History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

Vette Videos: Track to Street – Corvette Racing Series – The FULL Series

Dateline: 8.9.11
Here’s the latest episode of “Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series.” PLUS!!! All 11 previous episodes. Time to catch up!

According to Chronology of Chevrolet Corvette website, it was sometime in 1997 that the Corvette Racing Team began developing the C5-R race car, based on a production C5 Corvette. C5-R chassis testing began in November ‘97 with the first completed C5-R race car ready in early ‘98. After nearly a year of testing and development, the C5-R’s first competition was at Daytona International Speedway on January 10, 1999. After 24 hours of competition, the C5-Rs came in 2nd and 12th in the GT2 class. Not too shabby for an all-new race car and team.

1999 was a tough year with the C5-R always contenders but not taking a first place win. The best finishes were 2nd place at the Daytona 24 hours race in January and the Laguna Seca 2 hour and 45-minute race in October. The team scooped up their first 1st place win on September 2, 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway in the ALMS series GTS class. Later that month, the team scored their second 1st place win at the 10 hours at Road Atlanta.

In the world of sports car racing, if you win at Daytona, a lot of people will notice. But if you win at Le Mans, EVERYONE sees and remembers! 2001 was the C5-R team’s break out year. Not only did they take 1st place in 8 out of 10 races, but they won 1st AND second place at Le Mans. Since 2001 the C5-R and C6.R Corvette teams have won 1st place in their class at Le Mans seven times and 2nd place at Le Mans seven times.

While that’s not “domination” (something you really DON’T want, because the sanctioning body will put heavy restrictions on your car) it does mean that Corvettes are ALWAYS a force to be reckoned with. The old days of Corvettes being considered as just unsophisticated “fast trucks” are OVER! But how did we get here? It’s the result of a factory-backed, long range R&D group team effort. This is what Chevrolet and GM should have done from the beginning, instead of cow tailing to the 1957 AMA ban on American auto manufacturer’s participation in auto racing.

So, what’s it like inside the C6.R Corvette Racing team? The series “Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series” regularly serves up short, tasty video dishes of behind the scenes action in the C6.R Corvette camp. The latest, “Episode 12” is at the top of this post. If you missed the previous 11 episodes, we’ve included 1 through 11 below for your enjoyment.

Were it not for “racing,” the Corvette probably never would have made it through the ‘70s. The old shackles were taken off the Corvette in ‘97 when the decision was made inside Chevrolet, “let’s build a Corvette racing team.” It took a few years for the Corvettes to stick it in the eye of the sacred cows of Europe, and since then, there’s been no looking back. Where ever he is, I’m sure that Mr. Duntov is a happy man seeing what his beloved American sports car has become, on the street AND the track.  – Scott

PS – For the full history of the C5-R and C6.R Corvette race cars, visit http://www.corvetteracing.com/ and look through the “History” drop down.

For Corvette Racing news, history, photos, and more, visit www.corvetteracing.com by clicking the above banner.

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 1

Track to Street: Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 2

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 3

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 4

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 5

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 6

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 7

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 8

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 9

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 10

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 11

Track to Street: Corvette Racing Series: Episode 12

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