Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp
2006 Chevrolet Corvette C6-R
Corvette C6-R Race Car Launches For 2005
DETROIT – The brand-new Corvette C6-R race car will debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 2005 after a full year of rigorous testing and development. The two-car, factory-backed Chevrolet sports car program will compete in the production-based GT1 class (formerly GTS) of American Le Mans Series as well as the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, a race where the Corvette has won its class for three out of the past four years. The new race car is the most technically advanced sports car ever developed by General Motors, culling years of experience from the dominant Corvette C5-R as well as the advancements brought forth from the next-generation Corvette C6 and Z06 production models.
'The Corvette C6-R is the best sports car we've ever built and it has been our privilege to develop it alongside the new Corvette Z06,' said Harry Turner , GM's group manager for road racing. 'History will remember the C5-R as one of the best sports racing cars of all-time and we've set the bar high for the C6-R. With the new C6 chassis and body structure as our starting point, we're already ahead. We left no stone unturned in the development of this new car and we are looking forward to racing it in front of the world in 2005.'
Like the C5-R before it, the Corvette C6-R starts from production roots: the same hydroformed frame rails that roll down the assembly line at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green , Kentucky are sourced for the structure of the race car. With the new C6 production model measuring shorter in overall length (but with a longer wheelbase), race car engineers faced a new set of numbers in which to achieve their goals to make the car faster on the 180-mph Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans and other high-speed circuits.
'At first glance, the shortened front and rear overhangs on the C6 would seem to present a challenge in developing a racecar with maximum aerodynamic downforce,' said Steve Wesoloski , program engineering manager for Corvette Racing. 'However, the low drag features on the C6, such as the sleek body and flush headlamps, lend themselves to an easy task of converting the production design into a low-drag race car.'
Adding a rear wing and a front splitter enabled the team to develop a package that achieves a lift-to-drag ratio better than that of the C5-R. Through a combination of Computational Fluid Dynamic studies and on-track testing, the end result will be an aerodynamically balanced package, tunable to the low drag demands of Le Mans or the high downforce requirements of Mosport.
The phrase 'technology transfer' has never been more appropriate than when used to describe the matched set of Corvette C6-R and Corvette Z06. Lessons learned on the track have benefited the Z06, just as GM's vast resources have enriched the C6-R race car. Both cars are powered by 7-liter small-block V-8 engines with dry-sump lubrication systems, CNC-ported cylinder heads, titanium valves and connecting rods, forged steel crankshafts, and plate-honed cylinder bores. While the components and specifications of the street and competition engines are tailored to their specific environments, the thought process behind them is identical.
The same six drivers that piloted the C5-Rs to an historical undefeated season in 2004 will return to the track in 2005: Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell and Max Papis will drive the #3 Corvette C6-R and Oliver Gavin , Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen will drive the #4 Corvette C6-R.Source - Chevrolet
Corvette and Aston Martin went head-to-head in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, trading blows through a gruelling day and night of racing. When the battle finally ended at 5 pm on Sunday, Corvette Racing had won the GT1 class in the world's premier endurance car race for the fifth time in six years.
The winning Corvette, with 580 horsepower, completed 355 laps, made 25 faultless pit stops, and won by a five-lap margin of victory.
Corvette Racing extended its perfect finishing record in the 24 Hours of Le Mans to six consecutive years and Corvette became the manufacturer with the most wins in recent GT history at Le Mans.
'This is a very special time in Corvette history - five Le Mans wins in six years is an incredible achievement against strong competition,' commented David Venticich, regional marketing director for General Motors in the Middle East. 'As well as the exceptional skill and talent of the driving team, this win is thanks to the combined work of a very dedicated crew of mechanics, top-class engineers and visionary decision makers. We would like to congratulate the team on their outstanding victory and wish them the best of luck for 2007!'
The 2006 Corvette is a performance car that is at home in virtually any environment, whether daily commuting or weekend racing. Coupe and Convertible models come with the LS2 6.0L V-8 engine that produces 580 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. It is matched to a rear transaxle that helps improve vehicle weight balance – a six-speed manual is standard and the new six-speed paddle shift transmission with automatic modes is available. The front and rear short/long arm suspensions reflect the most competition-influenced suspension tuning in the Corvette's history.
Dramatic fender forms and exposed headlamps combine with the grille to create a strong visual identity for the Corvette, while the tapered rear deck and fascia improve high-speed performance. The lean rear design sports round tail lamps and centre-exit exhaust. The fixed Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps provide superior lighting performance. With a 0.286 coefficient of drag, the Coupe models are the most aerodynamic Corvettes ever.
The Corvette nameplate also offers the Corvette Z06, the race-bred vehicle which is the fastest, most powerful production Corvette ever built as well as the fastest, most powerful production car ever offered by General Motors. Its LS7 V-8 engine achieves 505 horsepower at 6300 rpm, delivering the 1423 kg Z06 a 0-100 km/h performance of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 318 km/h. The Z06 is now available from dealers across the Middle East region.Source - GM
Corvette Racing's twin Compuware Corvette C6.Rs waged a fierce battle in the season finale of the American Le Mans Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. When the four-hour race was finished, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta stood on the top step of the victory podium in the GT1 class for a record-tying ninth time in 2007. The 'two Ollies' drove their No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R to a 30-second victory over the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R of Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen.
The pair completed 150 laps of the 2.238-mile road course and finished 11th overall to crown their third championship season together. Beretta extended his record for career ALMS victories with his 37th win, while Gavin notched his 28th career ALMS title. Corvette Racing won the GT1 manufacturer and team championships for the seventh consecutive year.
'I have to take my hat off to Olivier because he drove brilliantly,' said Gavin. 'We were knocked off the track twice today, and there was big pressure all the time from our sister car. The one thing that kept us in front was the pit stops. The guys did a fantastic job with every stop, and our engineer Steve Cole and Corvette Racing gave us a mighty car. This was the best car we've had at Laguna Seca, and a victory was a fitting way to finish the season.'
The lead in the GT1 division changed hands three times in the four-hour race. Magnussen started on the pole and led until the first round of pit stops at 56 minutes into the race. Gavin took the lead over O'Connell at the first driver change, but surrendered the point after contact with a GT2 Ferrari in the Andretti Hairpin shortly after two hours of racing. The No. 4 car regained the lead on the second round of pit stops and driver changes at the 2:16 mark. Beretta and Magnussen then drove the last hour and 45 minutes, stopping for a splash of fuel and tires at 20 minutes before the checkered flag.
'I have no words to describe what the Corvette Racing crew can do,' said Beretta. 'I had contact, Ollie had contact, and on the pit stops they gave us more than 100 percent and put us in front. They are awesome.'
The GT1 race was literally won in the pits. 'We were a little down after finishing second in the pit stop competition, but we pulled together,' said Ray Gongla, crew chief for the No. 4 Corvette. 'The guys had to do three flawless pit stops in a row, and they did it.'
Magnussen mounted a furious charge from lap 99 to lap 109, cutting Beretta's lead to 1.74 seconds at one point.
'We had a really good car in the beginning of the race, but when I got in the car on a different tire compound, it was a little hard for me to find a good balance,' Magnussen reported. 'The first few laps in my second stint were very fast and I was starting to regain the lead, but after about eight laps the other car was just as fast so I couldn't catch Olivier.
'It's been a great season with Corvette Racing,' said Magnussen after his first full year with the team. 'To be with this team and to see all of the Corvette fans, I feel like it's the best time of my life right now. I hope somebody comes out and races with us next year to make it even better.'
Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan reflected on today's result: 'I think the final race of the season was the crowning touch to what we did all year – perfect races, no mistakes, and dedicating ourselves to getting better every time. It's a great ending to a great season.'
The Monterey Sports Car Championships marked the conclusion of Laguna Seca's 50th anniversary celebration and a milestone for Corvette Racing.
'Fifty years ago, Zora Arkus-Duntov, the godfather of Corvette Racing, conceived the Corvette SS race car to put Corvette squarely in the arena of international endurance racing,' said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper. 'This year marks the 50th anniversary of both the Corvette SS and of the Laguna Seca circuit. As we look back on the results today at this great track and reflect on Corvette Racing's record of success over the years, it's clear that the Corvette C6.R has realized Zora's dream.
'Corvette Racing has again set the standard for engineering excellence, preparation, and commitment in the American Le Mans Series,' Peper noted. 'The team came to race at every event, and ran with all of the passion and skill that have made Corvette Racing America's premier production sports car racing team. The drivers, mechanics, engineers, support personnel and team managers of Corvette Racing have made everyone at Chevrolet proud, and I congratulate every one of them on a job well done.'Monterey Sports Car Championships GT1 Results
1. Gavin/Beretta, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 150
2. O'Connell/Magnussen, Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 150
GT1 Championship Standings (unofficial after 12 of 12 events)Manufacturer/Points
1. Chevrolet 258
2. Maserati 38
3. Aston Martin 19
1. Oliver Gavin 246
Olivier Beretta 246
3. Jan Magnussen 184
Johnny O'Connell 184
5. Max Papis 52
6. Didier Theys 38
Fredy Lienhard 38
8. Ron Fellows 35
9. Andrea Bertolini 22
10. Antonio Garcia 19
Liz Halliday 19
Darren Turner 19
13. Andy Pilgrim 13Source - Chevrolet
Midterm Report: Mid-Ohio Marks Second Half of Season for Corvette Racing
With six races in the rearview mirror and six races on the road ahead, Saturday's Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course marks the start of the second half of the season for Chevrolet's factory road racing team. Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen have won four of the five American Le Mans Series contested to date, driving the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R to victories in Sebring (with third driver Ron Fellows), Long Beach, Salt Lake City, and Lime Rock. On June 15, they finished second in the GT1 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, again joined by Fellows. Defending GT1 champions Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin scored a win in St. Petersburg in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, and they finished third in the GT1 division in Le Mans with Max Papis as third driver.
'The team and drivers have done a fantastic job since the start of the 2008 season,' said GM Racing Road Racing Group manager Steve Wesoloski. 'The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the key event of the year for Corvette Racing, and that was our focus in the first half. It was vital that both Corvettes survive every race because they were the cars going to Le Mans. The drivers knew what was expected, and they delivered. Competing against your teammates can be frustrating, but they raced hard and fair. The drivers understand that having both cars finish is a win for Corvette Racing.
'If I were doing a midterm report, I'd start with the engine, which is the heart of the race car. Our LS7.R small-block V-8s have performed flawlessly on both the E10 that we ran at Sebring and the cellulosic E85R ethanol that we have used at every ALMS event since St. Petersburg. Our partnership with GM Powertrain and Katech Engine Development has again produced perfect results. Chassis development is ongoing, and the engineers continue to improve the performance of a platform that's been raced since the program's inception.
'In the second half of the season we'll focus on the Green Challenge competition at Petit Le Mans that the series has created in conjunction with the Ú.S. Department of Energy, the Ú.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and SAE International,' Wesoloski revealed. 'The Green Challenge will measure performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact – and we will prepare just as hard for this competition as we do for any race. Fuel efficiency is extremely important in the current circumstances, and when coupled with a renewable alternative fuel like cellulosic E85R ethanol, the Green Challenge becomes a significant opportunity for Corvette Racing and GM to demonstrate our technology.
'Our technical partners are also looking at ways to put Corvette Racing in front in the Green Challenge, whether it's Michelin tires with reduced rolling resistance or Mobil 1 lubricants that minimize frictional losses and improve fuel economy. It's a big project, and one that we relish as a race team. We want to win the Green Challenge trophy for Chevrolet and GM.'
Going into the Mid-Ohio round, O'Connell and Magnussen have a slim 12-point lead (106-94) over Gavin and Beretta in the race for the GT1 drivers championship. A victory in Ohio will bring 20 points – but a DNF before completing 70 percent of the race brings zero.
'In the last few years we had a lot of bad luck, but this year the luck has gone our way more often than not,' said O'Connell. 'In order to win in this series, you have to have a great team, great race cars like the Corvette C6.R, and a little bit of luck. Jan is very quick, we get along well, and we complement each other's strengths. Hopefully we will be able to keep the momentum going, but we know there is still a long way to go this season.
'Our race last year at Mid-Ohio was an example of luck going wrong,' O'Connell recalled. 'I won the GT1 pole and then the car was disqualified for failing the stall test. That set the tone for our race. I look forward to going back there to rectify that. Mid-Ohio is a great track that lends itself to our type of racing. I went to college in Ohio at Dennison Úniversity, so my history goes back a long way at Mid-Ohio.'
Gavin and Beretta are hoping that the second half of the season will bring a change of fortune to the No. 4 Corvette C6.R.
'It's been an interesting season so far,' said Gavin. 'We've seen the introduction of cellulosic E85R, which is a great part of the Corvette Racing program. Alternative fuels are something that the ALMS and Corvette Racing really want to promote, and we're making a big effort to become greener. We've found an improvement in performance with cellulosic E85R, and our small-block V-8 engines are running strong. That's been a massive plus to the program.
'We've had great crowds at every event, so I think the ALMS is very strong as a series. We would certainly like to see more entries in the GT1 class, and I hope that the Aston Martin returns to contest the second half of the season.
'In terms of results, it's been a bit of a scrap for the No. 4 Corvette,' Gavin conceded. 'We've had some problems, and that happens sometimes in racing. We're making the best of it to put those behind us. We have a new crew chief in Mike West, and he's learning quickly. It's a big job, and he's done extremely well. Olivier and I have been fast at every event, but we have to translate that into victories in the second half of the year.'
With upcoming races at Mid-Ohio, Road America, Mosport, Detroit's Belle Isle street course, Road Atlanta, and Laguna Seca, Corvette Racing still has a long and winding road to travel until the GT1 championships are decided.
Corvette Racing's next event is the Acura Sports Car Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, scheduled to start at 2:10 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 19. NBC will televise the race tape-delayed on Sunday, July 20, at 12 p.m. EDT.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HÚMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.Source - GM
Corvette Racing to Introduce E85 Ethanol Racing Fuel in St. Petersburg Street RaceChevy Factory Team Ready for First Race with Cellulosic E85R on Bayside Circuit
A new era for Corvette Racing will begin on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 5 when Chevrolet's factory road racing team runs cellulosic E85 racing ethanol in the American Le Mans Series Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. The twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars have been outfitted with new fuel cells that are compatible with the ethanol/gasoline blend and their LS7.R small-block V-8 racing engines have been recalibrated for the high-octane renewable alternative fuel. (concept carz)
'We're heading down the right path,' said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. 'We're going to be able to demonstrate that an ethanol/gasoline blend can deliver exceptional performance, which is one of the objectives of this program. While the reformulated E85R racing fuel has a higher octane rating than the E85 fuel than consumers can buy at a pump, its composition is very similar to an E85 winter blend.'
The cellulosic ethanol that will power Corvette Racing is made from waste wood collected in the Black Hills National Forest as part of a wildfire prevention program. Úndergrowth and dead trees that would otherwise be burned are converted to cellulosic ethanol at a pilot plant in Úpton, Wyo., operated by the KL Process Design Group. The cellulosic ethanol made from waste wood is identical to conventional grain-based ethanol. The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), the leader in bringing 'green' fuels to motorsports, contracted KL Process Design Group to provide the cellulosic E85 racing ethanol used by Corvette Racing.
Co-products of the ethanol conversion process include lignin (the remaining wood fibers less their sugar) and syrup. The lignin is burned to power the self-sufficient conversion plant, which feeds surplus electricity into the power grid for use by local businesses and homes. Lignin is also used for livestock bedding, composite woods, and the production of paints and cosmetics. The high-protein syrup produced in the cellulosic ethanol conversion process is used as a livestock feed supplement.
'The sanctioning body levels the playing field between cars using the series' standard E10 fuel and E85R-powered entries by adjusting their fuel capacity and the refueling rate to compensate for the difference in the energy content of the fuels,' Wesoloski explained. 'The Corvette C6.R was designed and homologated before the arrival of E85 racing ethanol in the ALMS, so its 102-liter fuel capacity is slightly less than the maximum we're allowed to run under the new regulations. However, the St. Petersburg race is only one hour and 55 minutes in duration, so pit stop strategy and fuel mileage aren't likely to be concerns in our first race with E85R.
'The St. Petersburg event will be a good opportunity for the team to use the E85R fuel under actual race conditions,' he added. 'Then we can make adjustments for subsequent races.'
While Corvette Racing will become the first manufacturer team to use E85R in ALMS competition, E85 ethanol already is an option for millions of everyday drivers. GM leads the automotive industry with more than 2.5 million E85-capable cars, trucks and SÚVs on the road in the Únited States. GM produces about 400,000 E85-capable vehicles a year and will double that to 800,000 a year by 2010. Chevrolet offers seven E85-capable models in 2008.The Long Run: Corvette Racing's Marathon Man
With victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans, Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin knows about endurance racing. On April 13, Gavin will face a test of endurance of another kind when he competes in the grueling 26-mile, 385-yard London Marathon.
'I am now well into my training program and have set myself the personal goal of completing the course in under three hours,' Gavin §äid. 'Aside from this being an immense personal achievement, our main aim is to raise as much money as we can for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.'
A six-year-old friend of Gavin's daughter, Lily, suffers from cystic fibrosis, one of the ÚK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases. The child's plight and fight have inspired Gavin to raise money through his participation in his second London Marathon. Gavin's goal is to raise $2,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/olivergavin.
Running has become an integral element of Gavin's fitness routine for racing. He has previously run marathons in Paris, London and Hampshire.
'The endurance aspect is key because good fitness and good heart and lung capacity help you think clearly in the race car,' Gavin §äid. 'Fitness improves concentration and you make fewer mistakes in a busy race. We race in some rather hot places, so heat is also a factor. If you are fit, you won't get as fatigued as quickly.'
Corvette Racing's next event is the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by XM Satellite Radio on the temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 5. ABC will televise the one-hour, 55-minute event starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.Source - GM