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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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]
Corvette Racing’s Youtube series continues for yet another episode, but this time, goes behind the scenes to look at the logistics of bringing the team over to France, weeks ahead of the LeMans race, just to prepare for 24 hours of wheel to wheel action.
The most interesting aspect of the video is how things like food are dealt with by the team. Believe it or not, one of the staffers here has experience cooking for large groups of people at a summer camp, and it was one of the most demanding jobs on his resume (somewhere between automotive journalist and State Fair carny – but that’s another story). At a summer camp, the young campers are far less picky, but a race team is not only used to decent quality food (especially the mega-buck sponsors), but nutritional requirements are extremely important for the pro drivers, who operate like athletes of the highest caliber.
Along the way, we also see the drivers parade, the autograph sessions but no on-car action. Hopefully episode 8 will deliver the goods with a roaring V8 soundtrack and more exotic locales.
You may not be able to afford to get him the real thing this Father’s Day, but the next best thing is within your grasp – and your budget. Hot Wheels and Matchbox have the perfect present for the die-cast car collector in your life – say hello to the Speed Machines car collection.
Appealing to your husband’s inner child (but don’t expect him to share them or play nice with any of your kids), these 1:64 scale cars come in an assortment of luxury vehicle minis, such as the Ferrari 599XX, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi TTS, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari California, Porsche 914, Ford Shelby GR-1 and Jaguar XJ220. These ones cost a little bit more than their average counterparts, but they do come with much more accurate paint and detailing, as well as better wheels.
These Speed Machines should hit stores in mid-May – just in time for Father’s Day. Fun to play with, great to display and good on gas. Dad couldn’t ask for much more than that… except for another tacky tie and cool macaroni art placemat.
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Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen almost saw the top of the podium during the American Le Mans Series finale at Laguna Seca, but instead he saw the track-side hospital. Magnussen, driving the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R spent the last several laps of the race battling alonside Jörg Bergmeister in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, before crashing into the wall just feet from the finish line, allowing the Porsche to finish first just 1.037 seconds ahead. (Skip ahead to the 1:52 mark for the best action).
Magnussen even took the lead several in the second last lap, but had to give the position back as it was determined (quite obviously) that he had passed over the pit-exit line to do so.
“I’m definitely sorry Jan went into the wall,” Bergmeister said. “I didn’t want that to happen. But it was a banging game. I’m glad he’s OK. It was tough racing. The Corvette passed me the first time at the hairpin but he went in way too deep and I was able to get back around him. He was a little quicker I have to say. I wasn’t trying to figure out where he was gaining time on me. I was trying to stay on track and in front.”
Magnussen recalls the incident slightly differently. “I didn’t think I even had a chance after I had to give the position back,” he said. “Going into the last corner I was too far away to make a proper attack, but Joerg parked the car. I didn’t see that, so I slid up and hit him a little – he went sideways and I managed to get on the inside. It was a drag race up the hill, and I managed to get ahead of him. Then he turned me into the wall, and he kept turning in. Then I spun around the nose of his car.”
Corvette Racing is looking into the incident but it’s hard to point fingers as there was a lot of bumping going on in the final laps of the race. “It’s unfortunate it ended the way it did. I think we’re going to review the videotapes and see what we can do to ascertain what went wrong there,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “I’m sure we’ll be working with the sanctioning body to address it and put into place safeguards to make sure incidents like this won’t happen again.”
Still, Fehan had to admit that, “Those last six laps were as exciting as I’ve seen in motor racing in a long time – two great teams, two great cars, two great drivers.”
The podium spot is the fifth consecutive podium for Corvette Racing in as many races, since the team joined the GT2 class.
Corvette Racing today unveiled its new GT2-spec C6.R racer and invited folks to listen in on a conference call with those responsible for running the team as well as one of the drivers of the No. 3 car, Johnny O’Connell.
For years Corvette Racing has ran a team of cars in the top-level GT1 category in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but decided to move to the lower GT1 class for several reasons, namely the competition and the marketing potential. For starters, the GT2-spec C6.R is closely based on the new ZR1, whereas the old GT1 cars had little in common with their road-going counterparts. Being so closely related to a street car is ideal for marketing.
“With the international regulations converging around a single GT class, Corvette Racing will continue its motorsports heritage by racing against manufacturers and marques that Corvette competes with in the marketplace, while also increasing the production content of the C6.R race car and the relevance of racing to our customers,” said Mark Kent, GM Racing manager. “This is truly a step that positions Corvette Racing for the future of production-based sports car racing worldwide, and a move that is perfectly aligned with GM’s marketing and business objectives in racing.”
As for the competition, the GT1 class has heated up over the past few years. Traditionally dominated by Porsche, Ferrari is now a major contender. Additional players include BMW, Aston Martin and Panoz. Competition on GT1 is almost non-existent now as Corvette Racing has developed into such a dominating sport over the years (beating Ferrari, Aston Martin, Saleen and Dodge).
“There was literally very little competition on a global basis to race in the existing GT1 category,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing program manager.
Under the hood, Corvette Racing has modified the 7.0-liter GT1 powerplant, adding a new crankshaft to decrease the displacement to 6.o-liters (as the rules demand). A new engine is also in development for 2010 when the rules change to limit the maximum displacement to 5.5-liters. According to Fehan this new engine will be based on a production 5.5-liter V8 that is planned for future GM products. The Corvette Racing GT2-spec C6.R will make its racing debut at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 6-8. Familiar faces Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen will share the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, and Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will drive the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6. R.
GALLERY: GT2 Corvette C6.R
Read a transcript of the full teleconference after the jump: Continue Reading…
Last year Chevrolet announced that it would retire its GT1 Corvette Racing team after dominating the class for close to a decade. In its place Chevy would run a lower-level GT2 team in a class that has become increasingly competitive.
This year the GT1s still ran in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) during the season opener at Sebring and then at Long Beach before heading off to France to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There the team did Corvette Racing justice, taking the top spot on the podium in the last race the GT1 C6Rs would ever see. It also marked an astounding six class wins at Le Mans for Corvette Racing.
Now Corvette Racing has announced plans to return to the series on August 6th at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Two cars will take to the field to battle it out with Ferraris, Porsches and Vipers. Both cars will be piloted by familiar drivers, with Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen forming one team and Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin forming the other.
“For several years now, the competition in GT2 has been the closest and most competitive among all our classes,” said ALMS CEO Scott Atherton. “With the news of Corvette Racing’s official entry into the category at Mid-Ohio, the class quite possibly becomes the most diverse and competitive ever. It also serves as another example of the continued growth and success of the American Le Mans Series. Corvette never truly left, but it’s safe to say that they were missed by the countless participants at our Corvette Corrals and fans worldwide. We would like to be the first to officially say, ‘Welcome back!’”
The two car Corvette Racing GT2 team will race for the first time at Mid-Ohio from August 6-8th.
[Source: American Le Mans Series]
Can a gasoline engine best a diesel one in endurance racing? It can during qualifying, as Acura proved by claiming the pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring race, set to take place tomorrow.
Scott Dixon shocked pretty much everyone on Thursday by piloting the de Ferran Motorsports Acura ARX-02a to the pole with a time of just 1:45.27. Neither Audi or Peugeot (both favored to claim the pole over Acura) could post a better lap. Impressively this pole position is the first for Acura, during it’s first ever race in the top-level LMP1 class.
“I’ve watched this race for many years and it’s always been exciting so now it’s great that I get to race here,” Dixon said. “I’ve tested on the short track many times with IndyCar but never on the big track. So you can’t help but grin from ear to ear to be excited to drive here.”
“Overall it’s been a great week especially now having Acura on the overall pole,” Dixon said. “It was unexpected. We always shoot for the pole from the get-go. But realistically I thought we were only to be third or fourth. It was interesting when I heard I was going to qualify the car. I’m not sure why Gil picked me in the end, but I think all three of us could have done it.”
The battle for pole was a close one, however, with Tom Kristensen just 0.082 seconds behind in the new Audi R15. In fact, the fiels was so close that all top-five qualifiers were just 0.281 seconds apart.
The third fastest time was posted by Christian Klien in one of the Peugeot 908 HDi coupes.
In the LMP2 class, Acura also claimed the top spot with Adrian Fernandez in the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01b posting a 1:49.686.
As for the remainder of the classes, Corvette clinched the GT1 pole with a Oliver Gavin behind the wheel in what will be the last Sebring race for the C6.R as it retires later this season.
The final class, GT2 saw a Porsche on the pole with Dirk Werner in the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 RSR running a time 2:03.051.
Complete qualifying results after the jump:
Built to celebrate the tremendous success Corvette has had in racing over the past decade, General Motors has announced the launch of the GT1 Championship Edition.
The GT1 Championship Edition Corvette will come with racing inspired graphics, including driver flags and the series championships. The car is available in either black or Velocity Yellow, with black headlamps.
The body of the car will be painted in the ZR1 style with a spoiler and chrome wheels (yuck… really?).
Inside the interior will be swathes in ebony leather with yellow stitching and will feature GT1 embroidery on the seats, instrument panel and center console armrest..
Under the hood, the engine cover will have a special carbon look with yellow Corvette lettering.
The GT1 Championship Edition will be offered as either a coupe, convertible or Z06, with just 100 of each model being made in each color for a total of 600 units.
All models will receive a navigation system and both coupe and convertible will include the Z51 Performance Package and performance exhaust with an optional automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Pricing is listed as $65,310 for the coupe, $71,815 for the convertible and $86,385 for the Z06. The GT1 Championship Edition Corvette will go on sale in the Spring.
The GT1 Championship Edition Corvette was create in homage to the successes of the C6.R racing Corvettes which took the ALMS GT1 Manufacturers Championship for 8 years, claimed over 70 victories in the series and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 5 times.
2009 will make the last year for the C6.R in racing.
Corvette GT1 Championship Edition:
Official release after the jump: