Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan Steps Down - Are Big Changes Coming?
Doug Fehan, the long-standing Program Manager that has masterminded all of Corvette Racing’s successes ever since the factory-backed team made its debut all the way back in 1999, has parted ways with GM fresh off the heels of one of Corvette Racing’s best seasons to date.
The news came shortly after Oshkosh made it official that it had purchased Pratt & Miller, the company responsible for the building of all of Corvette Racing’s cars. Do these developments suggest that the writing is on the wall for the oldest American racing program that’s still active or will we see Corvette Racing change its focus in the not too distant future? Read on to find out more about the latest puzzle that sports car racing has thrown at us in recent days.
The Only Chevrolet Corvette C4 To Race At Le Mans Can Be Yours
The Chevrolet Corvette has always been a popular sight at Le Mans but none raced in the world’s most famous endurance race for almost 20 years. Reeves Callaway’s team brought America’s Sportscar back to Circuit de la Sarthe but it is this, a red C4 ZR1 built by Doug Rippie Motorsport that remains as probably the biggest Corvette oddball in Le Mans history as it was supposed to take on the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, Venturi, and Porsche in the GT1 class of 1995 but never amounted to anything. Nonetheless, the car, freshly restored in its Le Mans war paint can be yours for the price of a brand-new Ferrari 812 GTS with some optional extras.
Here’s How the C8 Corvette Fares Against the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500
In the market for an American performance coupé and in a pickle when it comes to picking your poison? Should it be a sports car? Should it be a muscle car? Tough choice, right?
Well, lucky for you, this guy took both the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette and the 2020 Shelby Mustang GT500 on a circuit to tell you how each of them behaves when pushed hard on a winding course.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
Corvette Racing, the oldest continuous program in top-level sports car racing of the modern era, unveiled its next chapter back in October when GM unexpectedly took the wraps off the C8.R, the GTE-spec race car based on the eighth-generation Corvette. It comes with a menacing body kit, a huge wing hanging over the back, and a flat-plane crank, 500 horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8 in the middle. A pair will race in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship and at Le Mans next year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
It was back in 1999 at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona that a factory-backed racing Corvette first took to the track in an official practice session for a race. After decades of racing in privateer hands, barring some semi-factory-backed efforts that were ultimately canned due to GM’s ban on motorsport-related activities, the Corvette finally competed with backing from Detroit. 21 years later, Corvette Racing is still taking on the world’s best on America’s road courses and beyond and its latest weapon is unarguably the craziest yet.
Does the 2020 Chevy C8.R Have What It Takes to Win Championships?
The Chevrolet Corvette C8.R race car has arrived, and it is a doozy. The Corvette racer is all set to make its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25, 2020. But before it lays the smackdown on the race track, the Corvette C8.R takes its turn under the spotlight where it’s properly getting the attention it deserves. The Corvette C8.R isn’t just a race car; it also happens to be Chevrolet’s first-ever mid-engine race car to compete in IMSA’s GTLM class. It’s also Chevrolet’s first clean sheet race car design racer since the C5.R debuted in 1999. Through all these firsts, the Corvette C8.R racer takes its place as Chevrolet’s next warhorse, succeeding a race car — the Corvette CR.7 — that won 16 races in its time, including the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. Can the C8.R replicate that kind of success? Only time will tell. For now, let’s enjoy the fact that the C8.R is here, and it’s ready to stake its claim as the next great Corvette racer.
The Corvette C8.R Isn’t The First Mid-Engined Racer With That Logo On The Hood
We were all pleased when, right after unveiling in front of the world the first Corvette to feature a hardtop at the Kennedy Space Center, Chevy also showed us the C8.R, Corvette Racing’s new weapon for GTE competitions from 2020 onwards. The race car had previously been teased during the launch event of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 Coupe and we were aware that Chevy planned to take the wraps off both the C8 Convertible and the C8.R during the same event but many still were surprised by the appearance of the silver winged warrior. What could also surprise you is that this isn’t the first mid-engined race car that raced under the Corvette banner.
The moment we laid eyes on the Corvette C8, we immediately started picturing it with a big diffuser in the back, a large splitter in the front, big rims hugged by wide, slick racing rubber, and a carbon-fiber wing hanging from the back. We’d seen glimpses of the C8.R testing at Sebring Raceway in Florida back in December of last year but, at the time, GM was tight-lipped on the subject and it took many months before the American automaker finally confirmed the C7.R will become the swansong of the successful line of front-engined GT racing cars as the C8.R will make the transition to the rear-mid-engine layout on the circuits as well.
Chevy Has Yet to Confirm a 2020 C8.R Race Car - Here’s Why You Should Still Expect One!
With the new 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette coming to dealerships, it’s safe to assume that GM will release a race-spec model soon. Chevy has yet to confirm that a C8.R model is underway, but we have quite a few reasons to believe that the race car is almost ready to debut.
Here’s the Chevy Corvette C8.R Testing at Sebring
We’ve been talking endlessly about the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette C8 and, also, the race-going C8.R. Fans of old are lamenting about how it’s not really a Corvette if the engine isn’t in front of the driver, but this might not be the only problem the old guard will have with the new car. As we can hear in this new video captured at Sebring Raceway, the C8.R tries to sound like a Ferrari 488 GTE which suggests the push-rod V-8 might be a thing of the past, at least on the race car.
Chevy’s been busy testing the C8, that will be the first production mid-engine Corvette ever made, for over a year. At the same time, the guys at Pratt & Miller are racking up the test miles of the C8.R mules that should taste competition for the first time at the 2020 Daytona 24 Hours race.
Chevy Just Got Caught Racing a Mid-Engined Corvette Race Car!
Just when it seemed like Chevrolet’s mid-engine Corvette was enough to make our knees weak in excitement, a report from Sportscar365 reveals that the American automaker is also developing a race car version of the mid-engine powerhouse. The race-dedicated website was able to get its hands on spy photos of a heavily camouflaged car that’s believed to be the mid-engine C8 Corvette race car. The photos were taken at Road America in Atlanta, which suggests that the car was doing some test runs in its natural habitat.
Video: The Hoonigan Crew Catches Up With a 1,000-HP Drift Monster
Remember when the drifting scene really sank its teeth into U.S. car culture? Remember all those naysayers who said it was just a short-lived fad? Join me as I laugh at their inability to see the long-standing awesomeness that is this artful motorsport. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s all revel in this red-white-and-blue ‘Vette smoke machine as it doles out four-figure horsepower numbers in a bid to do it sideways at the top of the drifting game.
The video comes courtesy of The Hoonigans YouTube channel, and features the backstage antics of Matt Field as he and his team from Falken Tire do their thing at Formula Drift Seattle. The vid is a bit on the longer side (a little over 20 minutes), and provides an inside look at what it takes to compete at top level of this amazing motorsport, not to mention loads of tandem battles on the race course. And, of course, being real life drifting, things don’t exactly go as planned…
Chevy is Taking the Corvette C7.R To Race at the Shanghai International Circuit
The Corvette C7.R has been around for a few years now, and it’s about to take a trip to Shanghai where it will compete in the FIA WEC wearing a special redline livery. It’s also the first time a factory-run Corvette has participated in a race in the Asian region.
2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck
Chevy brought two custom Colorado ZR2 pickups to SEMA this year with some heavy modifications that make them even better off-road. One was built in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles and meant for over-landing while this, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck, is built for high-speed desert running. In fact, many of the upgrades on this truck were first tested on Chad Hall’s Colorado ZR2, which ran in the “Best In The Desert” race series.
The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory. The truck’s crown jewel is its DSSV spool valve shock absorbers from Multimatic. DSSV shocks were developed for supercars and F1 race teams, so its adoption for an off-roader was unconventional. The factory truck also has better ground clearance than a regular Colorado, along with bespoke bodywork that improved approach and departure angles. Adding to its capability are front and rear electronic differential lockers – something not found on any other Colorado. Still, Chevy improved on the ZR2’s design for hard-core racing.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car
Unveiled in late 2015, the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro brought many improvements to GM’s iconic muscle car. The design is fresh, yet still retains the classic Camaro cues, while the architecture is significantly lighter, which basically turns the muscle car into a full-fledged sports coupe. The revised interior, the more powerful V-6 and V-8 engines and the brand-new, turbocharged four-cylinder also helped bring the Camaro into the 21st century. As usual, the standard model serves as a base for a range of performance-oriented versions such as the supercharged ZL1, the track-ready Z/28, and the tire-burning COPO.
Although not exactly related to the street-legal Camaro in terms of platform, drivetrain, and technology, the sixth-gen coupe also served as inspiration for a new Funny Car. Created for the 2016 National Hot Rod Association racing season, the new Camaro SS Funny Car was just unveiled by Chevrolet and 16-time NHRA champion John Force ahead of the Kansas Nationals in Topeka on May 21st and 22nd.
Force’s new Funny Car body is the first based on the sixth-generation Camaro SS and features new aerodynamic elements, as well as a more powerful supercharged engine. The body is also lighter, which in conjunction with the revised drivetrains, will result in quicker quarter-mile sprints.
“I started my career in a Chevrolet and I couldn’t be more excited to put this new Camaro SS Funny Car on the track,” said John Force. “With all the assistance from Chevrolet, it not only looks great, it’s designed to perform better than anything we’ve had before, with a shape that should help us get down the track quicker and with greater stability.”
The Camaro SS Funny Car joins the 2016 NHRA in the Pro class and is the second Camaro-based model to race in this year’s season. The first one is the COPO Camaro, which competes in the Sportsman class and was introduced by Courtney Force, one of John’s daughters and also a drag racer, at the 2015 SEMA Show. Unlike the SS Funny Car, the COPO shares actual body panels and chassis components with the standard Camaro SS.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car.
A bucket of firsts, twice-around-the-clock excitement in three of the four classes and some breakthrough performances are what have already transformed this year’s Rolex Daytona 24hrs into a classic and the perfect way to remember that, precisely half a century ago, Daytona hosted its first 24-hour race.
It was no coincidence, then, that Ford decided to bring their new GT racing car to Daytona for its international debut, although few expected the going to be as rough as it proved to be for the two Ganassi-run GT-LM entries. At the complete other end of the spectrum, with a clean and trouble-free race, Scott Sharp’s Extreme Speed Motorsport has scored a historical first win for an LMP2 car at Daytona – the first win for an ACO prototype since 2002.
It’s also the Ligier’s most important international victory and, arguably, the biggest win in the team’s six-year history. And, all of it would not have been possible without the massive aid of Pipo Derani – the young Brazilian hot-shoe that proved instrumental in the Patron-liveried car crossing the line in P1.
While the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) cars were marred by issues across the board, the most important thing that needs to be put into perspective is the lack of overall pace displayed by these aging cars. The mere fact that the class winner was 20 laps behind the GT-LM Corvettes is one thing, but the fact that the ORECAs were also the slowest of all 54 starters is just as worrying.
Then there’s the GT-Daytona category that’s embraced the GT3 platform for 2016, and the 22-car strong grid proves IMSA right in its choice. Indeed, some pointed a finger toward Lamborghini’s massive top-end speed that is rumored to have been quicker than even the GT-LM cars but, at the end of the day, the Top 7 was comprised of seven different manufacturers. And, at least half of those could have won, given how tight it was at the end.
In a day and age where reliability is part of the status quo, to see two Corvettes battling it out for supremacy bumper-to-bumper after 24 hours of racing may not be that surprising. The fact that veterans Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin were given the green light to goose it out like they did is. Porsche was in close vicinity but the woes that sent out car #911 meant that only #912 was left standing and it was no match at the end for the two C7-Rs. Of the 100% brand-new cars, the Corvettes and Porsches being were new iterations based upon older designs, the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 came home fourth and BMW’s IMSA-only M6 GTLM scored fifth.
Continue reading for the full story.
Toyo Tires and Desert Trophy Truck Champ BJ Baldwin have teamed up yet again for the third installment of Recoil. If you’re not familiar with the videos, take a look at part 1 and part 2, but not before hanging your head in shame. Each video outdoes the last one with high-flying jumps, a crazy hooning, and some type of furry, yet menacing woodland creature. (You should have been keeping up all along.)
Anyway, Recoil 3: Sasquatch Hunter showcases Baldwin’s hand-built, 800-horsepower, Baja race ready Chevrolet truck in all the right ways. Its massive coil-over shocks and robust suspension system allow the truck to jump over intense obstacles and land without breaking a bolt – time and time again. The outrageous amount of horsepower spewing from the V-8 allows for smoky burnouts, no matter the speed. The slow-motion footage shows just how much abuse the truck can handle.
But who’s BJ Baldwin, you ask? He’s the back-to-back winner of the Desert Trophy Truck Championship in 2010 and 2011, the winner of SCORE-international Trophy Truck competition in 2006 and 2008, and has more than 18 years of racing experience behind his name.
Though Baldwin has a serious racing career, these videos are all about having fun. And if the impressive jumps aren’t enough to impress you, the truck’s ability drift sideways without flipping over or blowing a tire will. Much of that credit can be given to the truck’s wide stance and the beadlock wheels holding the Toyo tires in place.
It’s been about two years since Chevrolet launched the seventh-generation Corvette and Callaway announced a GT3 racing program for the sports car. At last, the brand’s German-based motorsport division has finally introduced its track-only Vette. Dubbed the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R, the new race car made its official debut at the Hockenheimring track in Germany as a successor to the Corvette C6-based Callaway Z06.R GT3.
Set to hit the track in official racing events in 2016, the GT3.R was built to meet all FIA rules and regulations, meaning it is eligible for the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship, the Blancpain Endurance Series, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
"We wanted to set another milestone in our company’s history with our new design, developing and constructing a future-proof vehicle that will be produced from 2016 and used for many years to come," said Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone, managing partners of Callaway Competition. "As a small, privately owned team, we knew from the outset that approaching a project of this magnitude would be very daring. Therefore, first and foremost, we have to thank our employees and partners who have made it possible to finally set the C7 GT3-R on its wheels,"
The first C7 GT3-R to be campaigned by Callaway Competition’s in-house race team will be sponsored by Whelen Engineering of Connecticut.
Continue reading to learn more about the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R.
The Race of Gentlemen might not be a racing event you’ve heard about given its young age, but it certainly doesn’t lack history. Taking place on the sands of Wildwood, New Jersey, folks come from across the country to compete in a drag race in custom-built racecars and motorcycles that date back to the first half of the 20th century.
Established in 2012 by the Oilers Car Club – a group steeped in just as much history – the race features cars no newer than 1935 and motorcycles no newer than 1948. Even the parts allowed on competing cars are capped at 1953, giving the growing event a very eclectic and period-correct feel. Think of it like a modern day version of a Bonneville Salt Flat race.
Despite the modern times, no woman has ever competed in a TROG race – until now. Set to race in this October is gearhead Jessi Combs. Her records speak volumes about her mindset and passion in the automotive world. She’s the fastest woman recorded on four wheels, accomplished TV show host, and graduate of WyoTech’s collision and Refinishing Core Program. Jessi will lead an all-women’s team sponsored by Craftsman at this year’s TROG. Their vehicle of choice is a Ford Model T that takes inspiration from the famed Ford 999 racer.
Best of all, Craftsman giving away two tickets for TROG, including travel and accommodations, for this year’s event taking place October 2-4, 2015. The winner and his friend will get a ride in the Craftsman racer, along with time in the pits with Jessi and the Craftsman Crew, including dinner and a professional photo for posterity. In order to win, you’ve got to join the Craftsman Club (here) where members can enter daily to win (here).
The second day of qualifying for the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans brought sad news for Corvette fans, as the No. 63 car was withdrawn from the race following a crash at the Porsche Curves. As Jan Magnussen was trying to improve its qualifying time, a mechanical issue sent his C7.R into the wall, which resulted in damage to both the front and rear of the race car. Corvette Racing found that the car was damaged "beyond immediate repair" and decided to pull it from this weekend’s race.
Fortunately enough, Magnussen escaped unscathed from the impact. Although he had to be helped out of the car and sent to Le Mans’ medical center, the Danish driver was released after a series of standard tests.
“We are thankful that Jan has been checked and released by the ACO medical staff. We are disappointed that the No. 63 Corvette C7.R will be unable to compete at Le Mans this year. The Corvette Racing team put a lot of work into preparing two C7.Rs for this event, and unfortunately only one will be in the race,” said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing.
This is the first time Corvette Racing has had to pull an entry at Le Mans.
Based on its results by the time of the crash, the No. 63 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R would have started the race in 40th position overall and sixth in the LM GTE Pro class.
Continue reading for the full story.
NASCAR is one of those uniquely American things, much like baseball, Mount Rushmore, and Chuck Norris. Oh, and corn whiskey, also known as moonshine, white lightning, and mountain dew. That’s where the popular motorsport got its start at least; rum runners evading the lawman in souped-up cars barreling down back roads like the Duke Boys. It was all in an effort to make a living off selling illegally brewed alcohol without paying taxes on it.
Over the years the illicit practice of rum running morphed into what is now the National Association of Stock Car Racing, attracting fans the world over to its high speeds and memorable drivers.
Earlier this NASCAR season, I had the chance at a behind-the-scenes look into the cars, pit crews, and drivers – all off the track but still turning wrenches and dressed in Nomex. Except for Aric Almirola, driver of the 43 car, I actually drove him around the track in the back of a Toyota Tundra. But those details are down below.
It is said that with the right engineering and work, any vehicle can go fast. That’s largely true for cars, but can it be applied to a pickup truck? According to DRIVE’s latest "Big Muscle" episode, there’s at least one truck that is as fast and nimble as car on the race track. The hauler in question is a heavily modified 1969 Chevrolet C10 built by Bob Philips for his wife Brandy. Yup, Brandy is a race car driver and she previously did laps on race tracks across the U.S. in a second-generation Camaro.
The 2015 IndyCar season is set to commence on March 29th with an array of driver, schedule, and rules changes, but that’s not unusual, as driver swaps and new regulations occur with each championship. However, 2015 marks the beginning of a new era for the IndyCar Series, in which manufacturers provide their customer teams with complete aerodynamic packages in addition to engines. In short, IndyCar allowed both Chevrolet and Honda to create their very own aero kits to replace the Dallara’s standard DW12 package used in 2014. Chevrolet is the first of the two to unveil its shell and introduce us to IndyCar’s new aerodynamics.
The new bodywork is significantly different than Dallara’s, and, in some aspects, it resembles the current Formula One designs. Chevy’s new aero kit will be used by six out of 12 teams throughout the 2015, including CFH Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, KV Racing Technology, Lazier Parners Racing and Team Penske. In all, 15 cars will race their way to victory using Chevrolet bodies and engines this season. And given Chevy starts the season as the defending champion, the drivers are expecting to receive the best packages.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Chevrolet IndyCar Aero Package.