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Teamwork Brings the Number 3 C7.R Victory at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Walt Thurn Mar 6, 2015
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Building, preparing, and supporting a world-class sports car race team takes a large team of well-trained, dedicated employees. Corvette Racing continues to amaze their competitors with how quickly they can service their two Corvettes race after race. It is a massive effort that takes a wide variety of skill sets from each employee at their headquarters in Michigan and at the racetrack. The longer races like the Rolex 24 or 24 Hours of Le Mans requires a larger crew so they can service their race cars multiple times throughout the race quickly and without error.

Corvette Racing uses large semi-trailers to transport their equipment to each racetrack. Once they arrive, the crew unloads all of the electrical, tools, and body components used to maintain each car. When this job is complete the crew prepares a garage to work on the cars. Next, they set up their pit box to service the Corvettes during practice, qualifying, and the race. After the garage is set up each car is dismantled, inspected, and readied for practice, qualifying, or the race. It seems like the crew’s work is never done. Every person on the team is intimately familiar with his or her tasks and practice makes perfect. Engineers monitor each car’s performance on laptops and on a large bank of monitors any time the cars are on track. They are usually the first to know when the car needs service. At the Rolex 24, rules stipulate that only four mechanics are allowed over the wall to service the car, while a fifth member stands ready with a fire extinguisher. A sixth crewmember can assist during a driver change. Team strategy occurs throughout the race and decisions are made as to when to fuel, change tires, drivers, or replace the brakes.

Corvette Racing provides ample food and beverages for the crew during the race to keep up their energy and spirits. Chairs are used to allow people to take short naps between pit services. During the 2015 Rolex 24 the drivers and the crew servicing the No. 3 consistently minimized the amount of time their Corvette stayed in the pits. This performance paid big dividends for the winning GTLM Corvette when it took the checkered flag a mere 0.478 seconds ahead its rival BMW. The drivers and crewmembers involved with bringing Corvette this victory came to Victory Circle so they could be recognized for their efforts. It is a huge effort to transport the correct amount of equipment and people time after time, but for Corvette Racing doing this task successfully is a key to their winning success.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Pit 2/7

The crew spends countless hours making sure every part of the C7.R is ready for competition. They also practice pit stops not only to minimize the time spent in the pits, but to be prepared to make any unexpected repairs quickly.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Computers 3/7

Corvette Racing utilizes extensive high-tech monitoring equipment to keep the drivers and crew aware of the C7.R’s health and fuel consumption. This equipment is taken to every race.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Tires 4/7

The fueler inserts the nozzle into the car as soon as it stops. The air jacks are activated and the tires are changed. A maximum of two impact wrenches are allowed, so the right-side tires are changed first and then swung around to change the left-side tires. This takes a little over one minute.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Pit Crew 5/7

Unfortunately, tight racing leaves plenty of opportunity for contact. At the Rolex 24, Tommy Milner made contact with a Prototype, damaging the No. 4 Corvette’s right-front nose and fender. The crew had the necessary parts assembled and ready to go by the time he got back to the pits. The repairs were completed in a little over seven minutes.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Team 6/7

Nineteen crewmembers for the winning No. 3 Corvette C7.R celebrate a hard-earned victory in Daytona’s Victory Circle.

Teamwork Brings The Number 3 C7r 2015 Daytona Victory Trophy 7/7

Crew Chief Dan Binks sprays drivers (from left) Ryan Briscoe, Jan Magnussen, and Antonio Garcia with champagne after their First place finish in GTLM, and Fourth overall, at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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