Corvette Racing is prepping for another (hopefully successful) outing to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016. Next year, the FIA will have new performance and safety rules in place for Le Mans and other WEC races, prompting Corvette Racing to produce two new chassis that conform to the new regulations.
According to Sportscar365, the second-generation C7.R is nearing its completion at Pratt & Miller’s headquarters in Michigan and is on-track to make its debut at the FIA’s Balance of Performance tests in France next month. The car will undergo a set of pre-tests at General Motors’ Milford Proving ground following its completion before being shipped off overseas.
Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan confirmed to Sportscar365 the new C7.R won’t feature many major changes. The FIA’s new rulebook indicates all cars must be equipped with a roof escape hatch, but other than some small aero adjustments, that will be about the only change from the car the team is currently using.
When asked if Corvette Racing is worried that racecars like the new Ford GT and Ferrari 488 GTB have had more track time now than their new C7.R, Fehan said he wasn’t concerned. He also added in that the nature of the GT gives Ford an advantage, as they design the car as a racecar first and foremost, which isn’t possible with a mass-market car like the Corvette.
“The Ford has the advantage of designing a race car and then rolling it over into a street car,” he said. “We’re selling 35,000 units a year; we don’t have that same concept.”
Both the Corvette and the GT will be on hand in Ladoux for the FIA’s BoP tests. Following the tests, the two will make their on-track debut at the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona in January.