The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Roar Before The Rolex 24 was packed with plenty of much needed testing, dominated by Corvette Racing’s twin C7.Rs.
As the birth child of the Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series merger, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has officially run its first practice laps, around the famed Daytona International Speedway. January 3rd-5th marked the beginning of a new sports car racing era, where North America’s most technologically sophisticated racecars hit the track during the Roar Before The Rolex 24. The Roar gives every team the chance to size up the competition, while shaking down and working out little bugs before the long 24-hour race.
Three days of motorsports madness included Corvette Racing’s newest entries in the form of twin C7.Rs. The currently camouflaged Corvettes rocketed around the track, and on Sunday, posted one of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class’s fastest time. Oliver Gavin was driving the No. 4 Corvette at the time, crossing the start/finish line in 1:45.915.
As the day went on, and various practice sessions progressed, Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 C7.R posted a time of 1:46.783, but at the end of the day, Porsche was quickest. Nick Tandy was quickest with a 1:45.564, driving the No. 911 Porsche North America 911 RSR, closely followed by the two C7.Rs.
Just for reference, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship consists of four different classes, all on track simultaneously. The first and fastest class is the Prototype class (P), where Grand-AM Daytona Prototypes race against ALMS P2 and DeltaWing cars. Next is the Prototype Challenge class (PC), a class where open-cockpit, spec prototype cars reside.
Behind the PC class is the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, where production based cars, like Corvette Racing’s Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, race. Finally, the last class (still reaching +180 mph) known as the GT Daytona class (GTD), has Ferrari 458s racing against Porsches and other similarly paced cars. The main difference between the GTLM and GTD class is technology. GTD cars are incredibly sophisticated, but not nearly as technologically reliant as the GTLM cars.
More details regarding Corvette Racing’s C7.R will be known when the car is officially debuted, alongside the new Z06, at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, on January 13th. The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s first race is approaching quickly, where The Rolex 24 at Daytona will go green on January 25th at 2:30 pm EST. Be sure to stay tuned, as we graciously cover future Corvette Racing (and everything GM) endeavors.