What do you get when you invite college kids to work on and improve a classic piece of American muscle? You’d be correct in answering “EcoCAR3”. But there is another initiative. Known as the Genius Garage Student Racing Team, it sees students of various disciplines come together to wrench on a vintage racer and gain some real-world experience.
Unlike EcoCAR3, which aims to find new, fuel-efficient ways to propel a new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro while simultaneously keeping its proclivity for horsepower, students in the Genius Garage program work to keep a historic IMSA Chevrolet Corvette on track and ready for action.
It “was created to fill in a major hole in the American educational system by giving the best students the opportunity to show potential employers and partners what they are capable of and thus giving them the best possible transition from the academic world to their professional careers possible,” says the Genius Garage website.
Best of all, students recently had the opportunity to work on a 1988 IMSA GT1 Chevrolet Corvette with a small-block 350ci V8 making roughly 700 horsepower. Sure, it’s not the latest C7 Corvette, but it’s still light on its feet and perfectly comfortable on the track.
So, as you watch the GT1 Vette tackle Mid-Ohio Raceway during SVRA vintage racing, be sure to dial-up the volume — the side-pipes on this 27-year-old brute still emit a seriously angry howl.