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Corvette Racing's Johnny O'Connell Interview From SPEED's Wind Tunnel

Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell, fresh off the team’s #2 podium finish at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, had the folks from Dave Despain’s Wind Tunnel on SPEED over to his house for a chat about the new GT2 car, future prospects of racing at Le Mans and the Green Challenge.



Source:
SPEED


Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing’s C6.R GT2 Debut at Mid-Ohio 2009
Corvette Racing: #3 Corvette C6.R Earns 2nd Place GT2 Finish at Mid Ohio
Corvette Racing: Inside the GT2 Corvette C6.R
A New Era: Introducing Corvette Racing’s GT2 ZR1 C6.R

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C7 Corvette Rendering

In a move to shore up public confidence following its stint in bankruptcy court, General Motors on Tuesday unveiled its 2-year product plan for the four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GM. Included in the Chevrolet news is that production of the C7 Corvette will start in April 2012 for the 2013 model year. GM also added that the Corvette will maintain the front-engine layout that has defined the sports car for 57 years.

This is great news as earlier estimates had pushed back the C7 through 2014. This also means that the Corvette Team will now have the resources and the corporate edict to move full speed ahead on a new design that could see changes to America’s sports car that include a smaller, lighter body, greater use of advanced weight-saving materials like carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium and perhaps a smaller engine but one that will still provide the power-to-weight ratio that Corvette owners have become accustomed to. Superchargers for everyone?

At the Birthday Bash earlier this year, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter reassured the enthusiast gathering that the team is always thinking about the next generation Corvette and how to make it better. Now that the mid-engine layout has once again been tossed aside, Tadge’s engineering team will have essentially just a couple of years to make these engineering decisions and test them in mules which we could see as early as 2011.

As for the actual design of the car, prior this summer we believed the new C7 will again be more of a transition of the C6 body style. However, the public and Corvette enthusiasts were immediately smitten with the Transformer’s Corvette Stingray Concept introduced earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show. Perhaps the design team will see that owners would accept more of a radical departure from the looks of the C5/C6.

Sources:
Automotive News

Related:
Motor Authority’s Next Generation C7 Corvette Rendering
Lighter, Greener Corvette on the Horizon
Late Night Speculation: C7 Corvette Moving to Kappa Platform?

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1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer

August is a busy month for most of the preeminent automotive auction houses and RM Auctions is no exception. This weekend they host their highly anticipated Sports & Classics of Monterey event in Monterey, California. One of the Corvettes that will be offered for sale is the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 “Scuderia Filipinetti” Le Mans race car which is expected to fetch in the neighborhood of $500,000 – $700,000.

The Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer holds a significant place in Corvette’s racing history. With a coil spring front suspension and an L88 engine prepped by Zora Arkus-Duntov and smuggled out the back door to circumvent GM’s ban on racing, the L88 was driven at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans by Henri Greder and Umberto Maglioli. The car dominated the Porsches and led the GT class until the 6th hour when a carburetion problem melted a piston.

The Corvette returned to Le Mans in 1969 where it again dominated the competition and led the GT class for 16 hours before it retired due to another mechanical failure. Greder then drove the L88 Corvette that September in the Tour de France, a 5,000 km marathon over nine days including 11 events at 9 different tracks. Despite a constant engine misfire, Greder and co-driver Vigneron captured seven of the eleven events. This account of the race at Clermont is awe-inspiring:

Despite encountering a constant engine misfire which replacing the carburetor, plugs, wires and even the gas tank didn’t cure, Greder and his co-driver Vigneron captured seven of the eleven events (Nürburgring, Rouen, Le Mans, Cap Fréhel, Charade, Albi and le Tourmalet).

At Clermont they finally swapped the distributor for one from a Camaro and the L88’s power returned. Starting the race at Clermont Ferrand (then known as Charade) from the back of the field, Greder (“I was very tired, and so happy to have the power back,” he recalled) passed every car on the straight after the start, went straight across the next two corners, spun and backed into a utility pole. Restarting, again at the back of the field, the rejuvenated Corvette (its driver’s enthusiasm unconstrained by the tachometer, which didn’t work after the distributor swap) charged through the field, catching Gerard Larrousse’s leading Porsche 911R at the start-finish line at the end of the first lap.

“Larrousse said he thought I was out for good and was so startled when he saw me in his mirrors he almost went off,” Greder remembered. But it was too late to catch Larrousse in the overall standings. Greder and the Corvette finished second and won the GT category earning the description “La phénoménale Chevrolet Corvette” in Maurice Louche’s history of the Tour de France Automobile.

The L88 Corvette was then sold to Jean-Claude Aubriet who campaigned it four more times at Le Mans from 1970-73, finishing as high as 18th overall and 2nd in class. The L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer holds the record at Le Mans for single chassis starts (six).

Today the Corvette has been restored and now sports a 70′s vintage 454 made to look like the classic L88. It retains the coil spring front suspension developed by Zora as well as its M22 “Rock Crusher” close ratio gearbox and J56 heavy duty brakes. Documentation includes copies of the original A.C.O. entry forms from its six appearances at Le Mans.

Check out the new GT2 Corvette C6.R photos and the official press release after the jump.

1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel
1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer. 1968 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer.

The full auction catalog description is a must-read for any Corvette racing enthusiast. The 1968 Corvette L88 Coupe will be auctioned on Saturday, August 15, 2009.


Source:
RM Auctions


Related:
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
1962 Gulf Oil Corvette Sells for $1.485 Million at Pebble Beach

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Corvette Racing's C6.R GT2 Debut at Mid-Ohio 2009

Corvette Racing’s solid performance in their GT2 class debut at the 2009 Acura Sports Car Challenge raised a lot of eyebrows and puts the ALMS on notice: Jake is here and we take no prisoners! Magnussen and O’Connell get the #2 podium spot while Gavin and Beretta finished 4th. Check out Corvette Racing’s highlights from Mid-Ohio.

Sponsored By:

Bondurant School of High Performance Driving


Source:
NBC Sports


Related:
Corvette Racing: #3 Corvette C6.R Earns 2nd Place GT2 Finish at Mid Ohio
Corvette Racing: Inside the GT2 Corvette C6.R
A New Era: Introducing Corvette Racing’s GT2 ZR1 C6.R

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#3 Corvette C6.R earns 2nd Place GT2 Finish at Mid Ohio
Photo Credit: Autoblog

The new GT2 Corvettes have exceeded all expectations in their GT2 debut at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio with Magnussen and O’Connell earning the first podium finish for Corvette Racing in the new class. For most of the race, the #3 Corvette ran second behind the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche while Gavin/Beretta was a solid third before dropping to 4th place with less than 5 minutes remaining.

There is some speculation that towards the end of the race the two Corvettes let up just a bit to avoid any performance restrictions that might come from the new cars finishing too strong in their first outing. As the goal for the team is preparation for the 2010 season, I wouldn’t put it past Fehan for employing that strategy.

The final podium in GT2 was Porsche, Corvette and BMW. Clearly this will be an exciting class to watch in the coming months.

We’ll have some quotes and reflections from the team and drivers as they become available.

NBC will televise the race tape-delayed at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 9.



Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: #3 Corvette C6.R Captures 3rd Position in GT2 Qualifying at Mid-Ohio
Corvette Racing: Inside the GT2 Corvette C6.R
A New Era: Introducing Corvette Racing’s GT2 ZR1 C6.R

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Custom Batmobile Made From 1958 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on August 8, 2009

Custom Batmobile Made From 1958 Corvette

As found over at the Bat-Blog, one of their readers bought a custom batmobile made from a 1958 Corvette. The car has 8,019 original miles as it was stored for 30 years. According to the buyer, “BATCAR” is listed as the type of vehicle on the Corvette’s title. Blasphemy or Cool?

Click here for a Larger Version


Source:
Bat-Blog

Related:
Holy Cow Batman! The Batmobile is a Corvette!
[VIDEO] Real Life Superhero Drives A 1975 Corvette


 

Hat Tip: Corvette Info Center


 

GT2 Corvette C6.R shakedown

Jan Magnussen and the #3 Corvette C6.R rocketed to third position during Friday’s qualifying session for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. Magnussen turned a fastest lap of 1:21.454. The GT2 Pole goes to the 1:21.022 (100.328 mph) run by #45 Flying Lizard Porsche and three-time champion Joerg Bergmeister. Oliver Gavin qualified the #4 Corvette C6.R at six position and was half a second off the class leader.

Bergmeister took time to comment on the Corvette’s debut in the GT2 class:

“They might be sandbagging. We’ll see what they do in the race,” Bergmeister said. “It’s been impressive so far seeing them close to the top. We have to stay out of the fight with those guys and stay ahead.

We don’t have video of the qualifying session, but thanks to Chris at Corvette Info Center we have a video from Oliver Gavin of a recent GT2 Corvette C6.R shakedown session at Gingerman Raceway.

As said by one of the broadcasters during today’s radio lemans coverage of the qualifying session: “I hear the sound of thunder”.

Update
Check out the Mid-Ohio photo gallery at BadBoyVettes



Source:
American LeMans and Corvette Info Center


Related:
Corvette Racing: Inside the GT2 Corvette C6.R
A New Era: Introducing Corvette Racing’s GT2 ZR1 C6.R

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Friday’s Featured Corvettes for Sale

by Keith Cornett on August 7, 2009

2003 Corvette Coupe for Sale at VetteFinders.com

Check out these six great Corvettes we are featuring today from VetteFinders.com, the Internet’s original Corvette classifieds website. Each day thousands of buyers turn to our sister website to find the Corvette of their dreams as we have one of the best selections of both classic, preowned and new Corvettes available anywhere.

1959 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1965 Corvette Coupe For Sale 1971 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1959 Convertible
$149,900
1965 Coupe
$59,900
1971 Convertible
$52,000
 
1994 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2003 Corvette Coupe For Sale 2008 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1994 Coupe
$15,900
2003 Coupe
$22,990
2008 Convertible
$47,999

Thinking of selling Your Corvette? Now is the time and VetteFinders.com is the place to reach more qualified Corvette Buyers. Corvette Classified Ads start at only $25 and your Corvette will run until its sells. You can post unlimited photos and you have access to make any changes at any time.


Source:
VetteFinders.com

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