Late in 1989 Corvette Quarterly (formerly “Corvette News”) arranged a special event. Grand Sport #002 was brought together at Sebring International Raceway for a side-by-side comparison test with the then “state-of-the-art” tube chassis Trans-Am C4 Corvette. Twenty-six-years separate the two cars, they are both tube-frame cars with replica bodies, and powered by Chevrolet engines. But that’s where the similarity ends, and the difference is startling. Read More
In the summer of 2018 a camouflaged C8.R was seen after the IMSA race at Wisconsin’s Road America. There was some speculation that this was an indication that the C8 would be debuted soon as a 2019 model and that we would see the C8.R for the 2019 racing season.
Tantalizing indeed, but it never happened. Instead, we are seeing the allegedly aging C7.R holding 2nd place, despite IMSA’s onerous Balance of Power (BoP) restrictions. Is IMSA trying to make sure the Corvette Racing Team doesn’t win another championship? Of course, they would deny that, but it sure looks that way.
This is what Gary and Robin Pratt, and the rest of the Corvette Racing Team are up against. Let’s continue our conversation from Bill Tower’s 2019 Corvette Racing Seminar at Sebring International Raceway on Friday March 15, 2019. Read More
An extraordinary thing happened last year for the Corvette Racing Team. Road Atlanta was the final race of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season and it was a real nail-biter. Antonio Garcia is an outstanding team driver, very methodical, technical, and rarely makes mistakes. But mistakes happen. The team and spectators were shocked when Garcia’s No. 3 C7.R smacked the wall. It wasn’t a bad crash and Garcia was able to drive into the pits.
The Corvette Racing pit team is arguably the best. In five-minutes and 36-seconds the pit crew replaced the front fender, nose, and engine floor; and sent Garcia back out on the track in the hunt for another championship. When the checkered flag came down, the Corvette Racing Team won its 13th IMSA Team Championship and 12th Driver Championship in 20 years of racing! And here’s the kicker; for the 2018 racing season, the Corvette Racing Team did not come in 1st place in a single race.
How could that happen? Modern factory-backed racing is a team sport; it’s all about teamwork; as tight, efficient, and professional as any other team professional sports team. In October 2018 in the days after the Road Atlanta success, Bill Tower and I were talking about a theme for his 2019 Corvette Racing History Seminar on the Friday of the 2019 12 Hours of Sebring event. I said, “Bill, the Corvette Racing Team just won its 13 Championship in 20 years without winning a single race. Do you know anyone at Pratt & Miller that would be willing to talk about the team’s amazing 20 years of racing?” Bill responded, “Sure, I know Gary Pratt, I’ll call him to see if he’d like to be our guest.” And that’s how the event got started. But it got even better. Not only was Gary Pratt willing to be a guest speaker, Bill got Gary’s wife Robin Pratt (the Mama Bear of the team) and Ron Fellows. What’a score! Read More
Some, especially in racing organization management, look at racing as ‘entertainment.’ I do not. Never have. If I/we want entertainment we go to the movies, or, nowadays, watch a movie at home. I believe, truly, we fans and enthusiasts of racing look at racing as a ‘study in automotive engineering, time management, and human endeavor.’ Especially the enduro races; Daytona/LeMans-24s, Sebring-12, Rd Atl Petite LeMans-10, and Watkins Glen-6.
Who among us doesn’t think about all of the rotating parts and pieces of a race car when we watch a race; the constantly changing engine revs, the numbers of transmission shifts, the glow of brake rotors, and the strategies playing out? Especially when we watch thru the eye of the In-Car-Cam, seeing what drivers see and experience, albeit with the lack of accelerating, braking, and centripetal forces acting upon us. Read More
Duntov oversaw the engineering in Detroit and tested the special parts at the GM Proving Ground, and Rose was the field engineer that worked with Smokey Yunick and various racers to field test and improve the parts. By the end of the 1959s, Corvettes were winning championships and were beginning to dominate. Read More
Time flies when you are having fun racing and winning. But five years can be an eternity in prototype sports car racing. I was shocked to see a report on Jalopnik.com that the five year old Corvette Daytona Prototype is now relegated to vintage historic racing events. Read More
Unlike today’s Corvette Racing Team’s massive year-around, non-stop R&D program, the Sebring cars were prepared in just a few weeks and were being worked on around the clock. But all things considered, it was a valiant effort that paid off. Here’s a list of the modifications made to the Corvettes. This is why I say, these were no ordinary Corvettes and by 1956 standards, these cars were very advanced. Read More
The Chevrolet-backed Corvette Racing Team starts its 20th racing season this month and has consistently raced longer than any other team in IMSA history. But it all started today in 1999! Dateline: 1.10.18, Images: AutoWeek & illustration by K. Scott Teeters – Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to get focused on… Read More
The 1957 Corvette SS Racer’s exotic body turned out to be the hot ticket to failure! Dateline: 11.16.17 (VIDEO BELOW!) – This was such a heady time! Corvettes were starting to do well in racing and the Fuelie was about to go into production. Chevy general manager Ed Cole gave Duntov the green light to… Read More
Corvette racers never had a better friend than Zora Arkus-Duntov. After the heavy lifting was completed and the new Sting Ray’s design was basically finished, Duntov and his team set out to create their Racer Kit for the new car. It is not known exactly how the moniker “Z06” was chosen, perhaps by chance, but it sure sounded sexy and no one knew that almost 40 years later there would be a separate performance model with the heart and soul of the Racer Kit, wearing a Z06 badge. Read More
A fascinating vintage document has surfaced and is available as a free PDF download thanks to the GM Heritage Center. The 23 page document walks the reader through topics that includes everything a Corvette owner needs to know about how to race his Corvette! Read More
Corvette Racing Team scores ANOTHER win at the 12 Hours of Sebring IMSA Race Dateline: 3-20-16: The overall winner of the 2016 12 Hours of Sebring was Pipo Derani driving his Ligier JS P2 Honda. The Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype driven by Dane Cameron took 2nd and Christian Fittipaldi took 3rd in his Action… Read More