Corvette Racing Victory Celebration Rocks Downtown Detroit
GM, Compuware and Corvette Owners Celebrate Corvette Racing's Fifth Le Mans Victory
DETROIT - American Thunder rumbled through the streets of Motor City today when a Corvette caravan
commemorated Corvette Racing's fifth victory in the GT1 class at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. The
celebration began with the presentation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy at Compuware Corporation, the
primary sponsor of the championship-winning Corvette C6.R race cars, and concluded at GM World Headquarters
at the Renaissance Center after a parade through Detroit's downtown business district.
The roar of the No. 64 Compuware Corvette C6.R's 7-liter GM small-block V-8 racing engine reverberated
through the skyscrapers as the caravan motored from Woodward Ave. to Jefferson Ave. The parade featured
Corvette Racing drivers Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, Jan Magnussen, Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Max
Papis in Corvette convertibles, the Corvette Indianapolis 500 pace car, and dozens of Corvettes from local
clubs. When the caravan arrived at its destination, crew chief Ray Gongla demonstrated the race car's power
with a tire-smoking burnout. Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper and Compuware chairman and CEO Peter
Karmanos Jr. then thanked and congratulated the Corvette Racing team in front of an enthusiastic crowd of
fans and supporters.
"This is a big day for all of us because we're celebrating another huge win for the Corvette Racing
team - their fifth victory in the biggest, most prestigious and most important road racing event in the
world," said Peper. "We're very proud that Corvette competes and wins on that global stage. Today
we applaud the accomplishments of the men and women of Corvette Racing, and we salute the team that works
behind the scenes at General Motors and our affiliated sponsors and suppliers to make this a world-class
"We believe a great race car begins with a great production car," Peper noted. "One look
at the Corvette Z06 supercar and the Corvette C6.R race car shows the two-way transfer of technology
between racing and production that benefits our customers. A major reason that Chevy is the most successful
marque in motorsports is the GM small-block V-8, the world's most successful production-based racing
engine. There's no better way to celebrate Corvette's 50th anniversary in international road racing than
with this win at Le Mans."
On June 18, 2006, drivers Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen scored Corvette Racing's fifth
GT1 victory in the last six last years in the grueling 24-hour endurance race contested in Le Mans, France,
since 1923. It was the trio's third consecutive class victory at the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans, the
site of the twice-around-the-clock race. The winning Corvette C6.R completed 355 laps of the 8.481-mile
circuit (3,011 miles) and won by a five-lap margin of victory over Aston Martin Racing.
"It's an honor to be here with General Motors and Corvette Racing," said Karmanos. "Our
sponsorship is really a natural one - it works out so well for us as we're both Detroit-based companies. Of
course GM has been here a little while longer than we have, but we feel honored to be able to help with the
Corvette racing program. I want to congratulate the team for their third victory in a row and fifth overall
at Le Mans; that's quite an achievement."
Release Date: July 18, 2006