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Corvette Racing: Reunited for the 24 Hours of Spa

by Keith Cornett on July 26, 2007

Luc Alphand Aventures' Drivers and their Corvette C6.RThe Corvette Racing team has this weekend off, but that doesn’t mean everyone is just staying home to mow the lawn or change the oil on their personal rides. Unbeknownst to most Americans, there is a major 24 hour endurance race happening in Belgium this weekend called the 24 Hours of Spa. French team Luc Alphand Aventures is fielding a Corvette C6.R and has enlisted the help of Corvette Racing’s Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta to join the 4 member driver team to compete in the FIA-GT race. The Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R is very familiar to the American LeMans drivers as it was the same Corvette they won the GT1 class with at LeMans in 2006. The Corvette, purpose built for a 24 hour endurance race, just received a fresh build up from C6.R builder Pratt and Miller and with its fresh white graphics and #3 on the side, the two “Ollies” should feel right at home. The 24 Hours of Spa is run on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, a 4.3 mile track through the rolling hills of Belgium. It is a very fast and demanding track and many drivers rate it at the top of the most difficult list. But unlike the race at LeMans that include prototypes, this is the European FIA-GT Championship race, so the drivers aren’t just going for the class win, they are battling to win the race outright. Joining Beretta and Gavin for driver duty is Vincent Vosse, winning driver of the Spa in 2002 and the very fast newcomer Greg Franchi. The four Alphand drivers will be facing some very stiff competition from the who’s-who of European FIA racing teams that includes five Maserati MC12′s, three Aston Martin DBR9′s, two Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT, two Corvette C5-R and one other Corvette C6.R.

“The 24 Hours of Spa is still missing from my record book, and I must admit that coming out on top with such a competent and well humoured team really tempts me “, Olivier Beretta commented. ” Oliver Gavin and I know the car inside out, whilst both Vincent and Greg know Francorchamps like the back of their hand. In fact everything is looking up …” Vincent Vosse said “How could one let such an opportunity pass by to be able to drive with such great characters as Beretta et Gavin at the wheel of a car specially built for endurance racing, and for such a competent team as that of Luc Alphand? Even though on paper we have everything pointing to success, we need to beware of the race conditions here at Spa. Every year there are numerous surprises, and we must at all costs avoid any serious errors …”
The 24 Hours of Spa kicks off on Saturday July 28th at 10am EST (4pm local time). Count on CorvetteBlogger.com to bring you a selected update or two as we follow our Crossed Flags brethren across the pond in this very exciting and challenging endurance race.
Source:
PlanetLeMans.com
Wikipedia: The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Related:
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Auction Results: Corvette at Kruse July Auctions

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2007

1957 Corvette RoadsterKruse International held three separate auctions through the month of July and here are the results. Only 6 of the 17 Corvettes listed were sold, but as these are general auctions, the sales precentages for Corvettes sold at a reserve price tend to be lower than pure Corvette auctions like we see at Bloomington or Carlisle. We are posting both the final bid price as well as the sold price.

Year Description Price Type Location
1957Corvette Convertible$52,000BidDenver, CO
1957Corvette Convertible$100,000BidMidland, MI
1963Corvette Convertible$43,000SoldDenver, CO
1966Corvette Coupe$48,500SoldDenver, CO
1966Corvette Convertible$71,000BidDenver, CO
1967Corvette Convertible$85,000BidDenver, CO
1976Corvette T-Top$12,500BidDenver, CO
1976Corvette T-Top$6,500SoldDenver, CO
1978Corvette Pace Car$22,000BidVerona, NY
1982Corvette T-Top$15,000BidDenver, CO
1984Corvette Coupe$4,700BidDenver, CO
1984Corvette Coupe$6,200SoldDenver, CO
1986Corvette Convertible$9,600BidVerona, NY
1987Corvette Callaway$21,000BidDenver, CO
1988Corvette Coupe$27,000SoldDenver, CO
1997Corvette Coupe$16,000BidMidland, MI
2002Corvette Hardtop$26,500SoldVerona, NY

Source:
Kruse International Related:
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Corvette, Orioles Give Ripken Sendoff to Hall of Fame

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2007

Cal Ripken Jr, the ironman of professional baseball was the center of attention Wednesday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Entering the field in a convertible Corvette, he made his way down the right-field foul line tossing balls into the throngs of fans in the stands.

Cal Ripken Tours Camden Yards in a Corvette
Tonight’s event precedes Ripkin’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. While being known for his all time record of 2,632 consecutive games played, Ripkin is also a member of 3,000 hit club and a 19-time All Star. So other than the picture of Cal in a Corvette, why do I bring this up on a Corvette blog? I’m not even a casual fan of baseball, but I think it’s important to remember that in our current climate of sports scandals, NBA’s betting ref or the NFL’s Vick and dog fighting allegations, there are sports heroes that kids and grownups alike can look to, and Ripken is certainly a person that deserves a victory lap in a Convertible Corvette.
Source:
MLB.com Related:
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Video: VetteDogs Outtakes – C5Z06 Wipeout

by Keith Cornett on July 24, 2007

While we wait for the next episode of VetteDogs, check out this quick video of our friends running the Digital Corvettes C5 Z06 during the One Lap of America.

You can view other video shorts at DigitalCorvettes.com
Source:
VetteDogs.com Related:
Video: Celebrating Drive Your Corvette To Work Day 2007 Technorati Tags:
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Motor Trend Takes Us Inside the Corvette’s LS3 V8

by Keith Cornett on July 24, 2007

LS3/LS2 Comparison GraphMotor Trend has a nice write up about the LS3 with the focus on how engineers were able to wrangle an additional 30-36 with the LS3 compared to the LS2 Corvette engine. The article goes point by point though the LS3 V8 showing with illustrations how each component works and how the slight modifications play their role in generating more horsepower and torque over the LS2. The article concludes with the following:

The result of these changes and more is in increase in peak output rise from 400 hp/400 lb-ft to 430/424 or 436/428 with the low-restriction dual-mode exhaust system. Fuel economy is expected to remain unchanged (though changes in the way EPA numbers are calculated will make it seem as though economy has worsened). There is still no guzzler tax, the car runs on regular fuel, and emissions are even improved-by 40 percent in NOx and 12 percent in hydrocarbons. The LS3 is even more efficient to manufacture. It’s a true win-win-win situation.
For more on the LS3, visit Motor Trend
Source:
Motor Trend Related:
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LG Motorsports Dynos the LS3 2008 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Callaway C16 Speedster to Make Debut at Pebble Beach

by Keith Cornett on July 23, 2007

Callaway Cars released the details of the third model in the C16 lineup today and by all accounts this is the most electric. The C16 Speedster, which its increased horsepower and chopped wind deflectors is the ultimate in topless driving. Two humps rise behind the seats to help with airflow although the thought of pushing the 700 hp car to its 210 mph limit makes me a bit queasy. The C16 Speedster is the third such model in Callaway’s 30 year history. Paul Deutschman, who designed the original 1990′s Callaway Speedster was the designer behind the C16 model. Every body panel is designed with aerodynamics in mind. The signature Callaway badge decorates the car inside and out.

The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster The Callaway C16 Speedster
The heart of this Corvette derivative is a 6.2 liter supercharged intercooled V8 which produces 700 hp and 660 lbs of torque. Estimated 0-60 is 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 210 mph. A newly developed coil-over suspension allows the driver to customize the settings for specific road conditions. Unique to the Callaway C16 line is its carbon wheels that weight 40% less than the lightest aluminum wheels. They feature forged magnesium spiders surrounded by carbon fiber rims. 19′s on the front and 20′s in the rear complete the speedster look. The C16 Speedster will makes its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 19, 2007. Production models will be available this fall and the MSRP is just north of $300,000. The good news? For that much money, the C16 is completely tailored to the buyer’s specifications including interior and exterior colors.
Source:
Callaway Cars via AutoBlog.com Related:
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Maybe through the fence is a better way to describe how we came across this photo of the Corvette Pace Car Festival Car for the Allstate Brickyard 400. IndyAndy had a chance to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this month when he spied these Velocity Yellow Corvette Convertibles in Gasoline Alley. The Corvettes feature the Allstate Brickyard 400 logos as well as the horizontal graphics that start at the front tires and sweep down the side. A graphic that appears to be the Chevrolet Bowtie graces the hood.

Corvette Convertible Pace Car
Photo Credit: IndyAndy
This marks the third major auto race to be paced by Corvette in 2008. Previous appearances include the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The Brickyard 400 festivus kicks off on Friday, July 27 with Chevy Day at the Brickyard. Practice and qualifying is Saturday, July 28th and the race will be held on Sunday, July 29th beginning at 2pm.
Source:
IndyAndy’s Indy Journal
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500
Corvette to Pace 2007 Daytona 500 Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Racing: #4 Corvette C6.R Wins at Mid-Ohio

by Keith Cornett on July 22, 2007

Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta scored their sixth GT1 win at Saturday’s Mid-Ohio American LeMans race in Lexington, Ohio. While fortune smiled on the two Ollies, it was an all together different kind of race for the #3 Corvette driven by Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell. Having to start at the rear of the grid due to failing a stall test following Friday’s qualifying session, the #3 Corvette made up the difference quickly in the first few laps with brilliant driving by O’Connell. After the driver switch Magnussen had closed the gap with the class leading #4 Corvette to just two seconds when contact was made with the #26 LMP2 Acura which spun the Corvette around. Officials gave the LMP2 a stop-and-go penalty but Magnussen lost nearly 20 seconds and effectively ended any chance of beating Gavin and Beretta.

“One of the P2 cars tried to pass me around the outside in the second-to-last corner, but he wasn’t up alongside me,” Magnussen recalled. “Then in the next corner he was on the inside coming up into the little kink onto the front straight, but he was only up on my rear wheel. I didn’t see him, but I felt him when he spun me around. “We had almost caught up to the other Corvette,” continued the Dane, “and it would have been cool to race them to the finish.” “The No. 3 Corvette made a great run, but unfortunately had a coming together with the No. 26 prototype that took them out of contention,” noted Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “Otherwise I think we would have seen another great battle. Both cars made it to the finish line in perfect condition, and now we’ll move on to the next race.”
The victory for Gavin and Beretta extends their lead in the GT1 championship to 36 points with five races remaining. Both Corvettes completed 125 laps around the 2.25 mile Mid-Ohio track and finished 11th and 12th overall. Corvette Racing’s next event is the four-hour Generac 500 at Road America on Saturday, August 11. NBC Sports will televise the race tape-delayed at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 12.
Source:
CorvetteRacing.com Related:
Corvette Racing: GT1 Track Record Crushed in Mid-Ohio Qualifying
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Saturday morning found me crossing the Gandy Bridge for a drive from Tampa to St. Petersburg for Cars and Coffee, a monthly get-together at the offices of the duPont Registry. The early morning gathering has been a fixture since 2005 but it was only through my new self-help group Corvettes Anonymous that I learned about it. The meet is put on every third Saturday of the month from 7am to 9am at the duPont Registry, the well-known publication for high-end luxury and sports cars. At this morning’s get together, there was a nice mixture of both new and classic cars with Corvettes making a good showing. However, this isn’t a car show, just a chance to meet other like-minded people and enjoy some hot coffee in the early Florida sun.

The Corvette LSR Corvettes on display at Cars and Coffee Corvettes on display at Cars and Coffee
Mosly the Corvettes that made a showing were C6′s and C5′s including a couple Z06′s. A nice 1974 was there as well as a ’67 Corvette Coupe. Talking with the owner of the ’67, he said the Corvette had been purchased a couple years ago and he was the 13th owner. Amazingly, the car was mostly original and came with documentation and a box of parts that had been passed from owner to owner. I also met another gentleman named Gary who is in the process of the doing a frame-off on a very special mid-year that will eventually be judged, but I’m not a liberty to discuss it (yet!). I’d again like to thank Tom from Corvettes Anonymous for passing along the Cars and Coffee flyer to me. Through donations and contributions from the Steak-out 3 show held last Wednesday, they donated 1,400 pounds of food to the RCS Food Bank. Tom is planning on being at Carlisle so search for the CA booth and make sure you say hi!
Source:
Cars and Coffee at the duPont Registry Related:
Corvettes Anonymous…I Have A Problem! Technorati Tags:
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With Johnny O’Connell leading the way in the #3 C6.R, Corvette Racing shattered the GT1 track record at Mid-Ohio during Friday’s 20 minute qualifying session. O’Connell lapped the 2.25 mile course with a time of 1:16.568 (106.164 mph) while Oliver Gavin was close behind with a time of 1:16.635 (106.072 mph). The course record was 1:18.033 set by Gavin back in May 2005. Unfortunately for the #3 Corvette, the car failed the stall test during post-qualifying inspection and will be starting from the rear of the grid.

“Apparently there was a malfunction in the sealing of the airbox, and the engine didn’t stall when IMSA officials tested it after qualifying,” said Corvette Racing team manager Gary Pratt. “Therefore they disallowed the car’s time.”
The Mid-Ohio circuit has had a host of improvements made over the last year making the course a new favorite of the drivers.
“This race track is a lot of fun to drive around,” Gavin added. “The tarmac that’s been down for about a year now is giving good grip, it’s reasonably smooth, and we can attack the corners.” “They’ve improved the circuit, made the curbs more friendly, and I think every category is running faster,” O’Connell said. “Corvette Racing has also improved the Corvette C6.R and Michelin has improved the tires, so I’d expect us to be quicker than we were in 2005.”
The Acura Sports Car Challenge, the seventh round of the 12-race ALMS series, will start at 3:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 21. CBS Sports will televise the two-hour, 45-minute race tape-delayed at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22.
Source:
CorvetteRacing.com Related:
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