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

Designing the RideMakerz C6.R Corvette

How does something like this come together? The answer is, “Not easily.” After Andreini and Clark joined forces, a dream-team had to be built. RIDEMAKERZ worked closely with GM, Ford, and Chrysler on all of the body designs and licensing. The team from Kick Design was brought in as creative directors and created the RIDEMAKERZ logos, the brick & mortar store design, and website. They are also the force behind Corvette Racing’s “Jake” and BadBoyVettes.com. Andreini brought in Scrambled Eggz Productions to create concept sketches for all of the body and accessory designs, control drawings used to make tooling patterns, as well as graphics for the decals and packaging. I was privileged to be a part of this team effort through Scrambled Eggz, and worked on several of the control drawings and designs for the accessory parts. A custom car toy line needs a high-profile spokesman, so Andreini also brought on board Chip Foose, renowned car designer and host of The Learning Channel TV program, “Overhaulin,” as a technical advisor. Read More