Book Review: Corvette Racing – The First 20 Years

Some devout Corvette enthusiasts may raise a brow at the title of Nigel’s Competition-Yellow book, citing names like Duntov, Dr. Dick Thompson and John Fitch as evidence that Corvette has been racing for well over 20 years. We wholeheartedly agree. But those names took center-stage when Corvette WAS racing, but at a time when Chevrolet WASN’T really into racing. Without those early efforts, Corvette may not even have celebrated its Tenth birthday and Nigel’s book does acknowledge those early efforts, but Corvette Racing: The First 20 Years deals with Chevrolet’s officially-sponsored efforts, and the team, aptly named Corvette Racing.

To think that a single individual has followed and documented virtually every lap of every race in which we have competed was truly fascinating, as well as totally humbling. – Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing

Many of us can recall when a factory-sponsored, silver C5-R Corvette was first revealed to the world. The competition was daunting, and the fledgling car was untested- but the team and speed-pilots epitomized the American spirit. Corvette Racing: The First 20 Years starts at the very beginning and Nigel has painstakingly researched each and every chassis built for the Corvette Racing effort. Over the years, Nigel has done more than spectating the races, he has become a friend, and respected feature at many, if not all races Corvette Racing has contested.

Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing’s Program Manager put it best, “To think that a single individual has followed and documented virtually every lap of every race in which we have competed was truly fascinating, as well as totally humbling.” Quite the high-praise from a man not known for mincing words.

We have had the pleasure of working with Nigel and speaking with him on occasion. His passion and understanding of the team’s efforts is infectious, and he pours that passion into everything he writes about the Corvette Racing efforts. This book, while Nigel’s largest offering to date, is also filled from cover to cover with insights, history, and facts that are not common knowledge, except to those in a tight-knit group.

Nigel documents all but the few, final races before the team releases their C8.R on the competition. As it stands, Corvette Racing: The First 20 Years lays out the history of the team, their efforts, and the individual cars in such a way that time will surely find it to be as factually-significant as it is entertaining.

This historical view of the C5-, C6-, and C7-generation Corvette’s racing efforts is befitting of any coffee table or collection. The text sucks you in and before you know it, each of the book’s 464 pages has flown by. History doesn’t have to be drudgery and learning about something you love seasons the appetite. Nigel Dobbie’s book, Corvette Racing, The First 20 Years, brings about an almost unfathomable wealth of knowledge surrounding Corvette Racing’s efforts but does so in such a way that you’ll soon be pining for more.

Nigel’s book is published by SilverWood Books and available through the National Corvette Museum’s Corvette Store. You can order your own copy on their website.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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