Corvette ready to take on the new guys

January 7, 2016

Corvette ready to take on the new guys

January 7, 2016

roar_thursday_gal_2Corvette Racing has lead the IMSA GTLM championship until late in the season in the past two years but now face added competition in 2016 with new cars from Ford, BMW and Ferrari.

The 2012 American Le Mans Series champions started last season in the best possible way with victory at Daytona and Sebring. They backed that up with victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The championship however fell from their grasp as the season continued with Porsche emerging as the dominant brand.

Leading up to this weekend’s Roar before the 24 at Daytona, the team has spent the offseason developing and testing the Corvette C7.Rs including a two-day test at here in November. Five of the six Corvette Racing drivers for the Rolex 24 attended: full-season pilots Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner; plus endurance driver Mike Rockenfeller.

“This year’s Roar is important to Corvette Racing for a number of reasons,” Corvette Racing Program Manager, Doug Fehan said.

“You always like to measure yourself against the competition, which this year includes brand new race cars from our competitors. But our primary focus is on the continued development and preparation our Corvette C7.Rs. As defending Rolex 24 champion, our goal is repeating the success we earned last year, and it all starts at the Roar.”

Garcia and Magnussen, who were teammates in the victorious No.3 Corvette C7.R last year, will drive with Rockenfeller at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida. In the No.4 Corvette C7.R, Gavin and Milner will drive in the two events with Marcel Fässler, a past World Champion in the FIA World Endurance Championship and part of Corvette Racing’s endurance lineup in 2009.

corvette_daytonaChanges to the updated Corvette include an FIA-mandated roof hatch to extract drivers and an improved racing seat also includes more pronounced side restraints and meets higher structural performance requirements.

New rules allow for a significant increase in aerodynamic performance for all the 2016-spec GTLM cars including the Corvette C7.R.

The Corvette features a new, larger splitter and a large, 3-D diffuser with tunnels underneath creating more downforce. The rear wing is also located 15 centimeters farther rearward on the 2016 Corvette C7.R.

“It has been a busy offseason for everyone at Corvette Racing,” said Garcia.

“Everyone on the team has worked very hard to get the new Corvette C7.R ready for 2016. We have made a large amount of progress in all the testing we’ve done so far. The potential is there for this to be a better Corvette than we have had the last two seasons – possibly the best one I’ve driven.

“We will look to take those final steps this weekend at Daytona and put ourselves in the best possible position for another win in the Rolex 24.”

Cars are on track tomorrow for the first time at 10:15am for a one hour, 45 minute session. Teams will return for a second two hour, 30 minute session from 3:00pm.

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