The Corvette brand has become a household name, not only in the States but around the globe. Our favorite sportscar competes in a variety of classes, piloted by both pro, and amateur drivers. Just recently, highly-capable Corvettes went against some of the best this world has to offer, on a variety of tracks.
On Home Soil
Here at home, the factory-sponsored Corvette Racing team competed on the rolling hills around Alton, Virginia at Virginia International Raceway’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday.
After an exciting qualifying, the Corvette Racing team enjoyed a well-earned third-place finish in the Michelin GT Challenge. To help illustrate how close the competition is among teams in this class, one only has to look at the amount of time that separates competitors. Driver Jan Magnussen went for broke during his last qualifying lap in the No. 3 Corvette and set a lap of 1:40.708, only 0.078 seconds off overall pole-winner Laurens Vanthoor. Oliver Gavin’s last lap also was his best – 1:41.578 – and placed the No. 4 Corvette fifth on the grid.
To add to the complexity, the team had just completed an engine swap on the No. 4 Corvette in just over an hour, prior to the qualifying lap. The team had discovered potential fuel delivery issues after Saturday’s morning practice laps and felt the need to swap engines as a precautionary measure.
When the green flag began waving, the two Corvettes competed for most of the GTLM class for the final step on the podium. There was a fierce fight within the class and a small contact with Dirk Mueller in the No. 66 Ford in the midpoint of the race. The two cars made contact at the end of the back straight, but both got away relatively damage-free.
The two Corvettes and the two Fords were nose-to-tail following the final round of pit stops with only 35 minutes remaining. Garcia made a daring move, which placed him back on the podium, and Milner followed him through by overtaking both Fords a couple of corners later. I think we can let Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen give a pretty good wrap up of the race.
In the end, the finish position moved Garcia and Magnussen back into third place in the GTLM Drivers Championship with two rounds left in the season. Corvette Racing’s next event is the IMSA Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 13-15, 2019.
10 Hours Of Suzuka
Corvettes also competed on tracks in Japan and Germany this weekend. The 10 Hours of Suzuka was held on the Suzuka International Racing Course, otherwise known as the Suzuka Circuit, in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Callaway Competition joined with Japan’s Bingo Racing to take on the competition during the track’s famed 10-hour endurance race in a race-prepped Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R. Part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the 10-hour race pits competitors against the elements, darkness and the grueling Suzuka Circuit.
The Callaway C7 GT3-R competed under the capable hands of drivers Shinji Takei (Japan), Ryo Ogawa (Japan), and Markus Pommer (Germany). The Number 37 Callaway Competition/Bingo Racing C7 GT3-R took home Second in the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s Silver class.
Corvette On The Nurburgring
Callaway Competition GT3-R Corvette also hit the ‘Ring during the ADAC GT Masters series race that was run the week prior, on August 16-18, 2019 at the Nürburgring. Coming off of perplexing races at Zandvoort the previous week, the Callaway Competition team was able to get in some valuable testing before the race.
Unfortunately, during qualifying, the car developed a misfire and driver Markus Pommer was forced to shut the car down. It was determined that a loss of fuel pressure was the reason for the misfire and the car was up and running once again. Due to ADAC GT Masters rules, the car was required to start Saturday’s race from the back of the field.
Both Callaway drivers, Markus Pommer and Marvin Kirchhöfer worked their way up through the field and when the checkered flag waved, they had worked their way up to 12th place. This gave them some all-important points for the championship at the end of the season.
Sunday’s race was more of the same, with both drivers besting the competition to gain position, one step at a time. Starting from position 20 for Sunday’s event, they eventually worked their way to the Eighth position before time ran out. This again, brought in some very welcome championship points.
At the end of the Nurburgring event, Callaway Competition is currently in Second Place in the points race and the next race will be held on their home track, the Hockenheimring, on September 13-15, 2019.
Be Sure To Watch
Whether at home or abroad, one of the best ways we can encourage the teams of men and women who work so hard to keep Corvettes out in front of the competition, is to actively participate in their efforts. We can do this by watching them compete and cheering them on, whether physically or virtually.
The world has grown to love Corvette, and Corvette has grown into an international sensation. Thankfully, we’ve got the technology that enables us to share in the various teams’ victories and tribulations almost instantly. Corvette’s performance is at an all-time high, and all we need to do is be there. Thankfully, with today’s technology, that’s easier than ever.