Corvette Racing chooses Michelin again
Corvette Racing made a big move in the second half of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, leaving behind the GT1 category where they had dominated the competition. They will not have that problem joining the uber-competitive ALMS GT category where they face factory-supported teams from Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and Jaguar.
Developing the new GT Corvette, the Corvette Racing team has made a number of changes. The new GT Corvette has new production-style bodywork, a new aero package based on the Corvette ZR1 supercar, a smaller 5.5-liter GM small block V8 engine and steel disc brakes in place of the carbon brakes used previously in the GT1 class.
One decision was easy, continuing the successful technical partnership with Michelin that began in 2004 and combined for 52 GT1 wins, five GT1 class championships and four victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"We work very closely with Michelin and in fact, the Michelin engineer who led their tire development for the Corvette ZR1 is our Michelin tire engineer at the race track. You cannot have a closer feedback loop than that," said Doug Fehan, program manager of Corvette Racing.
The new GT class Corvette C6.R finished second in its debut last August at Mid-Ohio and scored five podium finishes, including Corvette Racing's first GT class win at Mosport International Raceway.
"Since Corvette Racing chose Michelin as its technical partner in 2004, the Corvette-Michelin relationship has grown beyond the track to include the Corvette ZR1; the Corvette C6.RS and an impressive new MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport PS2TM ZP tire replacement option for Corvette C5 and C6 owners," said Silvia Mammone, Michelin Motorsports manager.
As Michelin's first-ever original equipment fitment for Corvette, the Pilot® Sport PS2TM ZP tire is the result of years of research and development. With competition at its core and race tracks as its proving ground, the MICHELIN Pilot® Sport PS2TM ZP tire bears many of the same performance characteristics of its family of Pilot Sport tires, but adds an entirely new level of refinement based on the specific needs of the Corvette ZR1.
Corvette Racing's 2010 driver line-up includes the #3 Corvette C6.R piloted by 2008 ALMS GT1 champions Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen and the #4 Corvette C6.R driven by three-time ALMS series champions Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta. Antonio Garcia and Emmanuel Collard will join the team for the endurance races: Twelve Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans.