Corvette Racing: Back in the USA for Northeast Grand Prix
It’s a Long Way from Le Mans to Lime Rock for America’s Premier Production Sports Car Team
The troops have returned home, the race cars have been rebuilt and refurbished, and now the long march to the end of the season is underway. After finishing second in the 15-strong field of GT1 cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing will have the top production sports car class to itself at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 7.
“Now that Corvette Racing has put another 24 Hours of Le Mans in the history book, the team’s next challenge is to run five races in nine weeks on a wide variety of tracks,” said GM Road Racing Group manager Steve Wesoloski. “We’ll be racing on road courses that range from 1.5 miles at Lime Rock to more than 4 miles at Road America, with a new temporary circuit in Detroit also in the mix.
“Our goals are the same as they were before we went to Le Mans – to continue to strengthen the team, to sharpen our focus, and to work on the details that will help to make us successful in 2008.”
Corvette Wins Fuel Efficiency Award
The continuous development of the Corvette C6.R race cars and the LS7.R small-block V-8 engines that power them has yielded dividends in technology. Honored as the Global Motorsport Engine of the Year in 2006 by a panel of experts, the LS7.R garnered another accolade by winning the Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge in the GT1 class at Le Mans. The 10,000 Euro ($13,510) prize was awarded to the No. 63 Corvette C6.R for the most efficient use of fuel during the race, based on its average speed, its weight, and its total fuel consumption.
“Corvette Racing is committed to the GT1 category because we believe there’s relevance in racing production-based vehicles,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “That’s a cornerstone of GM’s racing philosophy, and the worldwide recognition that the Corvette has received validates our belief. We’re hopeful that there will be a revival of competition in the GT1 class in the near future, and we intend to be ready when that becomes reality.”
Lime Rock Review
Last year’s race at Lime Rock featured one of the closest finishes in ALMS history when Corvette driver Johnny O’Connell went wheel-to-wheel with Aston Martin’s Pedro Lamy at the finish line stripe. Lamy won by a fender length.
“Last year was an exciting race and you can’t get a finish that’s much closer,” O’Connell recalled. “Lime Rock is a very difficult race track, but it was a fun battle and we raced each other clean. I just needed one more lap!
“Now we’re going back to Lime Rock and Jan (Magnussen) and I hope to get that elusive win for the No. 3 Compuware Corvette,” he continued. “We’re working on developing Corvette Racing’s program for the future so that when some competition does show up, we’ll be ready.”
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix will start at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 7. CBS Sports will televise the two-hour, 45-minute race tape-delayed at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 8.