Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) took over Daytona International Speedway and raced the Classic 24 Hours. The cars were split into six Groups, A thru F, and each raced four 45-minute rounds during the 24 Hours.
There were Corvettes in all the classes ranging from a C2 to a C6 GT1, so plenty to keep the interest of the fans, plus the bonus of the Trans Am final race of the season on Saturday morning before the Classic 24 started at 1 p.m.
The Trans Am Series features several Corvettes, from an almost stock C5 Z06 in Class TA3 to TA1 Class C6 and C7. From the first 16 laps of the scheduled 29, the race was led from the pole by Paul Fix in his Corvette C6.
A full-course caution period followed by the restart saw Paul Fix limping through the first lap with a badly bent left side rear rim after contact with Doug Peterson in the Cadillac CTS-V at the restart.
The Peterson car started to struggle with a failing differential (a result of the contact with Fix no doubt), and this allowed Amy Ruman to take not just the race victory but also the 2015 TA1 Class Championship with her Corvette C6. Ruman thoroughly deserved the title having won eight of the 12 rounds in 2015.
Group B led the race promptly at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Before the start, there was a fan walk that featured both, a tribute to John Greenwood, who sadly died earlier this year and a tribute to the awful events in Paris with the flying of the French Tricolor alongside the Star’n’Stripes.
Once started, Group A followed B and so on. The correct order, A thru F, repeated until Group F finished their fourth race at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
A very interesting car in Group D was the Corvette C6R GT1 owned by Robert Blain. The car is a hybrid, meaning it was built from a C5R chassis but fitted with a C6R bodywork. Pratt & Miller built the car as the test mule for the C6R project back in 2004.Although the C5R/C6R GT1 never raced for Corvette Racing, the car was thoroughly tested before building the first two C6R chassis for the 2005 ALMS season. Blain bought the car from Pratt & Miller and since, has raced it extensively in the historic race series.
We got to see the chassis plate for the car for the first time on Saturday and were surprised to see it was designated as a C6R-012 rather than a C5R-012 which would have been the logical choice given it started life as a C5R chassis and Pratt & Miller had previously built eleven C5R chassis. Robert Blain won Class B in his Can-Am March with co-driver Ron Maydon ahead of the Greenwood Corvette #88 driven by Jules & Jean Marc Gounon.
Overall the HSR Classic 24 was a huge success with over 300 drivers competing in nearly 180 cars – with Amy Ruman’s success in Trans-Am it was another winning day for Corvette at Daytona!