Corvette Racing is heading into the unknown at this weekend’s Motul 100 Percent Synthetic Grand Prix from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval – a new track for the IMSA WeatherTech Series and one that the team has only tested at once before.
Luckily for Corvette Racing, it won’t have to go it alone with their pair of mid-engine Corvette C8.R race cars in Charlotte. The team has been able to tap Chevrolet‘s NASCAR program for help as it preps for the one-hour and 40-minute race around the 2.32-mile infield road course, as the Roval was added to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule back in 2018. Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports won last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the circuit as well, so Chevrolet NASCAR engineers have been a valuable resource for the Corvette Racing camp in recent weeks.
“Just as key to the preparations have been multiple sessions at Chevrolet’s Driver-in-the-Loop (DiL) simulator and exchanges of track data between Corvette Racing engineers and Chevrolet’s NASCAR Cup Series engineering team,” the team explained in a press release. “Chevrolet has race-winning experience at Charlotte with Chase Elliott’s victory a year ago in NASCAR competition.”
It goes without saying that the Corvette C8.R and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE NASCAR Cup Series car are nothing alike, but that doesn’t mean that Corvette Racing can’t glean any relevant data from Chevy’s NASCAR experience at the Roval. The track surface is still valuable for Corvette Racing and can be crucial in helping to establish a baseline setup before heading out to North Carolina.
Corvette Racing driver Jordan Taylor also plans to lean on Elliott for some advice this weekend. The fan-favorite NASCAR driver not only has a previous win on the Roval, but has also been helping the team out with simulator work ahead of the race.
“Chase had a big part in developing the Roval stuff on the simulator, which has been a big help for us,” Taylor said. “I’m sure as the weekend unfolds, we’ll have some questions and maybe we can play on top of those guys, and vice-versa.”
Fellow Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin wasn’t present for the test and will thus have a particularly steep hill to climb when practice starts on Friday.
“All three of my teammates came back from the test and said, ‘Whoa… that place is intense!’” said Gavin. “I’ve not actually been on the track yet. I’m doing some simulator work a day or two beforehand to familiarize myself, and I’ve had a look at it on iRacing. In talking to the other guys about Charlotte, it feels quite tight and intense.”
The Motul 100 Percent Synthetic Grand Prix from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval will go green on Saturday, October 10th from 8:05 p.m. ET.