LAS VEGAS (November 4,
1998) - The latest addition to
Chevrolets fifth- generation
family of C5 Corvettes, the Hardtop, is slated to pace an international field of world-class
sports cars at Daytona International Speedways famed road course for the Rolex 24
Hours at Daytona endurance race on Saturday and Sunday, January 30- 31, 1999.
The C5 Corvette Hardtop is the first fixed-roof Vette offered since the legendary
second generation Sting Rays of the 1963-67 era.
"The Hardtop looks fast just standing still, with its classic lines and dynamic
custom paint scheme," said Gary Claudio, Chevrolet Race Shop manager.
Corvettes Hardtop comes standard with a 345-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8
LS1 aluminum block engine, a six-speed manual transmission
(automatic transmission not available), a 3.42 limited-slip rear axle
ratio, the Z51 suspension package, designed for sanctioned racing competition,
and Goodyear Eagle F1 GS run-flat tires.
"Basically the only things we added to the car were chrome wheels, a custom
Corsa exhaust system, and a 360-degree strobe light package,"
said Jon Moss, manager, Chevrolet Specialty Vehicles.
"The car is that good."
International Speedway Corporations vice president of marketing,
Greg Sullivan, welcomes Corvettes world-class image to Daytona with open arms.
"Partnerships like this demonstrate a serious commitment to our fans to
bring our sport to the next level by welcoming premier sponsors
like Chevrolet," stated Sullivan.
Corvettes decision to become the official pace car of the
Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is a key component of Chevrolets strategy
to reinforce Corvettes image as "Americas Performance Icon." Jim
Campbell, Corvette brand manager, is responsible for developing this strategy,
and hes the guiding force behind Corvettes return to the racetrack.
The pace car announcement follows Corvettes unveiling of the newly
developed "C5-R" racing machine, which is based on the C5 Coupe production Corvette
and built to GT2 specs. The C5-R Corvette is slated to enter endurance racing
competition in North America in 1999.