Corvette Racing: A Look Back at the Last Sixteen Seasons
Earlier this month, Chevrolet offered us an extensive history of Corvette Racing since its humble beginnings in 1956, when the Corvette made its racing debut at 12 Hours of Sebring. Specifically, Chevy looked back at the last sixteen seasons of Corvette Racing and all the successes it has shared. We’ve got the highlights here for you today.
- Chevy cites the beginning of the Corvette Racing team in 1999 as the modern era of the competitive Corvette.
- The team has claimed 7 Le Mans class wins, 10 ALMS manufacturer titles, 9 ALMS driving titles, 10 ALMS team titles, 152 worldwide races, 90 worldwide wins, and 54 team 1-2 finishes. Smell that? That’s the scent of winning.
- The track-ready Corvettes and road-ready Corvettes became very similar over the years, meaning that what you see at dealerships are very close to what you might see at Le Mans. (For example, the 2014 Corvette C7.R and 2015 Corvette Z06 feature similar engine tech, aerodynamics, and tire construction.)
“Endurance racing enables us to test new technologies that transfer from race car to road car,” commented Mark Kent, the director of racing for Chevrolet. “The lessons we have learned from the Corvette Racing program are immeasurable. Not only does Chevrolet race the products we sell, we do it against our chief showroom competitors.”
Chevrolet highlighted the two Corvettes that have come to define its own racing brand: the C5-R and the C6.R. The C5-R served Corvette Racing proudly from ’99 to ’04, when the big, bad C6.R stepped in in ’05 and hung out through last year. The C5-R snagged 31 ALMS victories, 3 GTS victories at Le Mans, and an overall victory at the Rolex 24 in 2001. The C6.R, powered by a 7.0-liter small block V8, managed 39 GT1 victories in the ALMS, as well as GT1 victories at Le Mans in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
“Both the Corvette C5-R and C6.R have earned a place among the greatest entries in the modern era of sports-car racing,” said Doug Fehan, manager of the Corvette Racing Program. “Each has helped define Corvette Racing and Chevrolet as championship-winning efforts in global sports car racing. More importantly, the cars showcased and proved the technology that transferred to production Corvettes. That is a hallmark of the Corvette Racing program now, and it will be going forward.”
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