Corvette Racing's C5-R and C6.R Corvettes are among the most recognized road-race cars in the world, and for good reason. In the 12 years since the first iterations of these factory racers were introduced at the 24 Hours of Daytona on February 5, 1999, the Vettes officially known as No. 3 and No. 4 have won 79 races (through 2010), including eight American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Manufacturers' Championships, seven ALMS GT1 Drivers' Championships, seven Sebring 12-hour and eight Petit Le Mans class wins, and six class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In "C6.R Up Close and Personal," (VETTE, September '07), we spotlighted many of the features that differentiated these cars from a production Z06, and got to know some of the crewmembers who kept them in race-winning condition.
Corvette Racing introduced the second- generation C6.R to compete in the production-based GT2 category (since renamed GT) in August 2009. The cars were homologated on the Corvette ZR1, and shared the supercar's body design, aerodynamic package, aluminum frame and chassis structure, steering system, windshield, and other components.
In the months leading up to the 2011 season, Corvette Racing stayed busy around the clock, designing and building two all-new C6.Rs to meet the latest GT-class regulations established by the Le Mans and ALMS races' governing body, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO).
Given all the engineering, technological, aerodynamic, and cosmetic changes that have been made to the C6.Rs since our last story ran four years ago, we thought it would be apropos to ask Chevrolet for a private look at the latest version. Our guide was Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan, who gave us a close-up look at the No. 04 car and explained how this most recent edition differs from its predecessors.
Special thanks to Corvette Racing Trackside Press Relations Manager Rick Voegelin and Doug Fehan for making this story possible.