A new set of rules and regulations are coming to the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship in 2016 and according to an article by Sportscar365, Corvette Racing is already building a new Corvette C.7R to meet them head on. One of the major challenges that Corvette Racing will undertake in building the 2nd generation C7.R is the creation of an escape hatch located in the roof of the car.
“For us the major change is the safety hatch,” said Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan. “That requires a complete restructuring of the rollcage in order to accomplish that.” Fehan adds, “That’s been the single largest challenge and the single biggest change that we’ve made.”
The mandatory escape hatch is among the most visible of changes coming to the popular GT Le Mans class next year. And while many of the factory-backed competitors in GTLM are also expected to switch over to using turbocharged engines, Fehan says that Corvette Racing will be sticking with its tried-and-true naturally aspirated 5.5-liter direct-injected V8 engine found in the current racecars.
“We’ve got a lot of R&D in that engine,” Doug said. “From an economics standpoint, we have a tremendous investment to the tooling and the parts. We have a bunch of heads and engine blocks. To change, we’d have to scrap all that.”
Doug says the two new Corvette C7.Rs are currently being assembled at Pratt & Miller’s shop in Michigan and the cars will begin tests this summer in advance of the mandatory Balance of Performance test at Michelin’s Ladoux test track in September.
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