C5-R Corvette at Daytona 1999

 



I am just as impressed as you are folks. These brand new C5-R
Corvettes are not only beautiful, but also extremely powerful.
This particular car was one of the back up cars that was on display
in the GM Motorsports tent outside the speedway. It is almost
identical to the actual cars that raced in this years Rolex 24.
These cars were entered in the GT-2 category. This category is
the next step down from the Can-Am division. Last years'
GT-1 category is not allowed, since those vehicles were in
essence, purpose built racing machines which were later
converted to street trim to satisfy homologation purposes.
The GT-2 rules are just the opposite, whereby the race car
is based on the street version, and must maintain some
aspects of it's factory derived bretheryn.

 



The interior is quite spartan, leaving only the original
shape of the dash to remind you that this is a Corvette.
The high-tech telemetry works beautifully with the
high-tech components of the C5-R Corvette.

There were two C5-R Corvettes entered, number 2
and number 4. The number two car, was nicknamed
the
"tall" car beacuse of the stature of it's drivers.
Ron Fellows, Chris Kniefel, and John Paul Jr.
range in height from 6' 2'' to 6' 6'' were assigned to this car.
The #4 car was nicknamed the
"short" car,
due to the fact that it's drivers were of normal stature.
Scott Sharp, Andy Pilgrim, and John Heinricy managed
the driving chores of this car.

 

 

 

 

 

These C5-R Corvettes were absolutely spectacular to watch
as they raced by on the 31 degree bankings. The sound of the
purpose built all-aluminum Gen III engines were music to
any Corvette or Chevrolet aficionado!

The #2 car held the GT-2 pole during Speedweek, but on
Friday, the last day of qualifying, the #50 Viper turned a
quicker lap and obtained the pole.

The Corvette team was content with their situation and
prepared for the race.

 



This is a 6 liter version of the Gen III engine. The aluminum
block is highly modified for it's racing duties. The water
passages are much larger than it's street counterpart, which
allows a 4.125" bore to work with a shorter than stock
3.42" stroke to produce 365 cubic inches! As you can see
from the photo, the ignition system has been relocated to
the front of the engine, and traditional valve covers are used.
The fuel injection system is believed to be a Kinsler unit.
Power output is 600 hp and 495 ft/pds of torque!!
A far, far cry from original......

 

 



A flat floor plan is required to satisfy the GT-2 rules. The C5-R
designers used other body modifications to work with the underneath
of the car the improve ground effects. The end result is a Corvette,
when driven at speed, could literally drive upside down from the
suction created from the downforce. The louvres in the hood help
direct air from the front of the car to eliminate front end lift.

 

 

The rear of the car uses a tradtitional rear wing to push the
rear of the car down. An additional ground effects device
helps move the air out from under the car in a controlled
manner to aid the gripping forces of this magnificent machine.

 

 

The number 50 Viper may have been the pole setter,
but the car could not keep up the pace with the #2 and #4
C5-R Corvettes. The Viper would be out of contention in the
early evening hours, and the C5-R Corvettes would
continue charging on.

 

 



Although transmission problems would sideline one
car for many laps, and an eventual oil leak problem
would hold the other car out of contention Sunday morning,
it's quite obvious that these new C5-R Corvettes will be
reckened with in races to come.

 

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