pace Cars. Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager said “Chevrolet and Corvette have a long, storied history at Indianapolis, and the new Pace Car special edition commemorates that heritage with what will surely be an instant collectible.”

    2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
    2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car 2007 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
    The 2007 Indianapolis Pace Car Replica Corvette features:
  • Atomic Orange exterior color, including door handles
  • Indianapolis 500 exterior graphics – including gold ribbon graphics that flow outward from the front fender vents and “Indianapolis 500″ door logos
  • Special Indianapolis 500 fender badges
  • Z06 rear spoiler
  • New aluminum “split-spoke” wheels in Sterling Silver
  • Ebony seats with embroidered Indianapolis 500 logos
  • Interior trim plate and pods painted Atomic Orange
  • Atomic Orange engine covers All of the Pace Car replicas are equipped with the Z51 performance package. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with the six-speed paddle-shift automatic optional. The navigation system with Bose audio and OnStar also are standard.
    Source:
    General Motors
    Indianapolis 500 Related: Corvette to Pace 2007 Daytona 500 Technorati Tags:
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  • Cal Ripkin Jr to Pilot Daytona 500 Corvette Pace Car

    by Keith Cornett on January 30, 2007

    Baseball’s “Iron Man” Cal Ripkin Jr will be behind the wheel the 2007 Corvette Coupe Pace Car for the 49th Annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18th. The Pace Car features the Daytona 500 logo on the side and is highlighted by red, white and blue side accents. A red Chevrolet bowtie is presented on the hood.

    “The Daytona 500 is one of the most storied sporting events in the country and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of it. NASCAR drivers are tremendous athletes and I look forward to being in that environment,” said Ripken.
    Being behind the wheel of a Corvette on a super speedway ain’t all that bad of an environment either. We’re working on getting photos of the Daytona Corvette Pace Car. Stay tuned for details.
    Source:
    WhoWon.com Related:
    Corvette to Pace 2007 Daytona 500 Technorati Tags:
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    Vette Magazine: A Conversation with Reeves Callaway

    by Keith Cornett on January 29, 2007

    Reeves Callaway and the 2007 Callaway C16Back in the 80′s, Callaway Cars became the first GM Authorized tuner of new Corvettes offered through Chevrolet dealerships. Callaway’s twin-turbo B2K program (the RPO code for the Callaway option) became the genesis for a company that would go on to produce the 254 MPH Corvette Sledgehammer, the 450 HP SuperNaturals and the radically modified C12. Basking in the glow of his latest project, the Callaway C16, Reeves Callaway takes some time to talk with Vette Magazine about why one of the most recognized brands in the Corvette tuner industry has gotten back into the game. In addition to the C16 program, Callaway offers a variety of performance options for the C6 Corvette, most notably the Callaway Superchargers. And talk about turnkey! A customer can order a new Corvette, have it shipped to a Callaway facility where it is modified and tested, and then shipped to the dealer for delivery. The modified Corvettes carry a 5-Year, 100K Mile warranty to boot! But perhaps some the biggest news out of the interview is Callaway’s intention to return to LeMans with 2 Callaway cars competing in the GT2 class. Reeves claims there are a lot of hurdles to cross before the final commitment is made, most notably development and sponsorship issues. Click here to read the entire interview at Vette Magazine.
    Source:
    Vette Magazine Related:
    Production Callaway C16 Debuts at Montreal
    LA Auto Show: The Callaway C16 Technorati Tags:
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    Corvette to Pace 2007 Daytona 500

    by Keith Cornett on January 29, 2007

    2007 Daytona 500 Corvette Pace CarWith little fanfare (and no press anywhere), a specially-outfitted Corvette was unveiled as the 2007 Daytona 500 Pace Car. The Corvette features the Daytona 500 logo on the side and is highlighted by red, white and blue side accents. A red Chevrolet bowtie is presented on the hood. The unveiling was earlier this month as part of NASCAR’s Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder Fan Fest. Standing with Corvette in this photo are NEXTEL Cup drivers Tony Raines and Jeff Green and Daytona Speedway President Robin Braig. 2007 marks the fourth straight year that a Corvette has paced the Daytona 500, as well as the 35th straight year that a GM model has paced the field.
    Source:
    Daytona International Speedway via CorvetteConti.com Related
    2006 Daytona 500 Z06 Corvette Pace Car Photos Technorati Tags:
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    Corvette Racing to Defend ALMS Crown

    by Keith Cornett on January 17, 2007

    The No. 4 Corvette at the 2006 12 Hours of SebringCorvette Racing announced today that they will indeed be back for the 2007 season of the American Le Mans Series. The team will be defending their GT1 Manufacturers, Team and Drivers championships. Officials also announced that Corvette Racing will be heading to France in June to race for its sixth GT1 win in 7 years at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 12-race series opens March 17th at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Corvette Racing will have the cars in Sebring Florida for testing sometime in February. Corvette has won America’s greatest sports car race in four of the last five seasons. So now the only question is who will Corvette be racing against in the GT1 class. Aston Martin, facing money problems and driver defections, hasn’t yet announced their intentions to return to the series. It’s quite possible the only racing we’ll see in the GT1 class will be between Corvette Racing’s #3 and #4 Corvettes. While that would be somewhat disappointing, the real winner is still the Corvette Owner as stated by GM Racing Director Mark Kent:

    “The Corvette C6.R race program continues Chevrolet’s tradition of racing production-based vehicles to improve the breed. The continuous exchange of information and the constant transfer of technology between the racing and production programs ensure that lessons learned on the track benefit every Corvette on the highway.”

    Source:
    WhoWon.com
    AmericanLeMans.com
    Image Credit: Richard Prince Related:
    Corvette Racing Waits for Aston Martin Decision
    Oliver Gavin Reflects on the 2006 ALMS Season Technorati Tags:
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    Corvette Racing Waits for Aston Martin Decision

    by Keith Cornett on January 11, 2007

    Corvette Racing at Laguna SecaAs we have recently reported, Corvette Racing may be leaving the American LeMans Series (ALMS). We learned today of another factor that may cause the GTI Championship team to leave the American racing circuit in favor of a European series. Corvette Driver Oliver Gavin said that Aston Martin may be leaving the ALMS, and the loss of their British rivals may ultimately be the deciding factor for Corvette to leave the series as well. Should Aston Martin leave the ALMS, Corvette would be left without any series competition. Aston Martin and Corvette racing have battled in recent years and this last year the British team really gave Corvette Racing a run for the GT1 Championship. The championship came down to the last race of the season at Laguna Seca. Aston Martin won the race but the second place finish by the two “Ollies” gave Corvette racing enough points for the GT1 Championship. Other factors that were leaning on Corvette Racing leaving the ALMS was last year’s performance-balancing sanctions that made the race for the Championship must closer than it should have been. Lastly, fielding the legendary racing team in the European circuit could ultimately introduce the Corvette to new buyers. Here are some of Oliver Gavin’s quotes from the Autosport show:

    “I’m not entirely sure where we are going to be racing,” Gavin said on the central stage at the Autosport show. “With the Corvettes, they’re still deciding on whether it should be in Europe or in the ALMS again. “We’re waiting to see what Aston Martin are doing in terms of their program – we’re hoping they’re going to come back and race us in the ALMS.” “I had a very interesting season last year – frustrating at times, but ultimately it was successful for us, winning the championship and also beating them (Aston Martin) at Le Mans, which was a fantastic achievement for everybody involved in Corvette Racing.” “I think there’s certainly a marketing benefit of just turning up and running the car,” Gavin explained. “But we do need competition, we do want to race against someone, and it was great last year, having the competition from Aston Martin, so we’re just hoping they’ll find the money to come back.”
    I would hate to see Corvette Racing leave the ALMS, but what is the worst of the two scenarios? Winning without competition or losing because of performance sanctions? Winning is always fun, but without a serious competitor, the races would be boring. Losing in the ALMS because of performance sanctions would hurt the image of Corvette Racing evan more. Most casual fans would only know that Corvette lost, not that they had been penalized with sanctions that didn’t allow them to win. Should Corvette Racing make the jump to a European series, we could still count on seeing them here in the states for Sebring and perhaps Le Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, but that would be it. I think we may be seeing the end of the GT1 class in the ALMS as we know it.
    Source:
    Autosport.com Via An American Classic
    Image Credit: Richard Prince Related:
    Oliver Gavin Reflects on the 2006 ALMS Season Technorati Tags:
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    Oliver Gavin Reflects on the 2006 ALMS Season

    by Keith Cornett on January 5, 2007

    Oliver Gavin - Corvette RacingCorvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin reflects on the up and down 2006 ALMS season in his end of the year race-by-race summary. Co-driving the number 4 Corvette with Olivier Beretta, the duo successfully defended their American Le Mans Series GT1 Championship despite the politics and performance balancing that appeared heavy-handed at times. And not only did the two “Ollies” have to fend off the challenges from their Aston Martin Racing competitors, but also their team mates Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell of the #3 Corvette. Oliver confirms the Corvette Racing team is scheduled to run at Sebring in March. After that the schedule is up in the air as to whether the team will attempt to defend their ALMS Championship again, or head for other venues, casting off their ALMS performance-balancing sanctions to show the world just how good the C6.R Corvettes can be. Click here to read Oliver Gavin’s 2006 Season Wrap-up.
    Source:
    Motorsport.com
    Image Credit: Rick Doyle – OliverGavin.com Related:
    Corvette Racing Leaving The ALMS? Technorati Tags:
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    Corvette Racing Leaving The ALMS?

    by Keith Cornett on December 18, 2006

    Corvette Racing at Leguna Seca“Challenging” is the word Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager, uses to describe the 2006 racing season. Not only did Corvette compete with Aston Martin and other challengers in the GT1 class, they also had to compete against a sanctioning body that at times last year appeared to have it in for Corvette Racing. Balance of Performance adjustments were continually assessed against Corvette Racing throughout the 2006 campaign. Starting with 122 lbs at the beginning of the season at Sebring, the sanctioning body of the ALMS ramped up those adjustments to 199 lbs, plus smaller air restrictors and fuel tanks following Corvette’s 24 Hours of Le Mans win. With one race remaining and the outcome of the season on the line, the sanctions body handed down their seventh adjustment of the season: Both Corvette and Aston Martin would race a 2,535 pounds total, but Corvette would have a smaller engine restrictor. Aston Martin’s 009 won the GT1 Class and Corvette Racing’s No. 4 and No. 3 cars came in 2nd and 3rd at Laguna Seca. Corvette Racing, having amassed enough points earlier in the season, was able to win their 6th GT1 Manufacturer’s Cup. But despite the win, the battle with the ALMS Sanctioning Body may have taken its toll. When asked about next year, Doug Fehan replied “Right now, no decision has been made.” Fehan also would not rule out a jump to a European or Asian series. “We look for formats that allow us to demonstrate Corvette’s durability, reliability and performance… Corvette is a global brand… Expanding markets in China and Asia make it attractive to run a race in Beijing or Shanghai, for example.” Europe’s Le Mans or FIA series are also being considered. “Le Mans remains the cornerstone of what we do.” said Fehan. Fehan expects a decision to be made sometime around the first of the year. It’s our hope that Corvette Racing can stay in the ALMS, however, they must be allowed to compete without performance adjustments. Raising the bar breeds better racing teams. Lowering the bar signals defeat. Let’s hope the ALMS recognizes their errors. Otherwise, they risk losing a major manufacturer to a competing series. Source:
    NCM’s America’s Sports Car Magazine
    Pratt & Miller (image)
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    Racing Fans – Buy Your Own Corvette C6.R Racecar

    by Keith Cornett on November 10, 2006

    Corvette C6.R - Number 001 GM’s first ever C6 Corvette race car, the Corvette C6.R (chassis number C6.R-001) is up for grabs if you got the cash. The Racing version of the Corvette is being sold by current owner Mike Hezemans of GLPK Carsport – a European Race Team. This Corvette was raced under the GM Corvette racing banner in 2005 winning the ALMS Championship (actually we don’t know if this is the #3 or #4 Corvette) and at the end of the racing season was sold to GLPK Carport where Hezemans raced the car for the 2006 season in Belgium’s BelCar Championship. So how much to own a piece of Corvette racing history? Roughly $760,000 USD. The car will be delivered in ready to race condition. For details, get a translator and visit Hezemans.nl Source: Winding Road
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