The Corvette C7R at the Roar Before the 24 2014

Both C7R Corvettes on track together.

Both C7R Corvettes on track together.

All that I am about to tell you and show you is a lie. This car doesn’t officially exist – well not until January 13, 2014 when it will be revealed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. GM decided that because it doesn’t exist, that they would disguise it so that should anyone take any pictures of it no one would recognize it.

The car I am referring to is the C7R, which will be officially revealed at the same time as the C7 Z06, and I’ll give you a clue as to the color they will race as, it will be yellow, not black and white. Neither of these cars featured in the following pictures exist (officially), even so they are chassis 002 and 003, and the reveal car at NAIAS will be chassis 001.

Jan Magnussen, aka Papa - His son Kevin will be running in F1 for McLaren in 2014

Jan Magnussen, aka Papa – His son Kevin will be running in F1 for McLaren in 2014

So, given that all I am saying is a lie, I can tell you it is lovely and warm here at Daytona International Speedway… okay, so some of that statement is true; we are at Daytona Beach, Florida for the Roar Before the 24. I guess all of it could be deemed to be true if 39F is warmer than where you are reading this from, but for me, a native of Florida for a whole six months now, 39F and a biting cold wind is not by any stretch of the imagination “warm.”

In fact, I was racking my brain to think of when I have ever been at a race circuit when it has been colder, and I couldn’t think of a time. Suffice to say I am still thawing out parts of my anatomy that may or may not have developed frostbite – only time will tell. The Roar is thre days of testing to which the public is invited, and for a very reasonable $15 a day you get to see two Continental Tires Series practice sessions and two TUDOR United Sportscar Racing practice sessions.

 

Robin Liddell, the new boy in the #4 Corvette, getting comfortable.

Robin Liddell, the new boy in the #4 Corvette, getting comfortable.

 

Jan Magnussen looks like his legs have gone through the floor and twisted!

Jan Magnussen looks like his legs have gone through the floor and twisted!

The first practice session saw the #4 top the GTLM Class with a time of 1:45.743, and the #3 followed close behind in 2nd place with a time of 1:45.792. I’m sure Doug Fehan or Gary Pratt had a quiet word with the drivers during the lunch interval, as during the second practice session the cars were a much more respectable 4th and 5th places in the class and running about 0.5 seconds off of the pace of the new Porsche 911. You really don’t want to be top of the class before the season starts, as this only attracts the attention of the series organizers in the form of a smaller restrictor or some other device to slow you down!

Photos from the pits

The C7R is really difficult to describe accurately and the black and white wrap does an effective job of blurring the lines of the car. I do like it and think it is going to be very competitive – whether it will be competitive in its first race the 24 Hours of Daytona, the inaugural race of the new TUDOR United Sportscar Racing Championship, only time will tell. I just hope that mother nature resumes normal service in Florida and that by the weekend of the 25th-26th of January 2014 the temperatures are back in the 70’s.

C7R on track

About the author

Nigel Dobbie

A certified petrol-head Nigel Dobbie is a native of the U.K. and a long-time Corvette owner. Currently living in the U.S., he drives a 2010 ZR1 and also owns a 2003 C5 Z06 that is currently in its third rebuild, which should end up as an 800 horsepower twin turbo track rat. He is passionate about motorsports, as long as it involves making right-hand turns. Nigel can usually be found trackside with his trusty Canon on any given ALMS race weekend. He is a freelance contributor for Power Automedia.
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