Corvette Racing’s brand-new, baby face
team manager is a vision of perfect
grooming habits, sharp diction, and
grad-school smarts. Johnson stands out
from the weathered vets in yellow – the
ones with cuts and scars and stories written
into every wrinkle. And that’s a good thing.
This cub among grizzly bears has
BEN JOHNSON / TEAM MANAGER
brought a structured energy to racing’s
most general job. Promoted from within,
Kyle Millay says the former P&M engineer
“is a fresh face, but he’s even-keeled and
brings experience from managing our DP
and GT programs. He came well prepared
and just brings a different level of detail in
his management style that everybody is
Matt Cummings adds: “You go into a
meeting and it’s very structured and we
hit all the bullet points we need to. The
way that he has everything organized is
“Ben’s brought this extra
strength. It’s not like we
never had that before, but
he just seems more...us”
really cool. We do team a meeting every
night and we all get a briefing on how the
day went, what the plans are for the
following day. It’s pretty awesome. With
Ben, the communication going between
the mechanics, the engineers, the truck
drivers, the engine guys, it’s impressive.”
Johnson inherited a powerful position
within a proven race team. According to
Ron Helzer, he’s risen to the challenge.
“Ben’s brought this extra strength to the
team,” he says. “It’s not like we never had
that before, but he just seems more...us.”
Now in its 17th season of competition,
Corvette Racing already owns eight
24 Hours of Le Mans class wins and
10 teams’ and manufacturers’ class
championships at the highest level of U.S.
sports car racing, and it shows no sign of
losing drive or momentum any time soon.
But it faces the same challenges and
obstacles as every other team and
manufacturer it races against, so what’s the
secret formula that’s enabled it to become
America’s defining sports car team?
Chris Bell, that guy who does everything,
provides a succinct take on it, and it isn’t
rocket science, it’s just being a team.
“We all have one shared goal,” he says.
“We come here together, we win together,
we go home together.”
A winning start... Corvette Racing’s GT
Le Mans class victory in the 2016 Rolex 24
at Daytona (ABOVE) – its third – was followed
by a 10th win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.