Are Corvettes sandbagging?
With Ford and BMW engines consistently topping the Daytona Prototype speed charts at the "Roar Before the Rolex 24" test at Daytona International Speedway, many in the paddock were wondering: Are the Chevrolet Corvettes sandbagging, fearful of being penalized before the race if they show too much speed?
That suspicion was fed by the fact that immediately after the test, one of the fastest Chevrolets -- the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona car -- was required to pull its Chevrolet V-8 engine on the spot, under the watchful eye of multiple Grand-Am officials. The engine will be taken to the NASCAR Technical Center in North Carolina to be tested.
No other car was required to pull an engine after the test.
In the eight separate test sessions, the top Corvette was second, sixth, sixth, seventh, fourth, fourth, fifth and fourth. The Spirit of Daytona car was the fastest Corvette in three of the eight sessions.
Richard Buck, managing director of competition for Grand-Am, said that the move was routine, just to finalize Chevrolet's performance numbers before the race, something that, he said, Ford and BMW have already done. The engine will likely be run on the dyno in Wednesday, he said, then returned to the team, well in advance of the Rolex 24, for which practice starts one week later.
The Corvette joined the Grand-Am DP class last year, and was promptly among the fastest cars. Chevrolet won the engine manufacturers' championship for 2012, with 424 points, compared to 389 for Ford and 382 for BMW. The Spirit of Daytona car finished third in the team championship. autoweek.com