On May 19-20, a private racing team owned by Georg Guttroff brought Corvette a class victory in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. It was a first for the marque at this legendary racing circuit.
Callaway Competition in Leingarten, Germany, built the car for the FIA GT4 series in 2009, later upgrading it to compete in endurance races. The steel-framed coupe retains many of its original parts, including its LS3 engine, which Amsterdam's APP Racing modified with a head-and-cam package to produce 500-plus hp. Other mods include GT3 body panels, which allowed Callaway to lower the car and revise the suspension, as well as a smaller, GT3-style wing that adds downforce to the rear.
The No. 81 Corvette qualified in 9:02.194 over the 15.142-mile course, which allowed it to start second in the SP8 class, and 44th overall in a field of 173 entries. (By comparison, a fully prepared GT3 Callaway Competition Corvette qualified at 8:24.901 around the same course last year).
The 24-hour event was filled with challenging weather from the beginning, including heavy rain and fog that forced officials to delay racing for nine hours overnight.
After the restart, the Corvette went on to finish First in class, ahead of a Lexus LFA, a BMW E82GTS, a Ferrari 458 Italia, and an Aston Martin Vantage V8. It was a fantastic accomplishment, especially for a car that left Bowling Green way back in October 2008. -Walt Thurn