dan Boyd/la T
richard prince/Corvette racing
2011 in the No. 3 car, had the same wish list.
“We had the power and, handling-wise, we
felt OK in the cockpit,” he says. “But the GT
class is all about these tiny differences. There
were no big complaints. It was more about
getting a little bit of help here and there to
make things even with the rest of the cars.”
To find that parity, Corvette Racing
engineering director Doug Louth and his
group noted the concessions given to the
2011 ALMS GT title-winning Ferrari F458
and sought approval from the ACO to
update the C6.Rs with some of those items.
When the revised Corvettes appeared
in 2012, their wider stance, courtesy of a
two-inch increase in track width, and
aerodynamic gains, most noticeable
(FAR LEF T) Oliver Gavin celebrates the No. 4 C6.R’s VIR victory. (LEFT) Corvette Racing leads the ALMS GT class express train. (BELOW LEFT) Jan Magnussen offers advice to enduro event eammate Jordan Taylor. (BELOW) Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and the art of the driver change.
being a taller rear wing, erased the C6.R’s
performance deficits in an instant.
“The wider car corrected an imbalance
relative to the Ferrari,” says Louth. “They
enjoyed that advantage in 2011 because
the regulation was changed to allow the
458 into the class. Our wider track put us
on par with the Ferrari in that regard.
“And then we’d also spent a few years
with a relatively consistent aero package.
The new 458 came out and certainly set
a new precedent for aero performance in
the class, and once we were permitted to
make similar adjustments, we had an
equal footing to work from.”
Gavin recalls a parallel that came to mind
when he sampled his modified Corvette
for the first time at Sonoma Raceway.
“I thought that the car was very, very
similar to how I remembered the GT1 car
around there,” he says. “Quite a bit of time
had elapsed between driving the final GT1
race at Sonoma and testing this GT car in
2012 spec, and the regulations were still
pretty different between the old GT1 car
and the new GT cars. But the best way I
could relate it to the guys was that the
chassis itself and the way that the car
drove through the turns was almost
lessons learned and applied
Corvette racing has taken nine alMs GT manufacturers’ titles and
eight drivers’ championships since 2001, but the current level of
competition makes 2012 perhaps the hardest-earned titles yet.
norMal serViCe is resUMed
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
each manufacturers’ highest-placed car is awarded points. in six of
the 10 alMs races in 2012, that was Corvette racing’s no. 4 entry.
GT MANufACTuRERS’ ChAMpIoNShIp
Four wins for the
Milner C6.r – long
Beach, laguna seca
(joined by richard
and Vir anchored
Gavin and Milner backed up their 4 wins with 3 more podiums.
Garcia and Magnussen made the podium 5 times to secure third.
GT DRIvERS’ ChAMpIoNShIp
oLIvER GAvIN/ToMMy MILNER
JohANNES vAN ovERBEEk
(ExtREmE SpEEd motoRSpoRtS)
ANToNIo GARCIA/JAN MAGNuSSEN
(CoRvEttE RACing) 121
a competition that is endorsed by the U.s. dept. of energy and
recognizes the cleanest, fastest, most efficient cars in each event.
GT MIChELIN GREEN X ChALLENGE (MANufACTuRERS)
Points system: Scores are determined by measuring several
factors, including emissions, energy use and average speed.