CORVETTE DPs AT DAYTONA: Aiming for a Repeat
Corvette Daytona Prototypes back at site of 1-2-3-4 finish in 2014
- Four Corvette DPs to contest season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona
- Action Express Racing’s Barbosa, Fittipaldi, Bourdais set to defend
- Jordan Taylor quickest driver in Roar Before the 24 testing
DETROIT (Jan. 21, 2015) – A year ago, Chevrolet and its Daytona Prototype teams celebrated a history-making showing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The first win for the Corvette Daytona Prototype highlighted a sweep of the top four positions in the opening race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. It was the first of six victories on the season for the Corvette DP and marked the start of Chevrolet’s run to the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype Engine Manufacturer title.
Fast forward 12 months and all signs point toward the potential for another strong showing for the contingent of four Corvette DPs at Daytona International Speedway. Action Express Racing returns as defending race winner with last year’s winning trio of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais returning intact. The trio won by 1.461 seconds over Wayne Taylor Racing as three Corvette DPs finished on the same lap.
Two weeks ago at the annual Roar Before the 24 test days, Jordan Taylor was the quickest driver in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP with a lap of 1:39.181 (129.218 mph) around the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway. Bourdais was second-quickest at 1:39.310 (129.050 mph) for Action Express Racing.
“Events leading up to the Rolex 24 At Daytona have been productive,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager for Corvette Daytona Prototypes. “We had a very good test program in the offseason and at the Roar Before the 24 two weeks ago with the new C7-styled bodywork. We are fortunate to have a tremendous level of continuity from 2014 in terms of our partner teams, driver rosters and personnel. That stability will undoubtedly be a key to success at the Rolex 24 along with speed and reliability that we have shown over the past year.”
All Corvette DP cars in the 2015 TUDOR Championship will run with updated Chevrolet bodywork that reflects the Corvette C7 production line.
The frontal area sees a striking change in design from the previous generation Corvette DP, including updates to the hood surface, headlights and radiator inlet area. The rear window area also has been updated. The Corvette DP will take styling cues from the C7 including the rear taillights.
At the heart of the Corvette Daytona Prototype is a purpose-built 5.5-liter Chevrolet LS9 V-8 engine developed by ECR Engines. The peak output is 560 hp as the power is regulated by a pair of sonic air restrictors that are mandated by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) – the sanctioning body of the TUDOR Championship.
The Corvette DP also features a new engine management system from Bosch Motorsport for 2015 and a continuation of a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle-shift. The brakes feature six-piston calipers with carbon rotors. Without the driver, the Corvette DP weighs 2,285 pounds.
The 2015 TUDOR United Sports Car Championship begins with the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona from Jan. 24-25 at Daytona International Speedway. Coverage will alternate between FOX Network, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and IMSA.com. Flag-to-flag radio coverage will be available via IMSA Radio.
JOAO BARBOSA, NO. 5 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP
“It feels really good having accomplished our job last year with winning the Rolex 24 and the TUDOR Championships, but that is in the past now. We are looking forward to the Rolex 24 this year and the beginning of a new season with as much, if not more confidence than we did last year. Our team did a great job in the offseason and I feel like we are in a position to perform our jobs again this year. We can’t just sit back and relive last year, we have to step up again and put ourselves in position to win the race and the championships; we have the team to do it.”
RICKY TAYLOR, NO. 10 WAYNE TAYLOR RACING CORVETTE DP
“The Roar test went well. We obviously were pretty quick. But the race weekend is so different. Speed at the 24 Hours is so important now because it has been coming down to a sprint at the end – the last four hours of racing – these last several years. You want to have an easy car and we have some more improvement to do there. This year, it’s also a very different dynamic with the LMP2 cars on par with the DPs in terms of pace. That’s a whole other set of cars we have to worry about as far as the end of the race. They still have to prove their reliability at Daytona, but they will be quick, based on the test. Overall, the Action Express cars are so difficult to keep with, but I feel our chances are as good as ever.”
DANE CAMERON, NO. 31 ACTION EXPRESS RACING CORVETTE DP
“I am really looking forward to this season from every aspect; I have a great teammate in Eric Curran, a great sponsor in Whelen Engineering and a fantastic team in Action Express Racing that will give us a Corvette DP that can win every weekend. Eric and I have been gelling together really well and we like a similar feel from our car. I think we can achieve great results together after racing against each other for a few years in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT days. We are both looking forward to achieving podium finishes and wins together throughout the 2015 campaign in the Whelen Engineering Corvette DP.”
RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM CORVETTE DP
““It’s great to be back at Daytona and to get the season under way. It’s good to see everyone and check out the new cars and new teams. My first Daytona was in 2007 and I’m pleased we have it in the same series as Sebring again, albeit it makes for one hell of a start to a season. For me, Daytona is right up there with Le Mans, Sebring, the Nürburgring and Spa in terms of the sheer scale and challenge.”
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53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona – Prototype (all times ET)
- TUDOR Practice 1: 9:25 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 22
- TUDOR Practice 2: 1:20 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 22
- TUDOR Prototype Qualifying: 5:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 22
- TUDOR Practice 3: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 22
- TUDOR Practice 4: 11:25 a.m., Friday, Jan. 23
- Race: 2:10 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24
Daytona: Watch It! (all times ET)
- 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24 (FOX)
- 4-8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24 (FOX Sports 2)
- 8-10 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24 (FOX Sports 1)
- 10 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 24-7 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 25 (IMSA.com)
- 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 25 (FOX Sports 1)