click for a high-res gallery from the 2008 Detroit Sports Car Challenge
2009 will be a transition year for the American Le Mans Series as the GT1 class all but disappears after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Corvette Racing team announced a few weeks ago that it will switch from GT1 to the GT2 class. In an ALMS conference call, program manager Dough Fehan revealed that the engineering work on the new car is done and assembly of the first car will start in the next 7-10 days. Visually, the new car will be almost indistinguishable from the GT1 racer, with the biggest difference being a smaller rear wing. Underneath the skin, the carbon brakes will have to go as they aren't allowed in GT2 so steel rotors will have to dissipate the kinetic energy. Creating kinetic energy will be a new, smaller, 6.0L version of the engine currently used. The GT2 engine will continue to run on cellulosic E85.
The GT2 cars will likely make their competition debut at the Mid-Ohio ALMS race in early August. Before that happens, the GT1 cars will make three final runs at Sebring, Long Beach and of course Le Mans to try and win one more time.
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[Source: American Le Mans Series]