Bill Tower’s Sebring 2019 Corvette Racing Seminar, Pt 2

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

Bill Tower’s Sebring 2019 Corvette Racing Seminar, Pt 1

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

The C7 Corvette Chassis, Pt 6: The Chassis Tadge Juechter Built

When Tadge Juechter’s C7 Corvette debuted, fans were stunned to learn that the base model C7 was built an even better version of the Z06’s aluminum chassis. But wait, there’s more! The same new aluminum chassis would be used for the coupe AND convertible Corvette. This was a major breakthrough and bespeaks of advanced engineering. Here’s how Juechter’s team did it.

Juechter’s objective was to build a modern performance car that delivered enhanced driving experience, more efficiency that yielded more performance. Every element had to contribute to the overall performance and there would be nothing fake. That explains everything that we see on the C7 Corvette, but what’s unseen is even more amazing. Read More

Chris Draper’s “My Corvette Life”

This story originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Vette Vues. Since the story was written Chris has rebuilt the top end of his LS1 engine. Chris added the following; a LS6 Z06 intake; Z06 fuel injectors; throttle body; heads; and a Vararam Power Duct. His engine also received new valves and valve sprints. When Chris bought the car, it had a performance cam; Kooks Long Tube headers; an X-pipe; and a Cat-Back exhaust. After a dyno tune, Chris’ bolt-on-modified LS1 pulled 508-horsepower at the crank! That is C6 427 LS7 Z06 territory, ladies and gentlemen! GOOD JOB, Chris! Read More


Corvette Timeline Tales: January 10, 1999 – Two C5-R Corvette race cars start testing for the 1999 24 Hours of Daytona – 2 VIDEOS

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


What’s New In Vette Vues Magazine! 8/15

The cover story for the August issue of Vette Vues is “Victory At Le Mans!” There’s an old saying in road racing that goes, “If you win the 12 Hours at Sebring or the 24 Hours at Daytona, all of America will know. But if you win the 24 Hours At le Mans, the WHOLE WORLD will know. The Corvette Racing Team scored their eighth Le Mans win since the debut arrival of the C5-R cars in 1999. BRAVISSIMO! Corvette Racing Team! Read More

Corvette Widebodys – Past and Present

On March 16,2012 GMAuthority.com announced that for the 2012 racing season, the C6.R ZR1 Corvette would be wearing a new suit. We’re not talking about the livery, it’s still Competition Yellow with black graphics that seems to change every few races.

No, we’re talking about actual body parts. It was only six years ago that the production widebody C6 Z06 gave the new C6 that big, broad shoulders look that we love so much. It wasn’t long before lots of regular Corvettes were wearing Z06 outfits, and why not? It looks great, almost as if that’s the way the C6 should have looked in ‘05. But things evolve and we go from there. It wasn’t just a fad either. Chevrolet certainly noticed and and in ‘10 dished up the Grand Sport model, wearing Z06 cloths and a new set of front fender vents. The new look struck a chord, because in ‘10 the Grand Sport Corvette made up 49.5% of total sales and in ‘11 Grand Sports accounted for 58.7% of sales! That’s very impressive and the Corvette planners deserve credit for picking up on the widebody trend. – Catch the rest of the story, plus cool images, and a special video staring the one and only Jack LaLanne! Read More

Vette Videos: Chevrolet Embraces Corvette Racing

Wouldn’t it have been awesome if General Motors had told the AMA to “stuff it” back in 1957? Why should Ford and Chrysler get all the racing glory? Just before the GM enforced the 1957 AMA ban on racing, paperwork had been submitted to take Duntov’s Corvette SS race car to Le Mans. And what might have happened if Zora had been allowed to fully develop the ‘63 Grand Sport. Ah, the stuff of bench racing.

I thought it was very cool that in 2010 Chevrolet touted the racing-developed parts and concepts that are now part of the C6 ZR1 Corvette with a very cool-looking 2-page poster magazine advertisement depicting a ‘10 ZR1 in the foreground and the all-out, ZR1 dressed C6.R Corvette race cars. The photo of the production ZR1 Corvette has number callouts that point out the racing derived elements of the ZR1. I say, “BRAVO Chevrolet!” for finally tooting your own horn about the potent C6.R Corvette race cars. Read More