After dominating the GT1 class for the past few years, Corvette Racing has switched to the GT2 class in search of more competition. General Motors unveiled the revised Corvette C6.R GT2 car this morning, which sports several changes from previous C6.R models.
Perhaps the biggest tweak lies underhood. Moving from GT1 to GT2 required the C6.R’s to shrink, and the GT2-spec LS7.R now displaces 6.0-liters instead of 7.0. A reduction in power (590 hp to 470 hp) and torque (640 lb-ft to 535 lb-ft) accompanies the reduction in displacement, but we’re likely to see numbers shrink even further next year, when the C6.R will use a 5.5-liter V-8.
Team engineers have also modified the C6.R’s frame, which is now based off the hydroformed aluminum frame used in the production Corvette ZR1. Other changes forced by the GT2 class include scrapping carbon ceramic brake discs in favor of steel discs, removing the louvers in the front fenders, and reducing the size of both the rear wing and front splitter.
The Corvette Racing team began prepping the GT2-spec cars, while it simultaneously ran GT1 C6.Rs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We had to take on several challenges simultaneously to execute this program,” said Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing program manager. “We were preparing for our regular race season with the GT1 cars while designing the GT2 version. The cars were being built and tested in the midst of our preparations for Le Mans. The team was multi-tasking to the extreme, operating on a leaner budget and a faster timeline. It was a monumental effort to have these cars ready for the Mid-Ohio race.”
“We’re not running for a championship this year, so we’re looking at the upcoming races as preparation for 2010,” said team manager Gary Pratt. “Our only testing from this point on will be at the races, and we’ll be doing it in the public eye. “Certainly we hope to achieve the same level of success that we did in GT1, but the caliber of the competition we will face in GT2 is very high.”
Look for the updated 2009 GT2 C6.R to make its debut this weekend in the Acura Sports Car Challenge, hosted at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.