The Corvette Racing story begins in 1999, when General Motors and race engineering firm Pratt & Miller first announced the new factory-backed joint effort. One year later, the newly developed Corvette C5-R was on track racing for podium positions in the American Le Mans Series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The team finished 3-4 in the GTS class in it first outing to Le Mans and won the category in only its second outing to the highly competitive endurance race. In just a couple of years, the American team had established its C5-R as the GTS car to beat at Le Mans, trouncing the former class ringer – the Dodge Viper GTS-R. The C5-R also won its class at Le Mans in 2002 and 2004.
In the past 19 outings to Le Mans, the Corvette crew has racked up eight class wins. The C5-R lays claim to three of those, while the GT1-spec and GT-spec C6.Rs took four in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011. The C7.R so far has just one single win at Le Mans in 2015, but Corvette Racing will return with the C7.R this year for its final appearance in France before its replaced with the mid-engine Corvette C8.R.
The team’s appearance at Le Mans this year will mark the 20th consecutive year its rocked the grandstands at Circuit de la Sarthe with its thunderous Chevy V8 engines. The Corvettes are always a fan favorite at the race due to their competitiveness, uniquely American soundtrack and familiar bright yellow livery, as anyone who has ever been to the race will tell you.
Pratt & Miller recently put together a short web documentary highlighting the past 19 outings to the 24 hours of Le Mans. You won’t want to miss it if you’re a fan of the team, so be sure to check it out above.
Corvette Racing’s 2019 racing season will also kick off later this month with the Rolex 24 at Daytona.