Last month, one of the lingering automotive mysteries surrounding Corvette’s first campaign at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was solved. Of course we’re talking about the finding of the Briggs Cunningham 1960 #1 Le Mans Corvette racer which has been lost for 50 years. On Thursday evening with a crowd of Corvette illuminaries and enthusiasts, the former race car was revealed.
I didn’t have the opportunity to catch the last few minutes of the American Le Mans Series at Road America on Saturday as we were in Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise. But I knew something significant had happened to the Corvettes when my twitter feed for Corvette Racing blew up with folks asking what the heck happened at the very end. Well, we did some digging and here is what went down during those final minutes at Road America.
Magnussen and Garcia Denied Podium Finish on Final Lap, Gavin and Milner Suffer Setback on Final Pit Stop
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 18, 2012 – The Road America Road Race Showcase was going Corvette Racing’s way for the first three hours, but the final 60 minutes saw a reversal of fortune for the Chevrolet team. After running at the front from the start of the four-hour race, the Corvettes were shuffled down the finishing order in the closing minutes.
Not many of us will ever have a chance to race around Road America, but now we can at least take a virtual tour of the famous racetrack set amongst the hills and valleys of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine.
Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner took a few moments recently to talk with paddocktalk.com about the track that covers four miles and includes 14 turns.
Classic Wisconsin Circuit Is Corvette’s Proving Ground and Ancestral Home
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 13, 2012 – The long and winding road to the American Le Mans Series championship runs through Road America, a track that is revered and respected by generations of sports car racers. The classic 4-mile circuit in the rolling Wisconsin countryside will host the Road America Road Race Showcase, the seventh round of the 2012 ALMS on Saturday, followed by the Corvette World Tribute on Sunday.
Racing legend Bob Bondurant gets a sneak peek, in this minute-long video from the Austin American-Statesman, at the Circuit of the Americas track under construction near Austin.
“Look at the elevation changes right now,” Bondurant comments as he makes a reconnaissance lap of the 3.4-mile circuit track. “This is gonna be so cool.”
The Corvette Racing program has really become the textbook case of how (and why) a car company goes racing. Not only does the Chevrolet Corvette benefit from the “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” strategy that Zora Duntov outlined nearly 60 years ago while making his case that Chevrolet needs to be a performance brand. Racing also provides a developmental role in validating the car and its individual systems. Those systems that can improve the performance of a car in a 24 hour race can just as well improve the performance of the production Corvette you’re driving on the street right now.
As we rapidly close in on the middle of August we also close on in the annual auction frenzy that takes place during Monterey Week. Over the next several days we’ll take a look at some of the unique Corvettes being offered next week in California. First up is the legendary Owens-Corning L88 Racer. The car, generally considered to be the most successful racing Corvette of all time, is being auctioned at RM’s Monterey sale on Friday, August 17th. Get your banker on the phone now as this one won’t be cheap.
How would you like to win a three-day driving experience package at Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club?
Well, you just might if you enter the Fellows 5 Challenge, where you will answer five multiple-choice questions about the successful Corvette race car driver and his upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.