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Corvette Racing: Night Practice at Petit Le Mans

Corvette Racing faces one of its biggest challenges yet with their new ZR1-based GT2 Corvette C6.Rs at Road Atlanta this weekend. Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series is Petit Le Mans, the 10-hour/1,000 mile race in the rolling hills of Northest Georgia. Reliabilty was one of the hallmarks of the GT1 Corvette C6.Rs and now the GT2 cars will have their chance to prove they can go the distance as well.

One of the unique aspects of Petit Le Mans is that the race will end in the dark. Therefore, drivers took to the track on a muggy Thursday evening to get acclimated to the track at night. Seeing Corvette Racing’s Command Center all lit up was very cool and I can tell you that watching the Corvettes thunder down the backstretch in the dark was an amazing site to see first hand.

We are here at Road Atlanta to witness several firsts for the Corvette Racing team:

  • The first endurance race for the GT2 Corvettes
  • The first race in the GT2 Corvettes for Marcel Fassler and Antonio Garcia
  • The first race for the GT2 Corvettes without Direct Injection
  • The first race with Bibendum the Michelin Man riding Shotgun on Corvette’s livery

Tomorrow, we’ll be talking with several members of the Corvette racing tomorrow and we’ll get to experience the 12 turn, 2.54 mile track with a hot lap in a Vitesse Corvette track car.

Follow our Twitter feed for real-time updates and make sure you come back next week as we roll out the videos from our experience here.

As for Corvette Racing, Friday’s qualifying session runs from 2:25-2:50 pm EST and the 10,hour/1,000 mile race gets underway on Saturday at 11:15 am EST.

Corvette Racing: Ferrari and Porsche Complain to ACO
[VIDEO] Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R Scores First Victory at Mosport

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In addition to yesterday’s news about the C7 Corvette’s design going retro with the inclusion of a split rear window, we also learned that GM won’t abandon its traditional V8 power plant unless necessary. But that doesn’t mean a hybrid Corvette is off the table. Tom Stephens, GM’s Vice Chairman of Global Product Development says “We will only do a hybrid if that is what is required to maintain the vehicle.”

As new CAFE standards require a company’s fleet to average 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year, engineers already have some ideas on how to boost Corvette’s fuel efficiency, which is currently listed as 26 mpg highway for the 430 hp 2010 Corvette coupe. On the table is weight reduction, direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation. Electric power steering alone could add about 0.5 mpg.

The much discussed and maligned idea of powering a Corvette with a six-cylinder appears to be moot at the moment. Stephens says “I don’t believe that we need to do a six-cylinder engine in a Corvette at this time.”

Despite an apparent gap of nearly 10 mpg between today’s Corvette and the 2016 mileage standards, talk to most Corvette owners and they will tell you that they routinely see average 28-31 miles on the highway. Several tests of the Corvette’s fuel efficiency have been conducted that have confirmed such claims.

As for the Corvette going hybrid, Stephens says “I think we have a pretty good plan right now that probably will not require a hybrid in the near term.”

Automotive News (subscription)

GM: Next-Generation Corvette C7 Expected in 2012 as 2013 Model
[VIDEO] Corvette Stingray Concept Introduced by GM’s Ed Welburn
Popular Mechanics Tests Corvette’s Fuel Efficiency”>Popular Mechanics Tests Corvette’s Fuel Efficiency

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GM's Welburn: Split-Window to Return on C7 Corvette

GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn told Inside Line that the design of the new C7 Corvette will go retro much like the new Camaro and a prominent design feature will be the return of the split rear window. The next generation Corvette is expected to be launched in 2012 as a 2013 model.

The original split window appeared on the 1963 Corvette Coupe, but Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov hated the feature due to its limited visibility and in 1964 it was removed. Welburn addresses the visibility issue by saying “With the back-up cameras and blind-spot detection systems that we have these days, the visibility issue is much less of a problem.”

The Corvette Stingray Concept that appeared in the latest Transformers movie also has a split rear window. “That car is not the next Corvette.” says Welburn, “But the split-window is something that I expect for the next Corvette.”

Welburn was the driving force behind the new reborn Camaro and is a big fan of the Corvette Stingray concept design as evidenced in this previously released Stingray Concept Introduction video.

As stated earlier, Inside Line says the C7 Corvette will have the traditional front-engine, rear drive layout.

We’d love to see the C7 go a bit retro as long as its performance capabilities remain high. May we suggest to Welburn that they take a look at the C3R Retro Stingray

Inside Line

GM: Next-Generation Corvette C7 Expected in 2012 as 2013 Model
[VIDEO] Corvette Stingray Concept Introduced by GM’s Ed Welburn
2nd Look: The Corvette C3R Retro Stingray

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Horrific Fire Destroys an Early C3 Corvette

I got these pictures in today from Bjarne Pedersen, system admin for the Danish website I’m hoping to receive additional info about the cause of the fire, but in the meantime, check out these photos. The Red 68/69 Corvette is totally engulfed in flames! Judging from the photos, the C3 Corvette was a complete loss. Our heart goes out to the owner.

Horrific Fire Destroys an Early C3 Corvette Horrific Fire Destroys an Early C3 Corvette Horrific Fire Destroys an Early C3 Corvette

Thanks for the photos, Bjarne!

RIP: Corvette C6.R Chassis #003 Dies in Transporter Fire
[PICS] C6 Corvette Char-Grilled in the Ukraine

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Corvette Racing Q&A at Petit Le Mans

On Thursday we’ll be heading to Atlanta, Georgia to cover Petit Le Mans, the 10-hour/1,000 mile endurance race held at Road Atlanta. On Friday, we’ll be sitting down with Corvette Racing’s Johnny O’Connell, Oliver Gavin and Doug Fehan for a quick chat and this is where you come in. What would you like to know about life as a Corvette race car driver or head of the program? We’re looking for questions from our readers. If you’ve go a question or comment for the Corvette Racing team, please email it to


Corvette ZHZ Watch: Utah Man Puts Hertz Rent-A-Vette into Ditch

The list of Corvette ZHZ Coupes buying the farm added another to the list last night. This Corvette ZHZ’s driver came across this ditch last night and it’s fairly apparent that the ditch won this battle. According to Jalopnik, a witness saw the headlights turn in and then a few seconds later there was a loud grinding, crunching sound! Ditch 1, Corvette 0!

By our count, this is the 5th Corvette ZHZ to have suffered significant damage although we’re not sure if this qualifies as a total loss. For you fans of Corvettes ZHZs, let’s recap:

Take Out! Hertz Corvette ZHZ Wrecks Dallas Restaurant
This is the wreck that started the watch. The driver lost control and ended up in a patio dining area of a popular Dallas, Texas restaurant.

Another Hertz Corvette ZHZ Bites The Dust
The details of this Corvette’s demise are unknown, but following this accident, the Corvette was removed from the Hertz fleet and was sold on a salvage title as the engine block needed to be replaced.

[VIDEO] Hertz Corvette ZHZ Slams Into 8 Cars in Philadelphia
Not only was this Corvette a total loss, but the speeding ZHZ took out 8 other vehicles before coming to rest on a Philadelphia sidewalk.

[PIC] Corvette ZHZ Totally Totaled
Another Corvette ZHZ totaled and we judge this to be the worst accident of the bunch. We have no details as to how this Corvette met its demise, but I can assure that no TV repair men with an awesome set of tools will be fixing that one up anytime soon.

So, this new Corvette accident reduces the number of the original 500 Corvette ZHZs to just 495. If there is one piece of advice to learned from these accidents, it’s this: Buy the insurance! You never know what will happen while hooning it up in a 430 hp sports car that’s not yours!


[VIDEO] This Corvette Is NOT a Highly Maneuverable Ship
Hertz To Offer Exclusive Limited-Edition Corvette ZHZ

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NCRS Announces Award Confirmation Service

Corvette collector’s rejoice! The National Corvette Restorers Society is now offering a service to confirm the NCRS awards given to a Corvette. This will be a great resource for buyers or owners who want confirmation on a specific Corvette’s NCRS award history as well as perhaps provide the missing link to a Corvette’s history. The service doesn’t come cheap though. Expect to shell out $300 for the document.

The NCRS awards database has over 20,000 records and some date back to as early as the mid 1980’s. The award confirmation document includes:

  • Owner’s Names
  • Net and Final Scores
  • NCRS Awards Received
  • Location and Type of Event: National, Regional or Chapter
Where available the record will also contain:
  • Color
  • Trim
  • Engine Horsepower

For the $300 fee, you receive the records printed on official NCRS stationary and signed by Roy Sinor, NCRS National Judging Chairman. To place an order for the service, contact Roy Sinor at 918-834-0259 or via email at:

Note: The NCRS TOp Flight certificate show above was awarded to Terry Michaelis and Proteam Corvette for their 1967 Corvette Coupe dubbed The “Last”â„¢ Corvette.


The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette
Weekend Plans: NCRS Corvette Show and Mecum Auction
NCRS Kicks Off Membership Drive

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