The kick-off for the FIA GT1 Championship 2008, comprising nine races in Europe and one in Argentina, is in Silverstone (GB) on April 19 and 20. This race series promises to be a major hit, with a full grid of stunning sports cars. One of the contenders is Phoenix Carsport Racing, a German-Dutch-Swiss team that will enter two Corvette C6.R cars for the Championship. Both Corvettes are ex-GM Racing cars, very successful earlier in the American Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their factory provenance is recognizable in the livery of the cars: besides a purposeful race body, the ‘European’ Corvettes also feature the new colour scheme of main sponsor GMAC.

2008 Chevrolet Corvette C6R
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A few weeks ago Phoenix Carsport Racing tested both cars for the first time, during official FIA GT tests conducted on the Monza circuit. The Dutch-Italian team with Mike Hezemans/Fabrizio Gollin and the all-Swiss team with Jean Denis Déletraz/Marcel Fässler did well, although they had to make do with ‘old’ engines. Mike Hezemans: “The new engines are being prepared by Pratt & Miller in the United States. The engines will arrive within a couple of days and will be installed by Phoenix in Germany. We will then do some functional testing on the Nürburgring and after that the countdown for the Silverstone race begins...”

Hezemans, with eleven pole positions, eleven victories and 33 podium finishes one of the most successful drivers in the FIA GT Championship, is optimistic about the chances of the Corvette team, yet stresses that “the competition from Aston Martin and Maserati is fierce. Our target is to win the Championship, for Teams as well as Constructors, and of course I would love to take the drivers’ title myself.”

Last year, the Dutchman won the 24-Hours race of Spa-Francorchamps with a Corvette, but in the end remained a few championship points short of clenching the FIA GT1 title. “The championship is our goal now. Nothing but the title.”

Race calendar FIA GT1 Championship 2008

20 April     Silverstone (GB)
18 May     Monza (I)
21 June     Adria (I)
6 July    Oschersleben (D)
3 August   Francorchamps (B)
24 August   Bucharest (RO)
14 September  Brno (CZ)
5 October   Nogaro (F)
19 October    Zolder (B)
23 November   San Luis (RA)

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