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Popular Mechanics Tests Corvette’s Fuel Efficiency

by Keith Cornett on June 15, 2009

 Popular Mechanics Tests Corvette's Fuel Efficiency

Those who look at the Corvette and see a gas guzzling V8 sports car are usually unaware that the sport car’s EPA highway mileage rating is 26. Corvette owners who regularly drive their cars know this number to be on the low side. So Popular Mechanics recently got behind the wheel of a new C6 to test what they call Corvettes “most amazing talent…its astonishing fuel economy”.

Popular Mechanics chose a route from a gas station in Santa Barbara, California north along US Route 101 to Santa Maria and then back, a round trip of about 140 miles. The Corvette was a C6 model equipped with a standard six-speed manual transmission. PM drove the Corvette on the freeway at 55 mph, 10 mph below the posted speed limit, using cruise control with the windows up, air conditioning off and vents open. The 18-gallon tank was filled with 91 octane gas.

At 55 mph, the Corvette’s tach showed a steady 1300 rpms, barely off-idle, but producing enough torque to maintain a constant speed on even some of the longer grades. According to the on-board computer, PM averaged 30.5 mpg with and average speed of 52.8 mph over the 142.8 miles. But it only took 4.358 gallons to refill the Corvette’s gas tank. That works out to 32.8 mpg!

So how does a sports car with a 6.2 liter 436 horsepower V8 get this kind of fuel economy? Popular Mechanics says the secret is the sixth gear in the transmission, which is an aggressive 0.50:1 overdrive that when combined with the 3.42:1 final drive ratio allows the engine to turn slowly at modest cruising speeds.

The availability of the low-end torque provided by the LS3 engine means that it doesn’t have to spin to high revs to make sure there is enough ft-lbs of torque on tap. Popular Mechanics compares this feat to the Ferrari F430 (EPA highway rating is 16 mpg) which believes the Italian sports car could not make the same trip without at least one downshift.

The thought of driving the Corvette at 10 mph under the posted speed limit sounds pretty boring though and the writers from Popular Mechanics said the same. Any vehicle driven conservatively will get better fuel economy than one driven hard and fast. That being said, Popular Mechanics sums up its fuel efficiency test by saying the Corvette’s “parsimonious performance likely can’t be duplicated by any other car with anywhere near the performance.”

Lastly, for you detractors out there that only see Corvette owners as out of touch with the environmental movement or being less green than say a hybrid owner, I urge you to visit the story at Popular Mechanics and read the comments coming from Corvette owners who share their real life stories of the Corvette’s most amazing talent – it’s astonishing fuel economy.


Source
Popular Mechanics

Related:
New Chevy Commercial Touts Corvettes HWY MPG

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Sixth Class Win for Corvette Racing's #63 C6.R
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Corvette Racing came to La Sarthe with a single-minded goal to win the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and that’s exactly what they accomplished. Piloting the #63 Velocity Yellow Corvette C6.R across the finish line was Johnny O’Connell, who became the only American to win Le Mans 4 times. The #64 Corvette seized the GT1 lead with 3 hours left to run, but transmission problems knocked the Black Corvette out of the race.

Coming in second was the White #73 Corvette run by Luc Alphands team and in third place was the Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin DBR9, which was way down on the leader board most of the race but refused to quit. Once the #64 Corvette went out of the race, the Aston Martin was assured a podium finish.

Corvette Racing Quotes

Jan Magnussen, No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R:
“Four Le Mans wins feels absolutely great. My role in this one was for only half the race. I really have to thank Johnny and Antonio for working so hard during the last half of the race. Also a special mention to my crew chief Dan Binks. Standing on the victory podium at Le Mans is just amazing, and I hope that we can carry on.”

Johnny O’Connell, No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R:
“Winning at Le Mans is hard because it’s all about pushing as hard as you can while being perfect with your technique and taking care of the car. I think the three of us did that, even when we were wiped out and tired. The guys in the No. 64 Corvette might have had a little more mid-corner grip than us, so we had to push every minute. When you do that, sometimes you make mistakes, but the No. 63 finished the race as pretty as it started it.”

Antonio Garcia, No. 63 Compuware Corvette C6.R:
“I’ll tell you tomorrow when I wake up what it means to win Le Mans twice. This is my third 24-hour race win a row – I won Le Mans last year and Daytona 24 this year. I cannot ask for anything else. Corvette Racing gave me a car and a crew that worked perfectly, and I really appreciate it. During the night and this morning, I was up to my best. That’s what a proper team needs to be – everyone giving 100 percent.”

Oliver Gavin, No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R:
“It didn’t seem to matter what we did today, it was something just ready to trip us up, whether it was punctures or safety cars or this gearbox problem. I think that Olivier, Marcel and myself had driven well throughout the race, and it was going to be extremely close at the finish. It was going to come down two cars racing at the end of the race, which is quite unusual here at Le Mans. I really thought we had a great shot at it today, after we kept clawing back and finally pulled away, but then the final card played by Lady Luck was all bad luck. It’s desperately disappointing.”

Olivier Beretta, No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R:
“The car was good, then I had a puncture and my car was starting to be difficult, so they called me in and changed the tire. On the restart, I made the pass on the No. 63 Corvette before the Ford chicane. There was a lot of confusion and I just put the throttle flat on the floor.”

“It seemed like we were racing against the pace car all day. We’d lose two minutes, catch back up, and then lose two minutes again. The team did a very good job, we never gave up, and what happened today is just part of racing. We are professionals and have to accept it – but to be honest, you have to be disappointed when you push hard and don’t win.”

Doug Louth, Corvette Racing Engineering Director:
“It was easy to stay awake this morning because there was a lot happening. It couldn’t have been any closer between the two Corvettes – if they had both run to the finish, it would have come down to the wire. There were a lot of possible scenarios with pit stops and tires. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but Corvette C6.Rs finished first and second.”

Dan Binks, Crew Chief, Corvette C6.R No. 63:
“Winning Le Mans is so unbelievable that I can’t even talk about it. All of the people here worked their butts off, and we’re just the guys who show up at the track. There are dozens of guys back in the shop working on this stuff.”



Source:
Corvette Racing
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Related:
2009 Le Mans 24: Live Blogging Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
2009 Le Mans 24: Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy

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Live Blogging Corvette Racing GT1 Campaign
Photo Credit: Pierre BARRAU – ACO/Nikon

As Corvette Racing makes its run for a 6th victory in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we’ll be here bringing you the latest news and updates from the variety of Le Mans coverage we’re following.

Le Mans 24 coverage is sponsored by

Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
 

Hour 24

  • #63 Corvette brings home 6th GT1 Class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • O’Connell becomes 1st American driver with 4 Le Mans wins
  • Win brings tears of joy to Crew Chief Dan Binks.
  • Luc Alphand’s #73 Corvette finishes 2nd, #66 Aston Martin finishes 3rd.
  • Unofficial Results: #63, #73, #66, #64 (out), #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 23

  • Final Hour!
  • #63 Corvette currently being driven by Antonio Garcia.
  • #73 Corvette in number 2 position, seven laps off GT1 leader.
  • #64 Corvette listed in 3rd place, 25 laps up on #66 Aston Martin DBR9.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #73, #64, #66, #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 22

  • Bad news for #64 Corvette. After taking the lead in hour 18, they break a driveshaft.
  • Reports say a huge spike in transmission temperature and then it failed.
  • #64 Corvette was pushed onto pit lane but it looks like this is the end.
  • #63 Corvette will retake the lead followed by French #73 Corvette C6.R
  • Current Running Order: #63, #73, #64, #66, #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 15

  • The sun rises over La Sarthe!
  • Garcia in for O’Connell and Beretta replaces Gavin.
  • Beretta very fast with back to back laps of 3:54s.
  • 1:29.080 separates #63 from #64. #73 C6r 4 laps down.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 14

  • O’Connell and Gavin continue stints.
  • Safety car is out putting #64 one lap behind.
  • #63 Corvette lead is 2:30 over #64.
  • 184 laps run by GT1 leader
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 13

  • O’Connell in for Magnussen, Gavin remains in #64
  • #63 Corvette (Magnussen) gets sideswiped by LMP1 car, is okay.
  • 3rd in class is #73 Corvette C6.R driven by Julien Jousse
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72 (out), #68 (out)

Hour 12 – Halfway

  • Magnussen in for Garcia. Gavin in for Fassler
  • GT1 leader #63 Corvette over #64 by 1:31.368
  • 175 laps traveled at halfway point
  • 3rd in class is #73 Corvette C6.R driven by Yan Clairay
  • #66 Aston Martin DBR9 still running but 55 laps down.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72, #68

Hour 11

  • #63 Corvette maintaining 1 lap lead over #64.
  • Fassler replaces Beretta in #64, Garcia remains in #63
  • Both Corvettes in Top 20. #63 is 18th, #64 is 20th.
  • Luc Alphand’s #73 Corvette C6.R 3 laps down in 3rd place.
  • #66 Aston Martin DBR9 still running but 55 laps down.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72, #68

Hour 10

  • Garcia now behind the wheel of the #63 Corvette C6.R
  • #64 Corvette C6.R gaining on #63. Now down just 1:14
  • Luc Alphand’s #73 Corvette C6.R 3 laps down in 3rd place.
  • #66 Aston Martin DBR9 still running but 55 laps down.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #66, #72, #68

Hour 9

  • O’Connell and Beretta continue stints.
  • #63 Corvette leading GT1 by 1:50
  • Luc Alphand’s #73 Corvette C6.R 3 laps down in 3rd place.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 8

  • O’Connell replaces Magnussen and Beretta replaces Gavin.
  • #63 Corvette continues GT1 lead with 2:20 lead over #64.
  • #73 Corvette C6.R Now Solidly in third place.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 7

  • Magnussen and Gavin continue stints.
  • #63 Corvette has GT1 lead, #64 Corvette 2:15 behind.
  • Magnusses sets fastest GT1 lap at 3:54.076
  • #63 Corvette C6.R up over #64 by 2:12, running 21st overall.
  • #72 Corvette C6.R goes into a wall. Waiting for details on condition.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #72, #73, #66, #68

Hour 6

  • Gavin replaces Fassler and Magnussen is in for Garcia.
  • #63 Corvette C6.R up over #64 by 2:12, running 21st overall.
  • #73 Corvette C6.R is two laps off GT1 lead for 3rd in class.
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 5

  • Garcia and Fassler continue stints.
  • Safety car comes out right in front of #64.
  • #63 Corvette C6.R gets splash of fuel during caution.
  • #63 Corvette up 2 minutes over #64
  • GT1 class essentially split into 2 groups: #63/#64 and #73/#72
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 4

  • #63 leading GT1. #64 just 27 seconds behind
  • Garcia replaces O’Connell in #63 Corvette C6.R
  • Fassler replaces Beretta in #64 Corvette C6.R
  • #66 Aston Martin goes into garage for a few minutes
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 3

  • #63 alone on GT1 lead lap. Running 22nd overall.
  • Beretta still on 1st stint in #64
  • #66 Aston Martin back in but 28 laps off GT1 leader
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #73, #72, #66, #68

Hour 2

  • Driver Change – O’Connell replaces Magnussen in #63
  • #63 and #64 on lead GT1 lap, #72 and #73 1 lap down.
  • Lamborghini Out? Been in Pits for a while – 28 laps down
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #72, #73, #66, #68

Hour 1

  • It’s all about the Corvettes in GT1.
  • The Aston Martin DBR9 is 6 laps down and the Japanese Lamborghini is 11 laps down.
  • #64 C6.R ended up behind 2nd safety car after pit stop opening gap to #63 C6.R
  • Current Running Order: #63, #64, #72, #73, #66, #68



Source:
Corvette Motorsport
Photo Credit: Pierre BARRAU – ACO/Nikon

Related:
2009 Le Mans 24: Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy
Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

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Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Photo Credit: Fr̩d̩ric GAUDIN РACO/Nikon

If you’re planning to follow flag to flag coverage of the Corvette Racing’s final GT1 assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, here is the essential media guide for the best content online and on TV. Thanks goes out to CorvetteMotorsport.com for putting this list together.

24 Hours Le Mans Media Schedule:

Radio Le Mans, Live timings, Corvette Chat, on-board camera, video AND news can ALL be accessed at Corvettemotorsport.com

Live pit notes:

Radio:

Bad Boy Vettes

Online Forums:

SPEED TV Live Streaming 24 hours Saturday/Sunday (starts 11:00 am CST)

SPEED will provide live television coverage in the U.S. from 8:30 a.m. to noon ET and 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and midnight to 10 a.m. ET Sunday.



Source:
Corvette Motorsport
Photo Credit: Fr̩d̩ric GAUDIN РACO/Nikon

Related:
2009 Le Mans 24: Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy
Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

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Corvette Racing Qualifies One-Two in GT1 Class
Photo Credit: Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO / Nikon

With a dry track and near perfect conditions, Jan Magnussen and the #63 Corvette C6.R won the pole in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year with a time of 3:54.230. Olivier Beretta was right on his tail and qualified the Black #64 Corvette C6.R with a time of 3:54.702 in what will be Corvette Racing’s final GT1 race.

Although the first session ran smoothly for both Corvettes, things did get a little dicey in the second session. Beretta spun the #64 C6.R in the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight while Antonio Garcia dealt with a punctured tire on his Velocity Yellow #63 Corvette.

“So far so good!” said Magnussen. “The Corvette C6.R goes really well and responds well to changes. I set my qualifying time on soft tires with a couple of laps on them already, which shows how good the car is. In the second part of the qualifying session Antonio (Garcia) did a long run to see how the tires would behave over a distance. With the new rules on tire changes, we’ll have to double-stint them to avoid losing too much time in the pits. Tonight we learned how hard we can push them.”

“Winning the GT1 pole at Le Mans is fitting after 10 years of intense competition and a great way to begin the ending of Corvette’s reign in the GT1 category at Le Mans,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Tonight’s performance certainly reflects the advances in technology that General Motors has developed through the Corvette Racing program.”

24 Hours of Le Mans LM GT1 Qualifying Times:

Pos./Car No./Drivers/Car/Time
1. (63) O’Connell/Magnussen/Garcia, Corvette C6.R, 3:54.230
2. (64) Gavin/Beretta/Fassler, Corvette C6.R, 3:54.702
3. (66) Lichtner-Hoyer/Gruber/Muller, Aston Martin DBR9, 3:56.126
4. (72) Alphand/Goueslard/Gregoire, Corvette C6.R, 3:57.170
5. (73) Jousse/Maassen/Clairay, Corvette C6.R, 3:57.564 6. (68) Apicella/Yogo/Yamagishi, Lamborghini Murcielago, 4:21.812

The 77th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 13 and finish at 3 p.m. CET (9 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, June 14. SPEED will provide live television coverage in the U.S. from 8:30 a.m. to noon ET and 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and midnight to 10 a.m. ET Sunday. Flag-to-flag coverage of the race can be heard on SIRIUS channel 126, XM channel 243, and radiolemans.com.



Source:
Corvette Racing
Photo Credit: Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO / Nikon

Related:
Chevrolet’s Ed Peper: Corvette Racing Program to Continue Under GM Bankruptcy
Corvette Racing: The 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry List

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Chevrolet Celebrates Production of the 1,500,000th Corvette

Another milestone was reached in the 56 year history of the Chevrolet Corvette. On May 28th, this Arctic White Corvette Convertible became the 1.5 millionth Corvette ever made.

Chevrolet Product Marketing Manager Karen Rafferty made the announcement of the milestone at a recent meeting of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association. “The 1.5 millionth Corvette is a great example of how Chevy is America’s Brand,” Rafferty said. “For nearly 60 years we have built America’s Sports Car and this milestone is a solid proof point.”

Like its predecessors, the 1.5 millionth Corvette features a white exterior with red interior and a black top. The Corvette has a 3LT options package.

This C6 Corvette joins the other milestone Corvettes built previously. The first Corvette rolled off the assembly line on June 30, 1953 in Flint, Michigan. Twenty four years later, the 500,000 Corvette was built in 1977. The one millionth Corvette was built in 1992.

Chevrolet Celebrates Production of the 1,500,000th Corvette Chevrolet Celebrates Production of the 1,500,000th Corvette Chevrolet Celebrates Production of the 1,500,000th Corvette


Source:
GM.com

Related:
Final Production Numbers for the 2009 Special Edition Corvettes

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2009 Competition Sport Corvette

Thirty years from now Corvette collectors are going to talking about the two special edition Corvettes that rolled out of Bowling Green in 2009. That’s because the two qualities collectors covet – high performance and limited production – have all but guaranteed the GT1 Championship Edition and the Competition Sport Edition a special place in Corvette history.

According to Chevrolet literature, the Competition Sport package was built for the owner who attends driving schools and track events. The edition was available in both Z06 and Z51 coupe configurations and featured performance options like the differential cooler, NPP exhaust and heads-up display.

The Z51-equipped 1LT coupe version was priced at $55,655 while the Z06 1LZ model was listed for $77,500 including charges. Only 72 CSC Corvettes were built and here is the production breakdown:

Competition Sport Quantity
   
Coupe – Arctic White 13
Coupe – Blade Silver 39
Z06 – Black 10
Z06 – Blade Silver 10
   
Total: 72


2009 GT1 Championship Edition Corvette

The GT1 Championship Edition was built to commemorate the 10 years of Corvette Racing’s successful run in the American Le Mans series. That run included over 70 victories, eight GT1 Manufacturer Championships and five GT1 class victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Essentially there were six versions of the GT1 Championship Corvettes built. The GT1 Championship Edition was available in Coupe, Convertible or Z06 models with your choice of Velocity Yellow or Black. And because it was a commemorative model, the GT1′s race inspired graphics feature Corvette Racing’s Jake mascot ghost-painted on the hood bulge as well as years of the championships and driver’s National flags.

Pricing for the GT1 Championship Edition started at $65,310 for the 4LT Coupe, $71,815 for the 4LT Convertible and $86,385 for the 3LZ Corvette Z06. Although 600 were planned for production, only 125 were built. Here is the production breakdown:

GT1 Championship Edt Quantity
   
Coupe – Black 24
Coupe – Yellow 29
Convertible – Black 7
Convertible – Yellow 10
Z06 – Black 17
Z06 – Yellow 38
   
Total: 125


Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
Introducing the Limited Edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette
Officially Official: The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Editions
My Hot Lap Around Sebring in a 2009 Competition Sport Corvette

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Please excuse the mess…we’ve been hacked!

by Keith Cornett on June 8, 2009

This Corvette was hacked too!
Some guy in China decided he needed more traffic to his website. So he hacked our z06-equivent Dell PowerEdge Server and set up a series of scripts to divert our visitors to his site. Unfortunately, everytime we clean up his mess, one of his scripts runs and we’re back to square zero. We are working feverishly to get back up and running and should be okay sometime on Tuesday.

Update: Server is back, although now my Twitter account is suspended do to the cross site script hack. Still working on getting everything right!

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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