Tommy Milner turned some of the first public laps in the new-for-2020 Corvette C8.R race car at Road Atlanta earlier this year, giving Corvette Racing fans a taste of the new car ahead of its competition debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
GM Authority recently caught up with Milner at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where we asked about his experience driving the new car so far, which is, of course, much different than the front-engine Corvette C7.R that preceded it.
“It’s cool. It definitely sounds and feels different, the car feels different because we sit more centrally in the car vs. the C7,” Milner explained. “The car rotates around us more, rather than sitting closer to the rear axle, and feeling the car slide more, so it’s a different experience.”
The American driver also noted that the C8.R feels more responsive than the C7.R and is a bit easier to get feedback from.
“The feedback we get from the car seems quicker and more direct,” he said. “For us, after one run in the car, you’re kind of passed the ‘how is it different?’ [stage] and you’re just thinking ok, we have understeer here and let’s work on that.”
While Milner’s first time in the car in front of a crowd came early last month, it’s likely that he was on hand for the night test at Sebring late last year as well, which was caught on video by a sharp-eyed racing fan, and any other secret track tests the team has carried out. Most of his work with regard to the development of the C8.R has been done in the Chevrolet Racing simulator, and he told us the sim played a huge role in the development of the car.
Race teams from Formula 1 to IMSA and beyond use professional simulator software to quickly test new setups for their cars, giving them a good baseline to work from when they head out to the track each weekend. Thanks to this technology, Corvette Racing has been able to hit the ground running with the C8.R – having already established a solid baseline setup for the car in the simulator.
The Corvette C8.R will take to the track once again in January for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.