We may not be seeing the United SportsCar Racing Series officially until next year, but those wanting to see this year’s American Le Man Series’ competition should tune into the 2013 12 Hours of Sebring.
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Since 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has been a part of the American landscape, both on the road and on the track.
It is easily the most winning American sports car, having clocked wins on national and international circuits. Corvette’s have been particularly competitive at the 12-Hours of Sebring race. Since its first race outing in 1956, 231 Corvette’s have competed at Sebring, 24 of which have won class or outright victories at this track.
So it is fitting that Sebring International Raceway has inducted the Corvette into its Hall of Fame. It also worked out for Corvette that on its 60th anniversary, the car placed second and third place in this years grueling endurance race.
Russ Clark, Chevrolet’s marketing director for performance cars said; “We are thrilled that Sebring has recognized the success of the Corvette on the race track by inducting it into the hall of fame. Even more important than the awards and race wins are the benefits to our production vehicles as a result of our racing programs,” said Clark. “We have been successful at transferring racing technology to the street, especially in our high-performance vehicles such as the Corvette ZR1, Z06 and our carbon fiber models, including aerodynamic, powertrain, chassis, braking, safety and design features.”
On the occasion of the Corvette’s 60th Anniversary, Chevrolet is offering the 427 Convertible Collector Edition Corvette, which is essentially a z06 without the roof. A 60th Anniversary appearance package is also offered on all 2013 Corvette’s.
Congratulations on your new honor Corvette, you truly deserve it.
The next generation of Chevy Corvette C6.Rs will make their racing debut at the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring race. The newest C6.R race car will feature a widebody based on the ZR1, but will be powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter V8.
The new C6.R will be a whole two inches wider than the iteration it will be replacing, now measuring in at an impressive 80.6 inches. To put that into perspective, the race car will be 5 inches wider than the ZR1 found on the streets.
Other changes that we’ll see at Sebring to the Corvette will be an almost three inch higher rear wing mount, new dive plates on the front end, and slightly larger inlet restrictors.
The changes come after one of teams last season was granted a waiver to run a car two inches wider than the GT rules normally allowed. Subsequently, the rules were changed to allow all cars in the GT class to increase their width for the 2012 season. Since the widened C6.R had to go through the approval process again, the Corvette Racing team decided to tweak other aspects of the car within GT regulations as well.
“GM Powertrain engineers went through a similar process with updates in engine tuning and calibrations to improve driveability and throttle response,” said Gary Pratt, Corvette Racing team manager.
The 12 Hours of Sebring will start on March 17th at 10:30 AM EDT and Corvette Racing will have Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin piloting the number four car while Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia will be behind the wheel of the number three car.
[Source: Motor Authority]
If you were disappointed with what you found under the tree on the 25th, you should get yourself something you really want – like Slot Mod’s RCR 917 slot car track.
Made famous by Vic Elford and Gerald Larrousse who drove it to win 1971’s 12 Hours of Sebring, this limited edition RCR 917 opens to reveal a cool slot-car racing track.
Staying true to its original shape, the RCR 917 features fiberglass body panels that keep its original form. Equipped with rolling aluminum three-piece original-style center lock wheels, race-worn tires, working headlights and taillights, Slot Mod’s RCR 917 is crafted with superb attention to detail. Inside, you’re treated to a 1/32 scale wooden slot car raceway, complete with period-correct signs, banners, aluminum Armco railing, trees and structures – all of which are handcrafted.
There’s no word on a price for it, as it’s made based on custom specifications unique to each customer, but we’re sure it’ll cost you all of your Christmas money. If you’re serious about ordering the RCR 917, you can find out more at Slot Mod’s site.
Chevy’s had some entertaining commercials as of late, from a memorable Super Bowl spot for the new Camaro this year, to last year’s ‘America still builds rockets‘ Corvette ad. Well, the boys at Chevy’s marketing agency quietly introduced a new ad for the ‘Vette over the weekend during the 12 Hours of Sebring race.
In case you missed it, the ad touts the Corvette ZR1′s capability and awesome horsepower, commenting that in order to keep things fair on the track when competing with Porsches and Ferraris, they were asked to dial-down the power – 168-hp to be exact.
Unfortunately for Chevy, they only managed to place third and fourth in class, and it wasn’t a Porsche or Ferrari who beat them, but a BMW.
Baring any surprises, with over an hour left at the American endurance classic, it was obvious that the No. 10 diesel-powered Peugeot driven by Loic Duval would take the checkered flag. With the win, Peugeot successfully defended its victory from 2010.
Holding off Peugeot from a one-two win wasn’t long-time rival Audi, but the Highcroft Racing Honda Performance Development car, driven across the finish line by Simon Pagenaud. The No. 8 Peugeot pitted in the last hour of the race giving P2 to the Honda car, and almost regained that spot in the final laps. Pagenaud pulled out some impressive lap times as the clock ticked down, holding off the third-place Peugeot driven by Franck Montagny. Making the dual all the more exciting is the fact that Pagenaud will spend much of the rest of the year racing for the French automaker in Europe.
Meanwhile in the GT Class the impressive performance by numerous Ferrari machines in qualifying didn’t lead to a similar race result. The top place Ferrari finished just 5th, and it wasn’t one of the new 458s either, but an older 430GT model.
BMW took both the first and second spots in the hotly contested GT class, with Joey Hand driving the No. 56 M3 GT across the finish line, followed by the No. 55 of Dirk Werner, marking the first time since 1998 BMW Motorsport was victorious at Sebring.
Topping out the podium was the No. 03 Corvette C6 ZR1, with the No. 04 Corvette Racing car taking fourth. Porsche’s best result was a distance sixth place finish.
The 12 Hours of Sebring marks the start of both the Le Mans racing season in Europe and North America. The next race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) takes place in Long Beach, California on the weekend of April 15-16.
It may be one of America’s most storied races, but the car sitting on the pole for tomorrow’s 59th running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring isn’t even from a manufacturer that sells cars here.
Topping the Audis in qualifying was Anthony Davidson in the Peugeot 908 with a 1:46.571 lap time. Davidson will race with Alexander Wurz and Marc Gene in tomorrow’s endurance classic, defending last year’s title. Peugeots also took third and fifth place in qualifying, divided by two Audi R15s in second and fourth. Tom Kristensen set the second fastest lap in qualifying with a 1:47.680, and will share the car with partners Allan McNish and Dindo Capello before the R15 chassis is retired.
And while LMP1 saw a battle between European rivals, LMP2 came down to an all-Japanese dual, with the Level 5 Motorspots Lola-Honda driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay besting Soheil Ayari in the Signatech Nissan. A second Level 5 Motorsports Honda placed third.
In the hotly-contested GT category, the new Ferrari 458GT cars got all the publicity, but managed only 5th in class, while one of the older F430GT models driven by Gianmaria Bruni took the GT pole. Finishing just behind was the Corvette ZR1 driven by Oliver Gavin. BMW took third in an M3 GT driven by Dirk Werner, with the top-placing Porsche just sixth.
Watch all the action starting Saturday, March 19 on ABC, ESPN2 or ESPN3.com. Those outside the U.S. can watch the race live at www.americanlemans.com
This weekend Nissan will officially return to international sports car racing, fielding an LMP2 entry in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Marking the first time Nissan has competed at this level in over a decade, Nissan’s NISMO motorsports division has partnered with the Signature Group to field an LMP2 level prototype machine. Powered by a 3.4-liter VK series V8 engine, the Signatech Nissan racing team has a busy scheduled planned for 2011, competing in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) series, which along with Sebring includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1,000 km Spa-Francorshamps, and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Piloting the race car will be Soheil Ayari and Franck Mailleux of France, as well as 25 year-old Lucas Ordoñez of Spain, the winner of the inaugural PlayStation GT Academy competition in Europe.
Nissan’s last outright win at Sebring came in 1994.
GALLERY: Signatech Nissan LMP2 Race Car
Nissan fans will rejoice at the brand’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this year.
The Japanese automaker has just announced a partnership with Signature Racing out of France that will see the team use Nissan Motorsports (NISMO) 4.5-liter V8 engines in high-level LMP2 prototype cars.
But before the big race in France, Nissan will debut the car at the 12 Hours of Sebring, in Sebring, FL on March 19th. The car is also set to return to our shores for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta later this year.
Porsche Works driver Timo Bernhard has just earned his place in the history books, becoming the first driver to ever win all four major endurance races. Bernhard completed the “motorsports grand slam” this past weekend, racing not for Porsche, but for Audi in one of the new R15 race cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 2008 Bernhard won the 12 Hours of Sebring and back in 2003 he topped the podium at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Possibly even more impressive is that Bernhard has won the final race, the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, a four consecutive times from 2006-09.
“Even as a child I dreamt of one day admiring the overall winner trophies of all four long-distance classics in my display cabinet at home,” said Bernhard. “Now, bringing home overall victory in Le Mans, I have made this dream come true.”
Check out the gallery of Bernhards cars and victory celebrations below.
GALLERY: Timo Bernhard’s Motorsports Grand Slam
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Corvette Racing has just released the first part of a 12 part series, chronicling the team’s build up and follow-through for the 2010 American Le Mans Series. The first video in the series doesn’t waste any time dealing with Corvette Racing’s crushing finale at Laguna Seca, where contact by one of the Flying Lizard Porsches sent driver Jan Magnussen into the wall, just seconds from the finish line. (see below).
Crew Chief Dan Binks expresses his anger, but says that the best way to avoid that situation in the future is to build a car that’s so far out front, this problem won’t occur. Corvette thinks they’ve got such a car, but this year the competition is even tougher, with the GT1 and GT2 classes amalgamated into a single GT class. Plus, for 2010 (like in 2009) the new C6.R is much more closely based on the street car and new for 2010 is a smaller 5.5-liter V8 engine.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on how the new car stacks up, with the 2010 ALMS Season beginning with the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 17-20.
See after the jump for a video of last year’s season ending crash.
Corvette Racing has just released the first official photos of its new GT Class (formerly GT2) C6.R team, with new livery for 2010. The teams consist of Corvette Racing drivers Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, while Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, and Emmanuel Collard will pilot the No. 4 car. All drivers have been testing the cars this week at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.
Along with new livery, the car’s have a new 5.5-liter V8 that many expect will be the new base engine in the next generation (C7) Corvette. Last year Corvette Racing only ran a partial season in the new GT (then GT2 Class) cars, using a downsized 6.0-liter version of the old GT1 Class 7.0-liter V8.
The 2010 ALMS Season begins with the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 17-20.
GALLERY: 2010 Corvette Racing C6.R
Official release after the jump:
Corvette Racing boss Doug Fehan has confirmed that when the team of GT2-spec Vettes debut for their first full season at Sebring in March, they will be equipped with an all-new, smaller V8 engine. Gone is the 6.0-liter V8 from last year, which Fehan said was just an temporary engine. That motor, essentially a donwsized version of the GT1-spec 7.0-liter V8, had very little in common with the street-going Corvette’s V8.
This new 5.5-liter V8, however, is expected to be in many ways similar to a production V8 that will find its way into the next generation C7 Corvette. In fact, it will be built alongside engines for the ZR1 and Z06 at GM’s Performance Build Center.
We’ll be watching the new GT2 Corvettes closely during the 2010 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season, in articular during their race debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring running from March 17-20.
GALLERY: Corvette Racing ALMS GT2 Cars
Official release after the jump: