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Racing

Corvette Racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans

by Keith Cornett on June 8, 2009

Corvette Racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans


Source:
Endurance-Info.com

 

Chevrolet's Ed Peper and the C6.R Corvette

One of our biggest fears in a GM Bankruptcy was that the automaker would be forced to cancel the company’s racing programs including Corvette Racing’s final assault on the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as it focuses on reorganization. But recent comments by GM Vice President of Chevrolet Ed Peper appears to put those fears to rest.

“Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” is still very much a part of the company’s DNA, Peper told the Detroit’s Free Press. Auto racing will remain “a stout marketing and advertising tool in its reorganization”.

That’s good news as the Corvette Racing team and enthusiasts converge on France next week for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing will run its pair of Compuware-sponsored Chevy Corvette C6.Rs in the GT1 class and hopes are high that this final GT1 race for the team will end with a 1-2 podium finish.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the key marketing activities of the brand,” Peper said. “Corvette is the marquee brand for the company, but we’ve got to get maximum return for minimum spending.”

“We have a great presence in motorsports, but we need the returns to be even better,” Peper said. “I love racing, but the most appealing part of it to me is delivering on sales.”

Peper says the government’s auto task force has not gotten involved in GM’s racing programs during the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. “They concentrated on the core business — they didn’t get into marketing and advertising,” Peper said. “They just wanted us to use good judgment with our promotions.”

Peper says “we race to win, and we get a great return on it.” But, he added, all GM’s racing programs, including NASCAR, will be under pressure to deliver greater efficiencies and return on investment despite tough times.

“We have a great presence in motorsports, but we need the returns to be even better,” Peper said. “I love racing, but the most appealing part of it to me is delivering on sales.”

Practice for Le Mans will take place on June 10th and qualifying will be held on June 11th. The 77th running of the worlds most prestigious sports car race will start on Saturday, June 13th at 3 pm local time (10 am EST) and the checkered flag will drop 24 hours later on Sunday, June 14th. Much of race will be carried by SPEED.



Source:
Detroit Free Press

Related:
Take No Prisoners: The Story of Corvette Racing’s Mascot
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Gavin and Beretta Win Final ALMS GT1 Race at Long Beach

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LG Motorsports GT2 Corvette

Lou Gigliotti made a valiant run in the American Le Mans Series over the last year and half, but the cost of running in the series as well as several other factors have led to the decision to put up for sale the #28 Riley GT2 Corvette. Recently repaired from the fire at Long Beach, the GT2 Corvette and a tractor-trailer full of parts is being offered for $425,000.

Despite listing the Corvette for sale, Lou still plans to return to the track in the Black and Flames #28 Corvette for a run at the 10 hour/1,000 mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta although we may even see him even sooner at Mosport.

According to Lou, the cost of running in the series makes it extremely difficult to be competitive. Lou also cites interference from GM Racing in both their Le Mans application and their inability to get secure Michelin as a tire supplier as a contributing factor as well:

“The fact that we could never get Michelin tires is a factor and the interference of GM Racing in the effort to get Michelins is the final straw that is chasing us out. GM was also instrumental in making sure that our Le Mans entry was denied because of the Riley lawsuit.” Gigliotti adds “I don’t want to whine but it is clear that GM never wanted us to be competitive in GT2 once they made the decision to enter the class. So keeping Michelin tires out of reach made it easy for them.”

Lou has proven he can run as fast as the Porches and Ferraris in GT2 and says the car has been totally rebuilt following Long Beach and is better than it was when originally built by Riley. This is good news if you want to own the very first ALMS GT2 Corvette. Interested parties should call Lou at 972-429-1963. Think about this, you could be driving this Corvette at Road Atlanta in the Petit Le Mans. Live the dream! Although the LG Motorsports team has made changes to the Corvette over the last two seasons to shed pounds and make the car competitive, you can still get details of the GT2 Corvette platform from Riley Technologies



Source:
Racecars360.com

Related:
[VIDEO] LG Motorsports GT2 Corvette Catches Fire at Long Beach
[VIDEO] #28 LG Motorsports GT2 Corvette Qualifying in St. Pete

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The Corvette C7R LMP1 Race Car That Never Was

by Keith Cornett on May 26, 2009

The Corvette C7R LMP1 Race Car That Never Was

A Le Mans EVO prototype model was spotted by a Ten-Tenths.com forum member while taking a tour of the Pratt & Miller facility in New Hudson, Michigan. If you remember, in 2007 the ACO (the organization that governs Le Mans) was looking to combine the GT1 and LMP1 classes into the single “Evo” class. However, some LMP1 teams balked at the idea and so the EVO rules were eventually shelved. However, during the time the EVO was being considered, Pratt & Miller developed a model for the proposed Evo class.

Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model
Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model
Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model Corvette LMP1 Race Car Model

The last photo shows an ACO-provided mockup of an EVO LMP1 in Corvette Racing Livery. While similar in design, if you look closely you will see that its different than the wind tunnel model on display at Pratt & Miller.

Following the ACO’s decision to leave the LMP1 rules in place, GM suspended development of the Evo program last year and has since made the decision to move to GT2. And while we would much rather see the Corvette battling Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and Aston Martin in a class that more closely resembles production cars, we are left to wonder how a mid-engined LMP1 Corvette would have competed against the likes of Audi and Peugeot for the overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


Source:
Ten-Tenths.com

Related:
GM Red Flags Corvette’s Le Mans Evo C7R Racer
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan Talks about the ZR1-Based GT2 Corvette C6.R

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Corvette Racing's Doug Fehan Talks about the ZR1-Based GT2 Corvette C6.R

During his presentation at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash last month, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan spoke about the move to the GT2 class and answered questions about the new Corvette ZR1-based GT2 C6.R. Doug is joined on stage with retired VLE and Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace.

The most interesting news to come from the GT2 Q&A is that the new engine will come direct from GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, MI – the same facility that builds the engines for the Z06 and the ZR1 Corvette. Previously, the engines were supplied by Katech. The move to supply engines in-house means that there will be a greater opportunity for technology transfer from the racing program to the production Corvette.



Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Gavin and Beretta Win Final ALMS GT1 Race at Long Beach
Corvette Racing: Pratt & Miller GT2 Corvette Spied at Road Atlanta
Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R to Wear ZR1 Bodyy

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Take No Prisoners: The Story of Corvette Racing's Mascot

Think you know everything about Corvette Racing’s now ubiquitous skull and corvette flags mascot Jake? The Auto Insider at Jalopnik.com put together a nice piece entitled the “The History of Jake: Corvette Racing’s Mascot”. As next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the final hurrah for the GT1 C6.R, it’s as good a time as any to brush up on Corvette Racing lore as the team transitions to the GT2 class.

Read the full article at Jalopnik.com

 

Corvette Racing's Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake

Corvette Racing’s Program Manager spoke last week at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash about the racing program. In this video clip, Doug talks about the final GT1 race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Green Challenge and one of our favorite topics, the emergence of “Jake”. Doug is joined on stage by retired VLE and Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace.

We’ll be hearing more from Doug in the next few days including progress of the GT2 Corvette C6.R and his take on the current state of the auto industry and GM.



Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: Gavin and Beretta Win Final ALMS GT1 Race at Long Beach
Corvette Racing: Pratt & Miller GT2 Corvette Spied at Road Atlanta
Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R to Wear ZR1 Bodyy

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Corvette Racing's Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake

Europe’s FIA GT Championship gets underway this weekend with the season’s first race at Silverstone. Four Corvettes will be going up against the likes of Maserati, Saleen, Ford and the new kid in the series: Nissan’s GT-R. You can follow the coverage through Corvette Motorsport’s live video feeds all weekend long.

At the time of this post, round 2 of qualifying is on and the Corvettes are currently running 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th.

The two-hour race at Silverstone gets underway Sunday at 2:15pm local time which I think works out to be 9am Eastern Standard.

From the image gallery, check out the cool Jake suit:

Corvette Racing's Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake



Source:
CorvetteMotorsport.com

Related:
Spa 24: Corvettes Finish 1st and 3rd
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan Talks about Le Mans, Green Challenge and Jake

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Indy 500 Corvettes Help Kickoff Festival on the Circle

The annual kickoff to the 500 Festival was held today at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Despite the soggy weather, a contingent of 2009 Festival Corvette convertibles made their appearance on the Circle. For the first time in five years Corvette will not be handling pace car duties.

This year the all new 2010 Chevy Camaro is sporting the cool paint job while the Festival Corvette’s graphics are bit more subtle, if you can call a Corvette with a huge Indy 500 logo on the side subtle. The Festival Corvettes are used to shuttle dignitaries and track officials around to various 500-related events and then are usually sold.

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Corvette Racing's Steve Wesoloski

General Motors made another round of cutbacks with 1,600 white-collar workers losing their jobs as the company accelerates cost cuts to qualify for additional government aid. Among the positions cut was that of GM’s Road Race Group Manager Steve Wesoloski. Over the last few months, GM has significantly scaled back its road racing efforts until the Corvette program is all that remains and that must have been enough to make Wesoloski’s position vulnerable.

My first encounter with Steve was just last month at the 12 Hours of Sebring when he addressed the Corvette Corral. I found him to be very passionate and enthusiastic about the Corvette Racing program. It’s sort of prophetic that during one part of his stump speech he asked everyone to please keep buying cars because he doesn’t want to have to go back to the real world.

Steve was with GM since 1989 where he started as a release engineer on the C4 Corvette and joined Corvette Racing in 2001. He served as a liaison between the factory and racing programs and when Road Racing Group Manager position opened up, he took that and ran with it. The only downside to being the boss he said at Sebring was that he wasn’t allowed to go over the wall anymore during pit stops.

All those who are fans of Corvette Racing should raise a glass to Steve tonight and wish him well. We thank you Steve for your dedication and infectious enthusiasm during your tenure and hope your future is as bright as that of the racing team you helped build.

Here again is the video of Steve’s presentation from the Corvette Corral at Sebring, which we titled as “Racing Sells Cars”.



Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s Steve Wesoloski: “Racing Sells Cars”

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