Chevrolet Corvette C5-R
The Chevrolet Corvette C5 - R GT1 race car, which was developed by Pratt & Miller and General Motors for sports car racing. The vehicle is based on the Corvette C5, but is designed exclusively for use in motorsport. It was one of the most successful GT race car and achieved both class wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as championship victories in the American Le Mans Series. The Corvette C5 -R debuted in 1999 in motorsport and is still used today, although it has been largely replaced by the Corvette C6.R.
- 2.1 racing success
- 2.2 Corvette Racing
- 2.3 private teams 2.3.1 Selleslagh Racing Team
- 2.3.2 Pacific Coast Motorsports
- GLPK 2.3.3 -Cars Port
- 2.3.4 PSI Experience
- Luc Alphand Aventures 2.3.5
The Corvette C5 -R was a part of the plan of General Motors and its Chevrolet brand to establish a factory team in order to participate in sports car races around the world, especially in the 24- hour race at Le Mans. General Motors was previously against the factory support of the Corvette racing program and engaged previously only with the Corvette GTP, which took until 1989 in the IMSA GT Championship in motorsport. However, it was at the Corvette GTP is not a motor sport offshoot of the production Corvette, but a completely new car. With the appearance of the Corvette C5 General Motors decided to demonstrate the potential of the new vehicle and to develop a production-based race cars. The goal was to compete with the manufacturers Chrysler and Porsche, which had the Porsche 911 GT2 already represented by the Chrysler Viper GTS -R and GT racing.
General Motors commissioned the firm Pratt & Miller from Michigan, to develop and build the new race car and the race team in preparation for the motorsport debut in 1999 to organize. Riley & Scott also supported the project, led by a second team for a year. When the team was under time pressure, Pratt & Miller and General Motors used to test the motor and other parts, which should be used in the later race cars, highly modified street cars.
Later the race chassis has been developed that in the structure of only had in common with the road vehicles. A fire wall was placed directly behind the driver's seat in the cockpit, but which prevented the rear view inside the vehicle. At the rear, a large diffuser and a rear wing were fixed, while the front splitter and a grown openings were introduced into the hood. Furthermore, permanent headlights were installed, which replaced the pop-up headlights of the road vehicle.
In the Corvette C5 -R worked at the beginning of the 1999 season, a six-liter V8 engine, which was based on the LS1 engine from the road car. A few months later, this was replaced by a seven liter V8 engine, which remained the standard engine on the entire remaining construction of the Corvette C5 -R. However, the designed by Katech Engine Development motor used further elements of the LS1 engine from the road car.
Pratt & Miller built from 1999 to 2004 a total of eleven chassis of the Corvette C5 -R, ten of which were directly used by Corvette Racing, the motorsport team of Pratt & Miller and only one was intended from the beginning for private teams. Recently, a twelfth C5 -R Chasis is still under construction, but which only served to test the new Corvette C6.R.
As the Corvette C5 -R took part in the following years in competitions, she was repeatedly further developed in order to remain competitive against stronger opponents. Under these revisions, changes were on the aerodynamics to increase the output. The design of the hood was changed during the 1999 season, said small apertures was replaced by a large, so that the air could flow out better. The built in 2000, the third and fourth chassis differed from the first two, they were built by 7.5 cm wide, to increase the grip.
Later modifications included technology, which was developed for the Corvette C6.R. They include air conditioning for comfort and a rear view camera on the bumper and a monitor were in the cockpit to compensate for the lack of a rear window.
Here in the table for comparison a normal, standard Corvette C5.
With two cars were built Corvette Racing came in 1999 at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Corvette C5 -R of Canadian Ron Fellows and the American Chris Kneifel and John Paul Jr. finished the race in 18th place in the standings with 34 laps behind the class winner. After precipitation at the 12 Hours of Sebring Riley & Scott denied until the end of the season some races in the American Le Mans Series. The only Corvette C5 -R used reached at Sears Point and Laguna Seca each finished second in their class behind a factory Viper.
The 2000 season began Pratt & Miller Corvette is the only team again in the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Corvette of Fellows, Kneifel and the newly acquired British Justin Bell improved greatly in comparison to the previous year and finished the race in second overall with only a minute behind the winning factory Viper. The various prototypes were clearly beaten. Nevertheless, the team was not to compete in the position, even at the 12 Hours of Sebring race with the Viper and even the debut of the Corvette C5 -R in the 24- hour race at Le Mans. The team reported back as it imports its first class victory in the American Le Mans Series. They managed to beat the Viper team in both Texas and the Petit Le Mans. Although the Corvette C5 -R played only a part of the season, Corvette Racing finished third in the championship of the GTS class.
In 2001, Corvette Racing has improved again in the 24 Hours of Daytona. The Corvette C5 -R beat the prototypes and drove himself an overall victory. In the race for the first time took Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in part, which also denied her first race on the Corvette C5 -R, and their vehicle took fourth place finish. Since the Corvette C5 -R was now able to win, Pratt & Miller played his first full season in the American Le Mans Series and scored six class victories, including the second time the class win at Petit Le Mans. The Corvette C5 -R also scored his first class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which she finished with 34 laps ahead of the next fellow in her class and in eighth place in the overall standings.
Corvette Racing returned 2002 as a result of rule changes not to the 24- hour race at Daytona back, but continued to participate in the American Le Mans Series. The Corvette C5 -R won nine of ten races and achieved for the first time the class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Only against the new Ferrari 550 -GTS Maranello Prodrive had been defeated Corvette Racing. In addition, Corvette Racing secured its second class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After two years of dominance in its class Corvette Racing received first time in 2003 a serious challenger. Prodrive decided to leave his Ferraris contest a full season in the American Le Mans Series. Although she was not competitive at the start of the season against the Corvette C5 -R, they won the last four races, including the Petit Le Mans. Nevertheless, Corvette Racing has secured a lead of four points on Prodrive the championship. The Ferraris struck again when she at the 24 - hour race at Le Mans ended the winning streak of Corvette Racing, calculated at the 50 - year anniversary of the Corvette.
Prodrive returned in 2004 not in the American Le Mans Series back, which is why Corvette Racing was able to clear up the season and win the championship in a row for the fourth time. Although Prodrive took the 24- hour race at Le Mans, Corvette Racing was able to retaliate for the defeat in the previous year and retract the third class win at the event. The season was the last one in the Corvette Racing Corvette C5 -R began. The development work on the new Corvette C6 led to a new race car, Corvette C6.R called, which began the work team from the 2005 season.
Overall, Corvette Racing scored on the Corvette C5 - R 31 class victories in the American Le Mans Series, three class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Initially, the Corvette C5 - R were built exclusively for the factory team Corvette Racing. It was not until 2001, Pratt & Miller conversations with other teams to their Corvette C5 -R for sale. The British team Atomic Kitten Racing in 2001 planned to buy two brand new cars but could not enter into an agreement. Only in 2003 the first Corvette C5 -R was sold to a private team.
Selleslagh Racing Team
The first customer of the Corvette C5 -R was the Belgian Patrick Selleslagh, who headed the Selleslagh Racing Team in the Belgian GT Championship. The best placement of the vehicle was a second place in a Championship race in Spa. The team also joined the 24-hour race in Spa -Francorchamps, which will be held as part of the FIA GT Championship, and reached the goal on 18th place
In 2004, the team its best result along with some third places again two place in a Championship race in Spa. In 2005, the vehicle control in the Belgian GT Championship. After the victory at the season- opening race in Zolder the Selleslagh Racing Team won four more races, including the 24 - hour race at Zolder. The team won the championship. It also scored the eighth place in the 24- hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The end of 2005 Selleslagh Racing Team bought a former factory Corvette in order to complement the existing vehicle. Both vehicles contested in the 2006 season, the French GT Championship. The best placement of the team was a second place at Nogaro. 2007, only a Corvette C5 -R was used in the French GT Championship, which ended five races in third place. The second Corvette C5 -R put the Selleslagh Racing Team in the FIA GT Championship. There, she won three races of the Citation Cup, ending the 24 - hour race at Spa -Francorchamps in tenth place.
Pacific Coast Motorsports
The American Tom Figge bought in 2004 as a second customer with a Corvette C5 -R, although it was not new, but a former factory vehicle. He put the car in 2005 in his team Pacific Coast Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series a. Although it was not expected, the team could compete with Corvette Racing, but did it also against other private teams as ACEMCO Motorsports with his Saleen S7R difficult. The team went in his class only once in seven races on the podium, before it left the racing series.
GLPK -Cars Port
The Belgian- Dutch team GLPK -Cars Port bought another former factory Corvette with which the 2005 team played a full season in the FIA GT Championship. The team won in his debut season two races in Imola and Zhuhai. At the 24 -hour race in Spa- Francorchamps, the team crossed the finish line in fourth place, but it was later disqualified. GLPK -Cars Port finished the season in fourth place in the team standings and was the best team, which began just a vehicle.
In the 2006 season continued GLPK - Carsport the Corvette C5 -R now in the Belgian GT Championship, while his new Corvette C6.R took part in the FIA GT Championship. The team won its debut season in the Belgian GT Championship. When the team split in 2007, took over the Corvette C6.R Cars Port Netherlands, while the Corvette C5 -R, leaving PK Carsport. PK Carsport returned with the Corvette C5 -R back to the FIA GT Championship. His best result achieved it with the second place in the season finale at Zolder. At Oschersleben, the Corvette of PK Carsport crossed even as the finish line first, but was disqualified. One of the best results of the season scoring the team to contest the 24 -hour race in Spa- Francorchamps, the it with only three laps finished in third place on the winner.
After the withdrawal of Pacific Coast Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series his Corvette C5 -R was for sale. The Belgian team PSI Experience bought the vehicle next to a Corvette C6.R. With both vehicles, the team played in 2006, the French GT Championship. The Corvette C5 -R, driven among other things by David Hallyday, won the race in ledenon. PSI also took part in the 24 -hour race in Spa- Francorchamps, in which it reached the finish in eleventh place.
PSI Experience appeared again in 2007 in the French GT Championship. The Corvette C5 -R once again achieved a victory, this time at Nogaro. The vehicle was also used as part of the Citation Cup in some races of the FIA GT Championship.
Luc Alphand Aventures
One of the last Corvette C5 -R that were sold, the French Olympian Luc Alphand bought a former factory vehicle, for using it in the Le Mans Series 2006. The vehicle struck well and scored in five races, two second places and one third place. Thus, the team finished the season off on the third championship course. The team entered to contest the 24 -hour race of Le Mans and finished it surprising third in his class behind a factory-loaded Corvette C6.R and Aston Martin DBR9.
2007, the team was supplemented by a Corvette C6.R. Both vehicles took part in both the Le Mans Series and at the French GT Championship. The Corvette C5 -R drove in the French GT Championship three times in the second place, while they import only two third places in the Le Mans Series. The vehicle was also used again for the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, but finished it only on a severed 24th Place.