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Corvette – The Underdog Champion

by Keith Cornett on June 14, 2007

Reposted from LeMans.org C6.R Corvette at Le MansThey’ve won the LM GT1 (and GTS) class in five of the last seven 24 Hours of Le Mans and yet, ironically, every year it seems Corvette is considered the underdog against faster and more sophisticated competitors. Indeed, the Viper V10 in 2000, the 12-cylinder double overhead cam-powered Ferraris and Aston Martins, and the more exotic mid-engined Saleens have often dominated pre-race practice and qualifying sessions. Not once, in fact, in the previous seven 24 Hours of Le Mans has a Corvette been fastest qualifier in its class. With no less than six of the blindingly fast Aston Martin DBR9s (three of them factory entries run by ProDrive), independent Ferrari 550 Maranello and Lamborghini Murcielago entries, and new for this year two Saleen S7R entries by the veteran Oreca team, the Corvettes may once again be hard pressed to match their competitors’ outright lap speeds. Interestingly, the two occasions on which Corvette was beaten at Le Mans, it was by an Oreca Viper in 2000, and a ProDrive Ferrari in 2003. But in spite of any speed disadvantage and what often seems an insurmountable lead by their competitors every year, Corvettes prevailed in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The reasons – ironclad reliability, and the skill and never-say-die determination of the Corvette Racing team that campaigns America’s sports car. The race in 2006 between ProDrive’s obviously faster Aston Martin DBR9s and the Corvettes was an epic struggle, flag to flag, won ultimately by the gritty Corvette Racing squad. With the Oreca Saleens joining these two great teams, this year’s GT1 contest in the 24 Hours of Le Mans should be a classic. It won’t be surprising if the Aston Martins and Saleens dominate the run-up this week, once again putting Corvette in the underdog role. But of course, the question is who will prevail after 24 grueling hours?
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans Qualifying News: Corvettes Now At 3rd and 5th

by Keith Cornett on June 14, 2007

Oliver Gavin drove the #64 Corvette C6.R to third in the GT1 class on the first day of qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gavin’s time of 3:52.130 is about 2.5 seconds behind the #008 Aston Martin which topped the class at 3:50.761. Jan Magussen piloted Corvette Racing’s #63 C6.R to 5th in class with a lap time of 3:52.657, just .527 hundredths of a second behind the #64 C6.R. Also in the GT1 Class, the #53 Lamborghini was involved in a crash at the Playstation chicane. Driver Marco Apicella was not seriously injured, but was transported to the medical facilities and was later released for further observation. Here are current GT1 Class Standings after Day 1 of Qualifying:

Driver Team Car Time
Bouchut AMR Larbre Comp #008 Aston Martin DBR9 3:50.761
Ayari Team Oreca #55 Saleen S7R 3:51.240
Gavin Corvette Racing #64 C6.R 3:52.130
Brabham Aston Martin Racing #009 Aston Martin DBR9 3:52.471
Magnussen Corvette Racing #63 C6.R 3:52.657
Thursday is the final day of qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. SPEEDtv will have coverage of the qualifying rounds early Saturday morning and live coverage begins Saturday at 9:00am EST.
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Best Video Yet: C6.R Corvette Lapping Le Mans

by Keith Cornett on June 14, 2007

OnBoard Camera Captures C6.R Vette at Le MansBadBoyVettes.com is in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and sacrificed a Canon PowerShot camera to get this awesome video of the #63 Corvette C6.R driven by Ron Fellows on a reconnaissance lap of the track. The site has photos of Program Manager Doug Fehan and a crew member taping the camera to the outside of the vehicle. By mounting the camera outside you really get the full effect of the sound coming from the Corvette as well as the ability to really see how fast these cars can go.

BBV also acknowledges that “the video download crashed the team’s computers between sessions, so we are busy mending fences with the Corvette Crew so as not to be extradited back to the US before the race.” Let’s hope they do!
Source:
BadBoyVettes.com Related:
Video: 1 Lap Around LeMans in a C5-R Corvette Race Car Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans Qualifying News: Corvettes Running 2nd and 5th

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2007

Qualifying is underway at Le Mans and Corvette Racing’s C6.Rs are current running 2nd and 5th Here are the standings as of 2pm EST:

Driver Team Car Time
Ayari Team Oreca #55 Saleen S7R 3:55.241
Beretta Corvette Racing #64 C6.R 3:56.642
Malucelli AMR BMS #100 Aston Martin DBR9 3:57.095
Garcia Team Modena #59 Aston Martin DBR9 3:57.737
Fellows Corvette Racing #63 C6.R 3:58.048

Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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Why do we like the Bloomington Gold High Performance Auction so much? It’s a pure Corvette event featuring over 500 Corvettes for sale, surrounded by the faithful who make the annual pilgrimage every year. Where other auctions are higher profile and attract the crazy money like Barrett-Jackson’s two events, the Corvette auction at Bloomington is a real harbinger of where the Corvette Market is. And that’s why we are very interested in the two 1953 Corvette Roadsters that will be hitting the auction block. 1953 Corvettes are special because they were the first. For the most part these Corvettes were hand assembled and had their issues. It was more of a touring car than sports car with its 6 cylinder Blue Flame engine. The 300 Corvettes produced during the first year of the Corvette is the lowest production number for any year since and that is part of its mystique. While performance junkies have driven up the pricing of midyears and fuelies over the last five years, the 1953 Corvette has for the most part sat quietly by and waited for its turn. So is 2007 the year the 1953 Corvette Roadster finally makes its move in the Collector Car market? These Corvettes don’t come up for sale very often, but already this year we’ve seen three 1953 Corvettes sell and with each sale, the bar is raised. And because of the low production, three Corvettes are significant as they represent 1% of the entire production quantity, and that’s making the assumption that all 300 are still around. In reality, the number is probably in the 250 range at best. The trend started in January at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale. There, an NCRS Top Flight 1953 Corvette Roadster sold for $298,350. At the Houston Classic in May 2007, a 1953 Corvette Roadster was sold for $396,000. And then, just last weekend, the 1953 Corvette with a 12 year old Bloomington Gold certificate was sold for $440,000. All three sales prices include the auction commission. Here are the two 1953 Corvettes being offered this weekend by Mecum at the Bloomington Gold Auction:

1953 CorvetteLot S53 is expected to hit the block around 5:00pm on Saturday. It is Chassis #210 and has been housed in a climate controlled garage with the same owner for the last 13 years. The side curtains are included and stored in the trunk.
1953 CorvetteLot S91 is expected on the block at 6:45pm on Saturday. The Roadster is Chassis #107 and has a Bloomington Gold certificate. The Corvette is matching numbers and has just 120 on it since restoration. It’s a complete Corvette with the Convertible top, Side Curtains, Jack and Handle. This will be the one to watch on Saturday.
Will the trend continue at Bloomington or are we in for a reality check? Will we see these Corvettes get bid up but not reach the reserve price, thereby guaranteeing one or both will be trailered to Scottsdale in 2008? We’ll find out on Saturday and bring you the results next week.
Source:
Mecum Auctions Related:
Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sells for $440,000 Technorati Tags:
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Le Mans Preview: 2007 Corvette Racing Team Photo

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2007

Corvette Racing had their annual team photograph session on Monday. You can view more photos by wading through the official Le Mans photo gallery at www.lemans.org

2007 Le Mans Corvette Racing Team Photo
Qualifying starts today and concludes on Thursday. The start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is 9am EST and SPEEDtv will be providing 17 ½ hours beginning at 8:30 EST Saturday, June 16th.
Source:
LeMans.org Related:
Video: Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin Previews Le Mans
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans
Corvette Racing Team Pranks Aston Martin’s Crew Chief Technorati Tags:
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‘Vette Dogs’ Corvette TV Show Makes Debut

by Keith Cornett on June 12, 2007

Our friends at DigitalCorvettes.com have launched a new weekly internet-based TV show called ‘Vette Dogs’. The first episode features The Digital Corvettes team preparing for the Cannonball One Lap of America. The show is surprisingly high in production value with crisp video and some nice graphics and effects.

The show is a joint production with Next New Networks and offers varying points of distribution, including iTunes and YouTube.com as well as the ability to embed on blogs. Check out the Vette Dogs website with a blog and subscription buttons and stay up with the latest episodes and comments.
Source:
Vette Dogs Technorati Tags:
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The Four-time Le Mans winner and co-pilot of the #64 Corvette C6.R discusses what its like to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Check out the “Skull & Cross Flags” logo on his jacket.


Source:
SPEEDtv.com Related:
Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell Previews LeMans Technorati Tags:
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As reported by (cough, cough) WindingRoad.com, the Corvette Racing team wasn’t satisfied in taking the top spot in last week’s LeMans testing session, with Jan Magnussen driving the #63 Corvette C6.R around the course in 3:49:207, shaving 1.641 seconds from the #007 Aston Martin piloted by Enge/Herbert/Kox. They needed something else to let everyone know they owned Aston Martin. According to the story, Aston Martin’s Crew Chief George Howard-Chappell hurt his back earlier in the week and left his car at the track overnight. Seems the boys from Corvette Racing found out about that and slightly modified his ride. Corvette Racing’s manager, Doug Fehan said “It didn’t take the boys long to make sure Ol’ George had all his bases covered for the race!”

Corvette Racing Pranks Aston Martin's Crew Chief
Stay with us this week as we cover the 24 Hours of LeMans.
Source:
WindingRoad.com Related
LeMans Preview: Corvette Racing Fastest In GT1 Pre-Qualifying Technorati Tags:
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Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sells for $440,000

by Keith Cornett on June 11, 2007

1953 Corvette Roadster, Chassis number 157Our brothers at the Corvette Blog informed us last week about the McMullen Collection and a 1953 Corvette that was being auctioned on Saturday. We got the news today that the Corvette, chassis number 157, sold for an astounding $440,000 which includes the 10% buyers commission. The car was owned by John McMullen, a car dealer who owns a Pontiac GMC dealership in Troy, Michigan. McMullen, who is 79, had amassed a collection of 140 rare and valuable cars and decided that 73 of them must go. RM Auctions handled the gavel duty. Also included in the auction was a 1931 Duesenberg which sold for $1.35 million, a 1953 Buick Skylark and a 1953 Cadillac El Dorado which both sold for $450,000. The 1953 Corvette Roadster was acquired 12 years ago following a fresh restoration and a Gold certificate from Bloomington. The selling price shatters the $125,000 – $175,000 estimate listed on the RM Auction’s website and was much higher than the 1953 Corvette Roadster which sold at Barrett-Jackson in January for $298,350. It will be interesting to see if these prices will have any effect on the sales of two 1953 Corvette Roadsters at this weekend’s Bloomington Gold Auction.
Sources:
Corvette Blog
Detroit Free Press
Grand Haven Tribune
RM Auctions Related:
2007 Barrett-Jackson: $14.1 Million in Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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