CORVETTE RACING READIES FOR GT2 CHALLENGE
Doug Fehan: "The engineering work is completed and we'll be starting in the next week to 10 days actually assembling the (GT2 Corvette)."
The start of the 2009 American Le Mans Series will mark the end of an era for Corvette Racing. GM's factory team will focus on its transition to a new GT2 program that will debut in the second half of the season. Program manager Doug Fehan shed some light on the project after last weekend's Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patrón.
The team announced plans in September to move from the GT1 class that it has dominated since 2001. Corvette Racing has won eight consecutive team championships, and its drivers have won seven straight titles in the American Le Mans Series. There also is the matter of five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the quest for a sixth will be the final race in GT1.
Fehan says the debut of the GT2 entry likely will come at Mid-Ohio. It will revolve around a next-generation Corvette C6.R that again will compete on cellulosic E85. The car will have steel brakes, a smaller wing and a little less horsepower than the current GT1 car. Other than that, Fehan said, it will look exactly the same as now.
"The engineering work is completed and we'll be starting in the next week to 10 days actually assembling the car," Fehan said. "We've done the simulations on it. We know what the rules are and we know what the other cars are capable of. When we finally come out we'll do the best job we possibly can."
As easy as Corvette has made GT1 look for the last eight years, it will be equally as tough in GT2. Porsche and Ferrari are the two premier marques in the class with BMW's factory effort returning for 2009. Panoz also likely will figure into the mix as will teams from Aston Martin, Dodge and Ford, among others.
Doug Fehan in his own words:
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