30 2014 CHEVROLET RACING SPECIAL
CORVETTE C7.R TESTING
normally would have. But I think we did
a good job of progressing its development
during the time we had available to us.
“Of course, there’s stuff that’s ongoing.
But we’re going racing with it and we’ll put as
many miles on it as possible. And while the
specific parts aren’t carried over, materials,
the basic architecture, the manufacturing
processes are carryover, and that’s definitely
a good thing to have in your back pocket.”
With the car built, it’s time for the
team and drivers to assemble for testing.
Developed in parallel with the 2015
Corvette Z06 road car, the C7.R takes
advantage of the new platform’s 40 percent
stiffer chassis and its direct-injection engine.
The drivers have to figure out how all the
pieces work best together and how the
racecar is going to react to changes.
“Indirectly, it starts while you’re still
racing the previous generation car, and
our input is very directly linked to that
car,” explains driver Tommy Milner at the
car’s first all-hands test at Sebring in early
December 2013. Milner is going through
the process of developing a Corvette
racecar for the first time, but is taking to
the task with a real focus and intensity.
“These tests are important not just for
finding any flaws and correcting them
before we get too far into the season, but
for developing the car’s strengths, too,”
says Milner. “We’re looking at every little
detail on this car and whether it feels
better, or worse, or just...different. Once
the season starts, we’ll still be working
to improve the car, but these tests
provide us a baseline to go racing with.”
Corvette Racing’s full-season lineups
for the inaugural TUDOR United
SportsCar Championship are
unchanged from the 2013 ALMS
rosters, with reigning champions
Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen
in the No. 3 C7.R and Oliver Gavin and
Tommy Milner sharing the
No. 4. But it’s all change on the
third-driver front, as Ganassi IndyCar
Series driver Ryan Briscoe joins the
No. 3 for the Rolex 24, Sebring and
Petit Le Mans, with GT ace Robin
Liddell in No. 4 for the enduros.
“I’ve got two amazing teammates
in Antonio and Jan,” says Briscoe.
“I want to do my part - be smooth,
consistent and fast when I need to be.
Hopefully I can be the guy they need
me to be to win the long races.”
Liddell (RIGHT, in race suit), who
contests the 2014 Continental Tire
Challenge with Stevenson
Motorsports’ new Camaro Z/28
(see page 86), took four Rolex GT
class wins in a Camaro GT.R in 2013.
His knowledge of Daytona and the
Rolex 24 will smooth his transition
into the GT Le Mans-spec car.
“We’re all looking forward very
much to the first two endurance
races,” he says. “All the pieces are
there to do a fantastic job.”
WELCOME TO THE TEAM, BOyS
There’s no such thing as the perfect
racecar right out of the box, but Corvette
Racing and Pratt & Miller’s experience
minimizes the chance of a major issue. Not
that it results in feelings of over-confidence.
“Key to any successful racing program
is managing expectations,” says Fehan.
“There’s no reason to believe we’re not
going to be competitive. History tells us
that, and we know enough about this car
to think we’re going to be OK. But our
competition hasn’t just been laying on the
beach. They’ve all been working very, very
hard. When you’re the defending champion
two years in a row, you’re wearing a rather
large target. We haven’t seen anything
about this car that we think is going to put
us at any competitive disadvantage. It’s just
a question of how good the other guys are.”
And that’s something that testing can
never fully reveal. It’s only when the cars
take the green flag at the Rolex 24 that
the real answers will start to be revealed.
“our competition hasn’t
just been laying on the
beach. They’ve all been
working very, very hard”
raced for Level 5
ALMS P2 in 2013,
taking class wins in
the series’ two
and Petit Le Mans.
Both races are on
the 2014 TUDOR
endUro reAd Y
(AboVe) Jan Magnussen is one half of
corvette’s 2013 champion pairing and
knows that putting in the pre-season test
miles strengthens his chances of doing it
again. (rigHT) Testing the new c7.r
doesn’t begin and end on the race track.