Next-Generation Corvette Race Car Revealed
Corvette Racing opened a new chapter in its history with the competition debut of the next-generation Corvette C6.R at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 6-8, 2009. Based on the Corvette ZR1 supercar, the new Corvette C6.R has even stronger links to the production Corvette than its predecessors and utilizes the ZR1's body design, aerodynamic package, aluminum frame and chassis structure, steering system, windshield, and other components.
In anticipation of a single GT class in 2010, Corvette Racing will test and develop the new Corvette C6.R in the GT2 category in the final rounds of the 2009 American Le Mans Series and will compete against rivals representing Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Viper, Panoz, and Ford. "One of the many benefits of the Corvette Racing program has been the opportunity to demonstrate the technology transfer between the race car and the production car," said Mark Kent, GM Racing manager. "The global movement toward a single GT class will allow us to compete head-to-head with more marketplace competitors, while increasing both the production content of the Corvette C6.R race cars and the relevance of racing to our customers. This is a step that positions Corvette for the future of production-based sports car racing worldwide."
The upcoming GT regulations require a comprehensive redesign of the Corvette C6.R package. In place of the GT1 Corvette's steel frame, the GT2 version utilizes the production ZR1's hydro-formed aluminum frame as the foundation for a fully integrated tubular-steel safety cage. The GT1 version's wide, louvered fenders are replaced by production-based ZR1 fenders with wheel flares. In accordance with the aerodynamic regulations, the rear wing is reduced 25 percent in width, the diffuser is a flat panel without fences or strakes, and the splitter extends only as far as its production ZR1 counterpart. Steel brake rotors have replaced the carbon discs used previously, and the wheels are aluminum instead of magnesium. The adjustable steering column and steering rack are sourced from the street Corvette.
In the remaining races in 2009, the Corvette race cars will be powered by 6.0-liter GM small-block V-8s that are based on the 7.0-liter LS7.R that powered the GT1 version. This reduction in displacement was achieved by shortening the crankshaft stroke from 3.875-inch to 3.32-inch. The diameter of the series-mandated intake air restrictors was decreased from 30.6 mm to 28.6 mm, with a corresponding reduction in engine output from 590 to 470 horsepower. A 5.5-liter production-based GM small-block V-8 is currently under development and will be introduced at the start of the 2010 season.
'09 Corvette Production Totals Announced
VETTE has learned the final production totals for the '09 Corvette, including models, exterior and interior colors, and transmissions. Despite a truncated build schedule, a total of 1,415 ZR1s were produced, accounting for over $141 million of sales. Black was the most popular Corvette color this year, while Ebony was the overwhelming choice for interior trim.