Part-time Corvette Racing endurance driver Marcel Fassler was completing test laps in the No. 4 C7.R at the annual two-day Roar test session when a failure in the fuel system sparked a fire. Fassler escaped the blaze unhurt, however the car was too damaged for Pratt & Miller to properly repair it in time for Daytona this month.
“We brought the car back, and the damage was not all that great,” Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan told Sportscar365 in an interview.
“When we looked at the timeframe between the Roar and what we have here, it just made a tremendous amount of sense to get the spare car up and running, to enter it here so we could take our time doing a proper repair on the original chassis,” he added.
The cause of the fire was related to a fuel pump component Corvette Racing was forced to fabricate by hand. Fehan said the team has now reverted to its old fuel delivery system and isn’t expecting a repeat of the blaze to occur during the race.
“We want to institute a new-style [fuel] pump but it runs a little different routing which caused us to build a hand-fabricated part, and that was the part that failed,” he explained. “We should be fine for this race, but planning for the future it’s imperative that we can find a solution we can use.”