With Corvette Racing kicking off the 2016 racing schedule, one of the highlights of the first race is Doug Fehan’s talk with Corvette owners in the Corvette corral.
Doug brings everybody up to speed on the the off-season changes and enhancements to the cars and the series and takes plenty of questions from the faithful.
There were two big changes coming to the GTLM class in 2016. We’ve already discussed the changes to the new 2016-spec Corvette C7.R which now boasts a better aerodynamics package to increase the speed differential with the GTD class. The car also has a driver escape hatch built into the roof which required changing the roll bar structure inside the car.
The second big change for 2016 is the one that has Dr. Fehan the most optimistic and that’s the implementation of IMSA’s new data loggers and a data-driven system for determining Balance of Performance throughout the season.
Each of the GTLM race cars are equipped with the $18,000 data recorders and they can track a variety of in-car telemetry which is then used to determine the actual performance capabilities of each car. Combined with a wind-tunnel test that each car underwent in the off-season, it removes the arbitrary changes from previous BoP adjustments which only took into consideration speed and race results.
Fehan says the new BoP system removes the ability for teams to sandbag as IMSA can see the performance data and will know if teams are racing to their cars potential or not. Doug tells the tale about all the manufactures meeting after the Roar Before the 24 test where IMSA laid out their graphs for all the teams to see. He said that Corvette Racing was the closest in the Roar test while Porsche and Ford were shown to be trying to get a favorable BoP by not driving to their car’s full potential.
Doug also spends some time talking about signing the two endurance drivers from the Audi squad and how that came about.
Finally, after a question and answer session, the six Corvette Racing drivers come into the Corral and are introduced by Doug to the crowd. An autograph session was then held for the Corvette fans.
Here’s the full video of Doug’s presentation at the Corvette Corral:
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