Corvette Racing Drivers - All The Answers

How Well Do You Really Know Corvette Racing's World-Champion Drivers?

Christopher R. Phillip Nov 4, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Vette: Chevrolet taps you to design the next-generation Corvette for the world. It can have any body, engine, drivetrain, options, and features, and only you can decide what they are. What would it look like-retro or ultra-futuristic-what would power it, and what options would it have?

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Magnussen: It would be a mid-engined chassis with the engine we have now, which is fantastic in the road car. We'll be racing super-strong Ferraris and Porsches next year, so the mid-engine design could improve our package.

Gavin: I've seen some artist impressions of what the C7 might look like, and it looks quite futuristic. The car has been front-engined for so long that putting the engine anywhere else would be going against the grain.

Beretta: I am just a driver, and there are many more clever people who could choose the engine, gearbox, and equipment better than me. For sure the next generation will be a fantastic Corvette.

O'Connell: I like the direction that Chevrolet has been going with the Corvette. I'd keep it a front-engined car, and I might make it a little wider and swoopier. I'd incorporate a lot of the technology we have in the Corvette C6.R race cars. I'd make the cockpit more like a race car, with a racing-type steering wheel and a sequential shifter.

Vette: You have the opportunity to develop a new racing league for the Corvette to participate in-something that will eventually become a household name in motorsports as big as Le Mans or the Daytona 500. What would your new race include, what kind of track would it use, and what kind of Corvettes would compete? Would it be Corvette-only or open to other brands?

Magnussen: Definitely Corvette ZR1s, but I don't know which tracks.

Gavin: It has to be for the ZR1, an all-ZR1 championship. It should go the circuits we race in ALMS, and in Europe as well, with a one-off race at Le Mans before the start of the 24 Hours. We'd have to race at the Nürburgring, too. It has to be global.

O'Connell: It would be very cool to have a Corvette-only series with four races on road courses, two on paved ovals, and throw in a rally event and a dirt-track oval. That would be a little bit of everything.

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Vette: A new race called the Corvette Triathlon is created, which has you racing your Corvette on the dragstrip, the road course, and the circle track. What would you do to win, and which race would be the easiest? Which would be the hardest?

Magnussen: It depends on whom you are up against. The European champion in Top Fuel dragsters is Danish, and he's invited me to drive his race car, so that would be fun.

Gavin: I think the oval would be the most difficult, and the road course would be the easiest. The ZR1 would be strong in a drag race.

O'Connell: I would win it by having (crew chief) Dan Binks prepare the car, and we would cheat like crazy!

Vette: You're chosen as the first race-car driver in the history of the sport to go into space. What message do you send back down to the people of Earth?

Gavin: Once you got out there, you'd be inspired.

Beretta: I'd have to go there first.

O'Connell: There's no McDonald's up here.

Vette: What one memory in your career with Corvette is most fond to you?

Magnussen: The first Le Mans win.

Gavin: Standing on the top step at Le Mans. Any one of those four victories is special.

Beretta: Each year when we go to Le Mans, because it is something special you cannot explain until you go there.

O'Connell: One would be my very first race with the team when we won at Daytona. Getting an overall win with Corvette in my very first race with the team was an incredible beginning. That same year, getting the team's first win at Le Mans was very special.


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