GM Unveils 2010 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2 for American Le Mans Series Debut
Starting in 1999, Chevy Corvettes have run in the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans using the GT1 C5R platform. But in the last couple of years, with Aston Martin pulling out, Corvette Racing has run uncontested in the GT1 class. Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, BMW, Ford, Dodge, and Panoz all participate in the GT2 class, where the real competition takes place. Now, the Corvettes will finally be moving over. The GT1 cars that performed their goodbye runs at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Long Beach Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier in 2009, will be retired. The new Corvette Racing GT2 models will make their official debut at the ALMS race at Mid-Ohio this Saturday. And of course, Sub5zero will be there to check out the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2 race cars first hand.
The ALMS GT2 class has many regulations that keep the participating race cars closer to their production brethren. The biggest change between models is the fact that the new Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2 will use the aluminum chassis from the production version of the Z06 and ZR1 vehicles, as opposed to a steel chasis like the cars they are replacing. This created a unique challenge as a tubular steel safety cage had to be integrated into the aluminim chassis. Instead of racing inspired carbon brakes, the GT2 cars use more traditional steel brake rotors. And aerodynamic provisions dictate that the GT2 Corvette use the same width fenders as the production ZR1, instead of the flared fenders used in GT1.
The powerplant used in the GT2 class Corvette will be a smaller version of the 7.0-liter V8 that has been running in the GT1 car. This 6.0-liter GM small block V8 puts out 470 hp and has the same bore size but incorporates a shorter stroke crankshaft than its big brother. That said, this engine will be replaced for the 2010 seasion with a 5.5-liter V8 based on the upcoming and revised GM small block engine. All of these engines will actually be running E85 racing ethano, which is what has been used as the fuel source since 2008.
With the 2009 ALMS season half-over, the new Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT2 will finish out the remainder of the year starting with Mid-Ohio this weekend and then moving on to Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI), the Grand Prix of Mosport (Bowmanville, ON), Petit Le Mans (Braselton, GA) and Laguna Seca (Monterey, CA). There will be no change in the driver lineup. The number 3 car will be piloted by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Johnny O’Connell. The #4 car will be driven by Olivier Beretta, Marcel Fassler and Oliver Gavin. We are really looking forward to watching how this new competitor performs in the GT2 class.
Source: GM | ALMS