GT1 Corvette about to end an era
Corvette Racing will mark the end of an era Saturday in Long Beach, Calif., with the final U.S. appearance by the Corvette C6.Rs in the GT1 category of the American Le Mans Series.
The series will give a send-off to the GT1 Corvettes in a special post-qualifying ceremony in the Long Beach winner’s circle showcasing the championship-winning C6.R race cars and the production GT1 championship edition Corvette they inspired.
Later this season, the most successful sports car team in ALMS history will begin its transition to a new global GT class based on current GT2 regulations as GT1 is dropped.
Winner of the last eight ALMS GT1 team and manufacturer championships, Corvette Racing has posted 75 class wins worldwide, including a record 69 ALMS victories. Corvette Racing drivers have won a total of 13 ALMS class championships since 2002.
Since its debut in 2005, the Corvette C6.R has won 38 races, the most of any GT1 car and second all-time in ALMS history regardless of class.
“When the checkered flag falls at Long Beach, I think it will be a moving experience for everyone on the team,” said Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan. “It will mark the closing of one chapter, the likes of which will never be written again in Corvette history.
“At the same time, it will mark the opening of another chapter that will eventually see Corvette competing in a global GT class under the international regulations that will come into effect next year.”
Corvette driver Johnny O’Connell, racing in the GT1 class for nine years, said, “The GT1 Corvettes are among the coolest cars in racing history, and they’ve left their mark in the record books for Corvette, for Chevrolet and for sports car racing.
“Over the years, we’ve had great battles and rivalries with Viper, Ferrari, Saleen, Maserati, and Aston Martin. But we’re moving to an even more competitive arena. … The commitment to compete on the world stage is something that everyone at Chevrolet can be proud of.”