Is This the New Normal for Corvette Racing?

After an uncompetitive Le Mans, Corvette Racing placed 4th and 7th at Watkins Glen this past weekend, is this the new normal for the aged C7.R?

Since dominating the Florida races early in the season Corvette Racing has seen a marked decline in race results, almost in step with the Ford GT’s ascension into a competitive package.

Let’s look at the results:

In Daytona the No.4 of Gavin and Milner placed first, followed closely by the No.3 of Garcia and Magnussen.

At Sebring the No.4 once again took top spot on the rostrum; the No.3 came home 9th.

Long Beach would have seen the No.4 take it’s third consecutive victory–if not for that pesky Porsche–taking 2nd instead. The No.3 retired.

The Monterrey Grand Prix is where the retrospective cracks began to appear, the No.4 coming home in 7th, while the No.3 out-classified it’s sister for the first time in 2016, taking 4th place.

Amid the controversy at Le Mans, the No.3 (No.63 in the WEC) placed 7th in class, well off the pace of the leaders. While the No.4 (No.64) crashed out after dropping downforce and pushing hard to try and make up the speed deficit.

Last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen confirmed the worst, the No.4 fought hard to 4th place, while the No.3 came home 7th.

Image Courtesy: Hot Rod
Image Courtesy: Hot Rod

The No.4 Corvette still leads the IMSA GTLM championship, albeit by 8 points from the hard charging No.67 Ford GT, which now sports back to back IMSA wins to go with its Le Mans class victory.

At Watkins Glen the Ford GT, Ferrari 488 GTE and the BMW M6 GTLM were far and away quicker cars. The trio lapping some 1.5 seconds faster than both the Corvette C7.R and the Porsche 911 RSR.

The Fords, Ferraris and BMWs are proving that turbo technology is the quickest away around a racetrack in 2016.

Significantly, the GT, 488 and M6 are all brand new cars for 2016, built specifically to exploit the new technical regulations; while the once dominant Corvettes and Porsches languish with their, dare I say, outdated cars.

Things will change for Porsche next year, it’s new 911 RSR has already been spotted with what looks like not only turbo power, but also a new mid-engine layout.

Aston Martin is working on a new Vantage with a turbocharged 4.0L V8 for the road, and its largely expected to head to Le Mans with that motor as well.

mid-engine-corvette-prototype-spy-photos-11

It’s extremely possible the mid-engine Corvette rumblings as of late coincide with the C7.Rs competitive decline on the GT circuit. Pratt & Miller need a new car for next season; the way things are shaping up the C7.R just might be the only car on the grid without forced induction.

The rumors of the mid-engine ‘Vette being based on the C7 instead of receiving a ground up new platform may lend to the idea that Chevy is working on God’s Corvette with both eyes leering at the race track.

The C7.R is already one of the best chassis on the grid, it’s absolutely devastating to watch it through the Porsche Curves at La Sarthe for example, but it’s old school 5.5L pushrod, 2 valve per cylinder V8 just isn’t doing it any favors under the current regulations…

 

 

 

 

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