Corvette Racing has hired on Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fassler to drive their two Corvette C7.Rs alongside existing drivers Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner at the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Rockenfeller is an Audi factory driver, but his relationship with the rival automaker hasn’t hindered his excitement about racing with the team.
Rockenfeller is no stranger to IMSA racing, having formerly piloted the VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP as a third driver in the series. Chevy approached him earlier in the year about a potential drive with their factory Corvette Racing program at Daytona and Sebring and after asking Audi nicely, the plan was green lighted.
“Basically Corvette came up to me and asked if there is interest from my side to join the team, to drive the opening races, Daytona and Sebring,” Rockenfeller told Sportscar365 in a recent interview.
“I have obviously been racing with Corvette – not in the team – but seen them many times, and watched them competing, and looked up to them.
“It was a quite easy decision to say yes and ask Audi, obviously. I am an Audi factory driver. It’s clear, not every manufacturer would allow this to happen. Thanks to them and to Dr. Ullrich. He has known Doug Fehan (Corvette Racing program manager) for quite some years. It was an easy one to sort out.”
Rockenfeller joined Corvette Racing for the two-day IMSA test at Daytona in November where he was able to get acquainted with the C7.R prior to the Roar before the 24 in January.
“I say always… the most similar things are the steering wheel and the three pedals you need,” he said. “You go right, it goes right and left, left. But the rest, every race car is different!
“I jumped in and felt safe and comfortable. I tried to get up to speed. We got some good laps to got to know everyone in the team.”