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Corvette Racing

[PICS] Corvettes of 2009′s La Carrera Panamericana

by Keith Cornett on November 4, 2009

eBay Find of the Day: Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana

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.

Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana
Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana
Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana Corvettes of 2009's La Carrera Panamericana
Photo Credits: David Leah, MEXSPORT/ESPECIAL


Sources:
La Carrera Panamericana
Mexsport Online


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Corvette Racing's Win at Mosport Voted ALMS Story of the Year
Photo Credit: AmericanLemans.com

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.

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Another View of the Corvette C6.R/Porsche ALSM GT2 Battle at Laguna Seca

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.

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Fehan Honored and Magnussen Gets Probation
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

 

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!


Sources:
Racer.com
American Le Mans Series
Badboy Vettes

Corvette Racing: You’ve Got To Watch This Race!

by Keith Cornett on October 11, 2009

Corvette Racing's Wild Finish at Laguna Seca
Photo Credit: Marshall Pruett (SPEED)

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.

 

[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Jake Never Forgets

by Keith Cornett on October 11, 2009

Corvette Racing: Battle With Porsche Ends Badly for Magnussen, #3 C6.R

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 – 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.



Related:
Corvette Racing: Mags Wins First Pole for New GT2 Corvette C6.R
Corvette Racing Wraps Up GT2 Testing at Monterey’s Laguna Seca

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Magnussen Wins First Pole for new GT2 Corvette C6.R

Jan Magnussen won the the first pole in Corvette Racing’s GT2 era (soon to be just GT) Friday afternoon at Laguna Seca. Mags ran a fastest lap time of 1:23.053 to take the pole at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca. Oliver Gavin and the #4 Corvette C6.R finished third behind the #62 Ferrari with a lap of 1:23.283.

With today’s effort, Mangussen wins his 10th career ALMS pole and his third straight at Laguna Seca (two in GT1 and one in GT2).

“The Michelins came in really quickly and I kept going faster and faster,” said Magnussen, “In practice I didn’t expect to be fighting for the pole, but we expected to be up near the front. It seemed at the end of every session, the Porsches or Ferrari would do a very fast lap and put us down the order a little bit. To be on pole is just fantastic.”

“The way that we set up the Corvette C6.R, it’s not a qualifying setup – it’s a race setup,” he said. “It’s made to go faster every lap. Obviously we cannot run this fast in the beginning of the race because we will have a lot more fuel, and we’ll expect the car to behave a little differently, but it should go faster and faster. We’ve had a history of doing that.”

Just as the cars got out on the track for qualifying, a race broke out between Oliver Gavin and the #87 Porsche. Gavin was able to get inside and then had clear road to begin his runs.

Gavin jumped from fifth to third on the qualifying list with his final effort.

“The car was going faster and faster as the tires were coming in,” Gavin said. “The car felt very good, but not absolutely perfect, with a touch of mid-corner understeer. Catching traffic on the final lap was a bit frustrating, but Jan had to pass him as well. You always want to be quick, and we’re in the hunt, but not on the pole. Well done to Jan, he did a great job.”

Corvette Racing closes out 2009 at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-hour race is scheduled to start at 2:45 PM PDT on Saturday, October 10. SPEED will broadcast the race tape-delayed on Sunday, October 11, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.



Related:
Corvette Racing Wraps Up GT2 Testing at Monterey’s Laguna Seca
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Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute

This Corvette Z06 was parked at the entrance of the Corvette Corral at last week’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. I had asked around for the owner but we never did hook up so details on this conversion are light at best. But obviously, the owner is a huge Corvette racing fan and his Z06 nearly replicates the look of the GT1 Corvette C6.Rs.

Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute
Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute Corvette Z06 C6.R Tribute


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Corvette Racing Wraps Up GT2 Testing at Monterey's Laguna Seca
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

This Saturday is the final race of the 2009 American Le Mans series and for Corvette Racing, it will be the last opportunity for testing and evaluating the new GT2 Corvettes during actual combat conditions. The factory-backed Corvettes have used the final five races to test the GT2 C6.R Corvettes ahead of a full-bore assault on the unified GT Championship in 2010.

By all accounts the testing of the GT2 Corvettes has been successful. In the four races run by the new Corvette C6.Rs, the team finished first at Mosport, second at Mid-Ohio, third at Road America and ran much of the rain-soaked race at Petit Le Mans first and second before dropping to 4th when the race was called.

“By any standard, it’s clear that Corvette Racing’s GT2 development plan has been successful,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “It’s not only our results on the race track – although that is certainly important – but the fact that at each successive event we’ve learned more about the GT2 Corvette C6.R race cars. They have been more consistent, quicker, and more competitive. That is exactly what we would have expected if we’d conducted a test program in private.”

Despite the fact that the team looks at this weekend’s race at Monterey’s Laguna Seca as another test session, it’s an important test as the raceway doesn’t host private track testing. So the team’s only chance to acquire data on how the GT2 Corvettes handle the sandy track conditions comes Saturday.

“Laguna Seca is something of a mystery for us, as it is for many teams,” Fehan explained. “The track surface can vary greatly from day to day, so there is always a question of grip. We’ve engineered more mechanical grip into the GT2 Corvette than in any previous Corvette race car, so we’re very eager to see whether that proves to be an advantage. This race will be our only opportunity to test at Laguna Seca before we return next year in earnest, so it is important to gather as much data as possible.”

Team manager Gary Pratt sees tires as a key to success at Laguna Seca. “Laguna has traditionally been a low-grip track, and I expect it to be the same this year,” he said. “The lack of grip there was a problem for us until we partnered with Michelin. Michelin has always brought tires that suit the track, and that could be an advantage for us in a four-hour race. Most of the corners are medium-speed, with hard braking in Turn 11 before the pit straight. Consequently Laguna Seca is a momentum track where the drivers need to carry their speed through the corners. I think the GT2 Corvettes will do that very well.

“We’ve been able to find a good balance with the GT2 Corvette’s aero package so it is not as ‘edgy’ as the GT1 car,” Pratt continued. “This makes the GT2 Corvette more predictable and the drivers more confident in traffic. We’ve always been a little anxious about running in wet conditions, but the GT2 Corvette has proven to be very good in the rain with its wide track and good balance. The drivers like it, and I’m not so hesitant about practicing on a wet track.”

Corvette Racing closes out 2009 at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-hour race is scheduled to start at 2:45 PM PDT on Saturday, October 10. SPEED will broadcast the race tape-delayed on Sunday, October 11, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.



Related:
Corvette Racing: 2009 Petit Le Mans Photo Gallery
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan on the Direct Injection Controversy
Corvette Racing: Ferrari and Porsche Complain to ACO

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