- May 26, 2009
What Might Have Been: Corvette LMP1 challenger
Click above for high-res gallery of the Pratt & Miller LMP1 Corvette that never was
Autoblog friend and sports car racing junkie, Mike Laney, recently got the chance to tour Pratt & Miller (a.k.a. Corvette Racing HQ), and besides building the Speed GT Cadillac CTS-V, Pontiac GTO.R & GXP.R, C5-R and C6.R ALMS GT1 Corvettes, the company also makes the ZR1-rivaling C6RS road car. During his tour of the facilities, Mike spotted a wind tunnel model of an unfamiliar race car. As it turns out, the model was the car that P&M had envisioned for Corvette's attack on Le Mans, or rather, a scale model version of that car. As Mike puts it:
"Pratt & Miller had been working on an LMP1 Corvette, due to race in the American Le Mans Series and at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The ACO's proposed LMP1 EVO regulations (then due to go into effect in 2010 or 2011) looked very appealing to GM as it'd give them a way to fight for overall victories and do it with a car that looked decidedly like a Corvette... Due to the economy, regulation changes, and the struggles at GM, this car will unfortunately probably never be anything more than a wind tunnel model."
It's really a stunning model, with just enough Corvette DNA in the styling to make it recognizable as America's preeminent sports car. To think that this might have mounted an assault on Le Mans makes us long for a time not so long ago when the global economic condition was a lot more favorable to racing and the auto industry in general. Heck, we hope General Motors keeps the model around when plans for the C7 get into high gear. Thanks for the inside scoop, Mike!
[Source: Mike Laney]