Martini-Callaway Corvette Team Wins FIA GT3 Championship
After an incredible season that started with a podium finish at Silverstone, followed by three First and three Second Place finishes across Europe, and ending with a hard-fought Fourth Place at Dubai, the three-car Martini-Callaway Z06.R Corvette race team has captured the '07 FIA GT3 Team Championship. Drivers Luca Pirri and Jurgen von Gartzen were also named runners-up in the GT3 Driver's Championship.
Built and campaigned by Callaway Competition GmbH in Leingarten, Germany, the Z06.R is a homologation special that proved to be a world-beater in FIA competition against exotics including Ascari (BMW V-8-power), Aston-Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Porsche. The three-car Martini-Callaway Corvette team achieved the victory with six fantastic drivers behind the wheel-Pirri, von Gartzen, Uli Berberich-Martini, Klaus Ludwig, Jiri Skula, and Martin Matzke.
"The Corvette is a very exciting platform, a true world-class sports car," says Callaway Competition Director and Team Manager Ernst Woehr. "This was a hard-earned victory for the Callaway team, from the drivers and crew members to our engineering partners at the Callaway Connecticut facility. We took an impressive street car and transformed it into a world champion."
The winning cars started life as stock Z06 Corvettes, and Callaway Competition, which has experience in FIA road racing at LeMans and other top European tracks, converted the 500hp sports cars into competition-legal racers. Woehr and his Callaway Competition partner, Giovanni Ciccone, were well-versed in the latest Corvette technology long before the Z06 Corvettes rolled into the Leingarten facility. Their partner company, Callaway Cars in Old Lyme, Connecticut, performed engine, exhaust, and air intake tests on a Z06 stateside. This provided the Callaway Competition baseline performance information that was applied to the race cars.
The first three Corvettes were stripped down and rebuilt as GT3 racing machines, followed shortly by several more for privateer efforts. There are currently 10 Callaway-built Z06.R race cars competing in the FIA GT3 Championship, the ADAC Masters, and the Belcar series. Many of the technologies and performance modifications utilized in their race program are also employed on Callaway's line of Corvette-based street cars.
"The FIA Series Championship is particularly good for us as a road car manufacturer because we get to compete nose to nose with the brands that Callaway Cars sells against: Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and Jaguar," says company founder, Reeves Callaway. "To beat them on the track, in such a competitive arena, speaks volumes about us being the genuine article. Note that this series is ultra competitive all through the field-the first ten cars usually finish under a blanket. I wish the format were brought to the United States."
Callaway Cars has a long history of utilizing competition vehicles to develop new high-performance technology for the street. From the 254-mph Sledgehammer to the LeMans-proven Callaway C7 and C12R, Callaway Cars and Callaway Competition have refined the art of high-performance engineering. Currently celebrating its 30th year in business and 20th year of working with Corvettes, the company currently offers four street cars in the U.S. and Europe, including the supercharged Callaway Corvette and three models in the distinctive C16 line: Coupe, Cabrio, and Speedster. T
Zip Products Corvette
Trivia Challenge Winner
We have our third Zip Products Trivia Challenge winner to announce this month. The November '07 issue question was: How many separate body parts were used to build the '53 Corvette? The correct answer was: 46. Michael Lapp of Woodville, New York, answered the question correctly and was the winner for the November drawing. Congratulations, Michael!
Corvette Funfest 2007-America's Largest Celebration of Corvettes
Mid America Motorworks hosted its fourteenth annual customer appreciation event the weekend of September 21-23, 2007. Corvette Funfest 2007, a free event, was held on the company's corporate campus in Effingham, Illinois.
During the three-day celebration, more than 15,000 Corvettes were on display and over 45,000 enthusiasts took in the sights. Annually, Corvette Funfest is one of the largest gatherings of Corvette enthusiasts in the country.
Mid America Motorworks' founder and chief cheerleader, Mike Yager, said of the weekend, "What is truly exciting is we have seen increased attendance at Funfest each of the past fourteen years. Funfest is a great way to celebrate our customers and the camaraderie shared by Corvette enthusiasts." One way Mid America Motorworks said thank you to both customers and employees was with a free Three Dog Night concert the evening of Saturday, September 22.
Other highlights of the weekend included free technical seminars hosted by industry experts and the debut of Mike Yager's new book, Mike Yager's Corvette Bible.
In honor of the weekend's special guest, renowned movie car customizer George Barris, the Corvette Summer Car was the featured Corvette of the event. Owned by Mike Yager, the car is the original Corvette featured in the movie Corvette Summer. The vehicle was on display throughout Corvette Funfest. Additionally, it was featured on commemorative event posters and T-shirts given free to each registrant who brought their Corvette to the show.
Throughout the weekend, Corvettes from every model year of the marque could be seen. Many were observed parking in Club Field, an area reserved specifically for Corvette clubs and members. This year, over 74 Corvette clubs from around the country attended Funfest. Special display parking featured custom Corvettes and Lucky 7s in '07, displaying each Corvette decade ending with 7.
Enthusiasts were able to buy, sell, and modify Corvettes at Funfest. Dozens of major industry suppliers brought products and answered questions concerning proper installation and use. At the Install Alley, over 200 customers had new exhaust systems installed by Corsa, B&B, and Mid America Motorworks. Many other Corvette owners added high-performance brake systems from Baer Brakes, SLP air intakes, and American Car Craft dress-up items to their vehicles. Callaway Corvette, Bloomington Gold, Bondurant Racing, and Goodyear also set up special displays to educate and entertain Corvette fans.
General Motors impressed enthusiasts with an extensive display of '08 Corvettes. GM engineers were also available to give escorted rides to the children and children-at-heart. After inspecting the new vehicles, many people headed to Mid America Motorworks' new Funfest sales and registration building. Thousands took advantage of the 10-percent discount or free ground shipping offered on Mid America Motorworks products. Mid America Motorworks, where "Pursue Your Passion Here" is the company slogan, helped thousands of Corvette enthusiasts do just that at Corvette Funfest 2007.
The 15th annual Corvette Funfest 2008 will be held September 19, 20, 21, 2008. Funfest 2008 will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Corvette Challenge Racing Series with a special reunion of all Corvette Challenge Cars. Registration for 2008 will begin on January 1, 2008, by visiting www.mamotorworks.com/funfest or calling 1-800/500-1500.
Vettes on the Rockies
Even a steady procession of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the some 1,200 Corvette fanatics at the 34th annual Vettes on the Rockies get-together, which was headquartered at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado, the last week in July. Sponsored by Lakewood, Colorado's Looking Glass Corvette Association and Purifoy Chevrolet of Ft. Lupton, Colorado, Vettes on the Rockies is a fun-filled, four-day event that this year attracted around 600 Vettes.
Friday really got things rolling with a friendly, relaxed rally. Almost 300 Corvettes with drivers and navigators took a scenic, untimed drive around the spectacular Rocky Mountains. The rally guide gave clues what to look for and where to turn along the route. Unlike a timed event, the checkpoints consisted of various games, best poker hand drawings, and visits to historic sites. The rally covered 70 miles and delighted all participants.
Saturday's highlight took place at, appropriately enough, the City Parking Lot F. The Funkana was exactly that! A slow speed, timed event loaded with gimmick activities. The favorite seemed to be the wagon drive. The driver and navigator had to drive and push a wagon around a small gymkhana-style course. Just to keep everyone honest, turning the steering wheel right actually turned the wagon left and vice versa, or should that be verse visa? Anyway, proving once and for all that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, the ladies didn't seem to have any trouble driving backwards!
Sunday was show and shine day. Some 550 Corvettes showed and shined for all they were worth. Beautiful Rocky Mountain blue skies provided a perfect background for Vettes of almost every year, color, and powertrain. The show and shine was held in Frisco, Colorado, which is about 10 miles from Breckenridge and drew many locals from the area to look at and admire the stunning display of Corvettes.
Next year's 35th get-together will be held July 31 to August 3, 2008. Any questions should be addressed to co-chairman Tom Robben at email@example.com.