What is known about Corvettes running in the American LeMans racing series.
The Aston Martins have been kicking Corvettes asses since the vette engines
have been limited. Is the engine limit still in place? The vettes also had
a penalty weight added, but apparently it was removed for the current race
(Petit LeMan, currently running Sat. 4:38 Pacific time, on Speed Channel).
There is no news that I can find, but it is a big deal, since if the vettes
are limited it is pure politics.
The only thing they haven't done is put a trailer on it to haul the exception
rule book around the track. It sounds like it's loafing as it runs while the
Astons sound like a whinny bitch on coke. Can't imagine there being any politics
involved, just good clean racing fun. Being a durability race they may be able
to out last the Aston Martins. Don't get me wrong the Aston Martin team is a
good team and they have a good car, they even look fast, just not my cup of tea,
hey what, chap?
They lost at Portland, Mid-Ohio, Houston, Sebring, and won at New England by .19
and Utah by .467 while the C6-R carried an extra dead body (second increase this
year) with a restrictor.
It was still fun to watch the Audi R8 run, some machine.
There's an extensive article about the handicapping going on in the ALMS.
The state it's to keep the racing close to keep other teams involved etc.
It's a business and if one team becomes too dominant, interest wanes. This
happened in the 60's and early 70's when the Corvettes were winning almost
all road racing events and they were completely banned. I guess when you
have the best racing machine out there, nobody else wants the competition.
I hate to sound bad here, but , what have you been smokin'?
Corvettes winning so much they were banned in the '60s and '70s?
Corvettes got their butts kicked by Cobras in the '60s. They survived most
endurance racing because they could hold up better than the Cobras.
Eventually, SCCA equalized the playing field.
Through much of the '70s, Corvette competed with Porsches and other makes in
never a runaway victory.
They were not banned from Trans Am, just ineligible until the mid '70s.
Showroom stock racing was what Production classes started as in the '50s and
early '60s but soon evolved to unstreetable cars. It wasn't until the '80s
that a showroom stock type class was available again for them.
They weren't the only ones ineligible for Trans Am.
Remember, Production classes were for sports cars. Sedan classes were for
Trans Am was a professional Sedan class.
It had nothing to do with discriminating against Corvette.
And the handicapping worked in Corvette's favor. The Cobra was around
2000-2200 lbs with the 289 and about 2500 with the 427. Corvette was about
3200 with the 327 and 3400 with the 427. Tell me who would win? Had the
equalizing rules not come into play, Cobras would have continued to run
Corvette from the race track, as while Chevrolet engineering wanted to build
a competitive race car (Grand Sport), GM management did not and would not.
So Corvette was only able to get marginally better with each change, and
could have never answered the challenge by Shelby.
Same with Porsche in the '70s. They were restricted and weighted to
equalize them with others. Look at any of Greenwood's race cars to see what
it took to beat the Porsches. Do you think GM would have allowed something
like that as a Production car?
Showroom Stock as a class didn't appear until about 1970 for small sporty
sedans. Big bore cars were not allowed, being classes in existing Production
classes. The idea was that Showroom Stock was just that, right off the
showroom, with very little race-prep, such as a BOLT-IN roll bar, fire
extinguisher, and seat harness. These items were safe enough in a small
slow car and marginally unsafe in a car as fast as a Camaro or Corvette. The
reason big bore cars were not in Showroom Stock was due to safety.
For some reason I an unaware of, SCCA decided to bring in a Showroom stock
class for big bore cars in the early '80s. Possibly it was because there
were no big bore Production classes anymore, since A-Prod, B-Prod, A-Sedan,
etc. and become GT categories such as GT-1, GT2, etc. and allowed very
non-production changes like Wilwood brakes, tube chassis, fiberglass body
panels (for metal cars), and so on.
What really ruined Corvettes in racing was MONEY. In the early '60s, you
took your stock Corvette, put in a roll bar, changed tires and raced, much
like many do with autocross today. Soon it became more modifications, until
the car was no longer street legal. This dictated more money as it was no
longer race on Sunday, drive to work on Monday. As the modifications became
more and more, the expensive went higher and higher. Soon it was cheaper to
buy a brand new Corvette than to race an old Corvette.
Today, how many of you have $1000 to $2000 to spend on a weekend? Every
month? With zero return but a trophy? After an initial investment of
$40,000 to $75,000 (in cash, not a car loan).
And if you want to get somewhere productive, make that weekend expense about
$4000 to $5000.
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