Corvette Racing Gets Disappointing Start to 2014 ALMS at Rolex 24
It’s only January and 2014 is already shaping up to be a great year for Corvette. Not only did the C7 Stingray recently make its debut in the market, but Corvette fans have already seen the unveiling of the future C7 Z06 as well as the future of Corvette Racing– the C7.R race car– in the first few weeks of the new year.
This may seem like a dream to some, but a whole lot of work has gone into this entity that is Corvette in the last year to make all these accomplishments possible. Just check out what we mean in the video above, focusing on how Corvette Racing has gone from their very successful C6.R run to the fresh C7.R era.
In 2014, Corvette Racing is celebrating its 15th official year, just in time for a new round of race cars to hit the track. But before any celebrating can be done, there is a whole lot of work that has to go into setting up the team for another successful year.
Of course, one of the major projects is getting the C7.R cars dialed in.
With thousands of hours of engineering work, Corvette Racing can finally say that they have bridged into the C7.R era. Not only is the new race car lighter and more nimble, it’s also more powerful. Once dialed in, that will be a winning combination. Unfortunately, the cars aren’t quite there yet.
While they look magnificent and have proven to be the best competitive vehicles Corvette Racing has ever had, much is still being worked out with the C7.Rs.
Just this last weekend, Corvette Racing took on their first official competition behind the wheels of the new C7.Rs as the season kicked off with the famed Rolex 24 in Daytona, Florida. One of the toughest endurance races in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the Rolex 24 proved to be especially challenging for both the No. 3 and No. 4 C7.Rs and their crews.
In the No. 3 Corvette, Antonio Garcia, Ryan Briscoe and Jan Magnussen all had impressive stints, bringing the car from the rear of the pack at the start of the race to the front by the 6 ½ -hour mark. Unfortunately, under Garcia’s control, the car began to overheat and once handed over to Briscoe, the car was called to the pits and then to the garage to try and resolve the issue. Because of this, the No. 3 Corvette pulled out a disappointing 10th-place finish in the GTLM Class with only 366 laps finished.
Teaming up behind the wheel of the No. 4 Corvette, Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Robin Liddell also faced challenges with their C7.R. With just under three hours to go, the team encountered a transmission issue where the temperature of the gearbox was rising exponentially, causing the car to be brought into the garage for a transaxle swap.
Although it took the crew only a half hour to switch out the gearbox, the No. 4 car, which was in second place at the time of the issue, was never able to regain its position in the race and finished in 5th place in the GTML Class.
Frustrated by their ordeal, the entire Corvette Racing crew is now looking into the problems experienced with the hopes of preventing further issues at the next ALMS race, which will be the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15th.
Although the weekend of the Rolex 24 was a disappointing one for Corvette Racing, it was a good one for Daytona Prototype (DP) Corvette teams, as the top four finishers in the DP Class at the Rolex 24 were Corvette DPs. Congratulations go out to Action Express Racing on their first-place finish with the No. 5 Corvette DP, followed by Wayne Taylor Racing with the No. 10 Corvette, Action Express Racing with the No. 9 Corvette, and Spirit of Daytona with the No. 90 Corvette.