• Jan 2nd 2010 at 7:55PM
  • 36
Corvette C6.R GT2 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in August when General Motors introduced the all-new GT2 class Corvette C6.R, it ran downsized 6.0-liter version of the 7.0-liter V8 from the long-dominant GT1 car. At the launch, Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan told us the 6.0-liter was just an interim engine. With revised GT rules on tap for 2010, GM was already planning a brand-new engine for its race Vette.

Unlike the 6.0/7.0, which is a ground-up race engine that only shares basic architectural dimensions with the production small block, the 2010 C6.R's V8 is a new 5.5-liter unit that will indeed be derived from the production engine found in roadgoing Corvettes. In fact, the 5.5-liter race engine will be built at GM's Performance Build Center alongside ZR1 and Z06 V8s.

Fehan has confirmed that the 5.5 is running on the dyno and will make its race debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. We don't have any additional details on the new engine yet, although we were told earlier that it is based on the next-generation production small-block, which we expect to see in the Corvette soon.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

Corvette Racing 2009 Review: Doug Fehan Q&A
The First in a Series of Conversations with Corvette Racing

DETROIT – Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan has seen it all in motorsports, and he had to rely on every element of that hard-earned experience to navigate through a tumultuous 2009 season. In the midst of a global economic storm, Fehan steered Corvette Racing to the team's sixth win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the successful mid-year introduction of the GT2 version of the Corvette C6.R in the American Le Mans Series.

Corvette Racing's 10th anniversary season was a year of transition. The championship-winning GT1 Compuware Corvettes secured a seventh win in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 21, and made their farewell appearance in the ALMS in Long Beach, Calif., on April 18. The curtain fell on the GT1 era on June 13-14 with a GT1 victory in Le Mans, France, as Johnny O'Connell, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia stood on the top step of the podium. Seven weeks later, two new-generation Corvette C6.Rs made their competition debut in the GT2 class at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

As the team conducted a five-race test program in preparation for a unified GT class in 2010, Corvette Racing posted five podium finishes and notched its first GT2 win at Mosport International Raceway on August 30. In the series' final five rounds, Corvette Racing scored more team and manufacturer points than any other GT2 entry, and O'Connell and Magnussen tallied the most points in the GT2 drivers championship. The season ended with fireworks at Laguna Seca as Magnussen walked away from his battered race car after a high-speed crash on the final lap of the season.

Under Fehan's leadership, Corvette Racing has become one of the world's premier production sports car teams. An ardent advocate for the Corvette cause and an icon for legions of faithful Corvette fans; Fehan received the ALMS "From the Fans" award in 2004, 2008, and 2009. In the following Q&A, he looks back at the 2009 season and looks ahead to 2010.

Q: Looking in the rearview mirror, what stands out in 2009?

Fehan: "There were really two parts to the season – our final races in GT1 leading up to Le Mans, followed by the debut of the GT2 program. Our focus was and will always be the 24 Hours of Le Mans. When GM was going through its restructuring, our greatest concern was that some might not understand the importance and significance of that event. It was a heartening moment when we were able to get past that point.

"In spite of many uncertainties, the team focused its energy on running the first round at Sebring, which we knew would be a great test of the engineering improvements we'd made in the race cars. And then going to Long Beach, we fulfilled the second half of our mission, which is marketing the Corvette and Chevrolet brands and representing our team sponsors.

"Everyone felt the importance of writing the final chapter of GT1 at Le Mans. They dedicated themselves to succeed, and it was absolutely amazing to see them embrace that idea. It fueled their fire because they knew the team was undergoing its most significant challenge, and concurrently they were designing, planning and building the GT2 cars. The preparation was almost as much fun as the race."

Q: And the highlight of the GT2 portion?

Fehan: "The win at Mosport. Watching the new cars' first laps at Mid-Ohio and knowing that we'd be competitive was certainly exciting, but the victory at Mosport was overwhelming. It happened much sooner than we expected, and it showed ALMS fans what they have to look forward to in 2010 with competition between Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, and Ford.

"I think by any measure, the GT2 Corvette introduction was successful. Our objective was to focus on Corvette Racing's core strengths: preparation, durability and reliability. We've learned that is what scores points – it's not always the fastest car that wins races and championships. In five events, we had zero mechanical issues, and the cars were on pace. That was very encouraging."

Q: Surely one of the highlights of 2009 was your stunning victory over Jan "The Flying Viking" Magnussen in the Tour de Road America Bike Ride to Fight Cancer?

Fehan: "That certainly ranks right at the top, but in a different category (laughs). We had some fun, and the race benefited a good cause, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I challenge the pit crews to improve continuously, and the bike race demonstrated to our drivers that there is going to be continuous improvement in their level of physical preparation as well. I mean, they ought to be able to keep up with the program manager!"

Q: On a serious note, what were the lessons learned in Jan's last-lap crash at Laguna Seca?

Fehan: "Unfortunately the hardest lessons you learn in this sport are always safety related. You never want to put your safety systems to the test, but when that moment arrives, it's very reassuring to know that they are validated. That's what we learned at Laguna Seca.

"Initially we had concerns about running an aluminum chassis, and we had concerns about how the roll cage was integrated into the chassis. The force of the impact exceeded 50 g's, and yet Jan walked away. When we analyzed the chassis after the crash, the safety systems worked just as they were designed, and the aluminum chassis did a marvelous job of absorbing the energy and protecting Jan from serious injury.

"The extent of Jan's injuries was a broken tailbone, which we attribute to the seat design. We have redesigned that part to prevent a reoccurrence in the future, so that is the upside of the incident. Despite the severity of the crash, the crew had the No. 3 Corvette repaired and fully operational within a couple of weeks."

Q: What is the status of the GT-spec Corvette customer car program for 2010?

Fehan: "We currently have two customer cars under construction, but we don't yet have confirmed buyers for them. There has been tremendous interest in the GT-spec Corvette C6.Rs, and we think with continued improvement in the global economy, the interested parties will be able to make a commitment. We'd be delighted to see more Corvettes racing in the ALMS or overseas."

Q: While there will be a single GT class in the ALMS in 2010, GT1 will continue in the FIA series and at Le Mans. What's your perspective on the two classes?

Fehan: "A year ago, there was general agreement regarding a unified GT class, which we will see in the ALMS in 2010. The intention at that time was to base the FIA GT1 class on GT cars, with limited modifications to the engine and aerodynamics. Since then, however, Europe has encountered the same economic issues that we have faced in the U.S., and many members of the racing community understandably wish to retain their current cars for financial reasons. Consequently some of the older GT1 cars will now be converted to the new regulations, including several privately owned Corvette C6.Rs, and the ACO has invited these cars to participate at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the economic climate improves, I hope that the decision makers will recognize the benefits of running one GT class at Le Mans and other venues."

Q: Corvette Racing will introduce a production-based 5.5-liter small-block V-8 engine in 2010 in place of the 7.0-liter and 6.0-liter engines used previously. What's the outlook for the engine program?

Fehan: "GM Powertrain has completed the initial dynamometer tests of the 5.5-liter small-block V8, and the race team has conducted the first track test with the new engine. We are quite satisfied with its performance level at this point. We plan to continue development and introduce the 5.5-liter engine package in competition at Sebring."

Q: What are Corvette Racing's goals for 2010?

Fehan: "The ALMS GT championship and victory at Le Mans."

Corvette Racing's next event is the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., on March 20, 2010. The classic 12-hour endurance race will be televised live on SPEED starting at 10 a.m. ET.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It'd be awesome if the new engine had direct injection. It'll especially be necessary if the Northstar is indeed dead and Cadillac has to migrate over to the small blocks.

      It'd be super awesome if it had VVT, the Atlas engines have it. But it still seems like asking a lot.
        Lar7789789
        • 5 Years Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?
        12:54AM (1/03/2010)

        The LS3 already outperforms the new Ford 5.0 engine. 425HP for the LS3, 412HP for the Ford 5.0.


        Really? is that why GM took bailout money and went bankrupt?

        I know you are a GM troll, and Ford hater, but the LS3 doesn't outperform the 5.0.

        Besides, the 2011Mustang with the 5.0 isn't even out yet.

        And how are you so sure that the 2011 5.0 Mustang only makes 412 horsepower? The last few V8 mustangs were dynoed in at higher than what they advertised as you twit.

        • 5 Years Ago
        GM needs VCT, today [2010.5?] for the LS3, L99, LSA, LS9.
        GM's atlas only has VVT-exhaust, for emissions/mileage.

        The viper has variable exhaust valve timing
        The hemi has VCT
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LS3 is a lot smaller than the 4.6, I'd be surprised if it weren't smaller than the 5.0.

        Which motor do I think has stronger internals? The LS3. Why do I say that? Just because I'm biased. There's nothing in the Ford press release that shows it's definitely stronger than an LS3 internally. I think it's hilarious you want to blast on one of the winningest engines in racing and say some new thing you've only seen pics of is clearly stronger. You're all spring on four bolt mains in the new Ford 5.0? All LS engines have six bolt mains.

        As to stroking the 5.0 out. Well, if you're going to stroke out the 5.0, then I'll max out my small block Chevy and use an LS7. Do you think the 5.0 stroked out is going to surpass the 505HP of the LS7?

        Look, the short version is this: if you have the same size block, an OHC engine will have less displacement (which amounts to the amount of empty space inside) because the OHC engine has added a lot more cams, and in this case valves and tappets than the OHV engine. The OHC engine takes away displacement and instead changes the valvetrain so it can rev higher. So it uses the displacement it has more often and makes more power. The OHV revs lower but has that extra displacement to work with to try to make it up. Both are pumping as much air as possible, it's just the OHV engine of the same size takes bigger gulps less often and the OHC engine takes smaller gulps more often.

        But Ford is up against it pretty hard here because the LS3 revs to 6600RPM. That's higher than the 4.6 (an OHC engine) revved to (6500RPM) and only 6% lower than the Ford 5.0 (7000RPM). So the Ford is using all that extra valving to get 6% more revs while the Chevy is using its extra space to take 24% more air in per rev.

        The Chevy isn't low tech, it isn't junk, it isn't poorly made. It's just a differently developed high tech motor that takes advantage of having half as many valves, half as many tappets and 1/4 as many cams to minimize the energy lost running the motor itself and maximizing output.
        • 5 Years Ago
        mike, its honestly depressing that this keeps coming up HP/L is a meaningless stat

        its about as important as hp/camshaft, the CSB makes between 300 and 638 hp per camshaft. compare that to the new ford 5.0... barley 100 hp per cam. so that means the CSB is 3 to 7 times better than the brand new ford.

        dont even get me started on how pathetic ferrari and honda are, have then even broken the 100 hp/ cam barrier yet? obviously their engineers are lazy and dont care about making good engines

        • 5 Years Ago
        LS2: The GT1 cars had DI. ALMS made they remove it from the GT2 cars after a couple of races last season. The reduction in displacement, may mean that they can now run DI again. I am so looking looking forward to this season. The lizards are going down hard.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LS3 already outperforms the new Ford 5.0 engine. 425HP for the LS3, 412HP for the Ford 5.0.

        I'll be interested in seeing how OHV engines get DI, because if you've seen a DI injector, it's really long. This isn't a problem in an OHC engine since they have 7 inches of cams and stuff above the cylinder and it just slots between them, but on a OHV engine the injector would stick up quite a bit unless it is redesigned somehow.

        Think of how far down the spark plug is below the surface of an OHC engine, but how close it is to the top of an OHV engine.

        I'm interested in how the mpg would be affected by DI. I wonder of OHV responds in terms of fuel savings similarly to DI as OHC does or if it responds differently.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Making 13 more horsepower from 1.2 more liters of displacement is not what I would call "outperforming"
        Lar7789789
        • 5 Years Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?
        1:44AM (1/04/2010)

        The LS3 is a lot smaller than the 4.6, I'd be surprised if it weren't smaller than the 5.0.

        Which motor do I think has stronger internals? The LS3. Why do I say that? Just because I'm biased. There's nothing in the Ford press release that shows it's definitely stronger than an LS3 internally. I think it's hilarious you want to blast on one of the winningest engines in racing and say some new thing you've only seen pics of is clearly stronger. You're all spring on four bolt mains in the new Ford 5.0? All LS engines have six bolt mains.

        As to stroking the 5.0 out. Well, if you're going to stroke out the 5.0, then I'll max out my small block Chevy and use an LS7. Do you think the 5.0 stroked out is going to surpass the 505HP of the LS7?

        Look, the short version is this: if you have the same size block, an OHC engine will have less displacement (which amounts to the amount of empty space inside) because the OHC engine has added a lot more cams, and in this case valves and tappets than the OHV engine. The OHC engine takes away displacement and instead changes the valvetrain so it can rev higher. So it uses the displacement it has more often and makes more power. The OHV revs lower but has that extra displacement to work with to try to make it up. Both are pumping as much air as possible, it's just the OHV engine of the same size takes bigger gulps less often and the OHC engine takes smaller gulps more often.

        But Ford is up against it pretty hard here because the LS3 revs to 6600RPM. That's higher than the 4.6 (an OHC engine) revved to (6500RPM) and only 6% lower than the Ford 5.0 (7000RPM). So the Ford is using all that extra valving to get 6% more revs while the Chevy is using its extra space to take 24% more air in per rev.

        The Chevy isn't low tech, it isn't junk, it isn't poorly made. It's just a differently developed high tech motor that takes advantage of having half as many valves, half as many tappets and 1/4 as many cams to minimize the energy lost running the motor itself and maximizing output.




        Huh? are you serious? Chevy is using its extra space to take 24% more air in per rev?

        How old are you 14? maybe 15? or 20 years oldwith the IQ of a 12 year old? That whole paragragh you wrote makes absolutely no nense.

        When you have an ovc engine, there's less moving parts, that a pushrod engine. duh! so what you said is false.

        GM engines are not stronger than Ford engines, seeing how Mustangs are practically always modified, and they always stand up to being supercharged etc

        And Ford has been winning awards for being reliable, GM has won awards for being crappy and junk. which is why GM went bankrupt.


        You may want to do a little research or attempt to at least educate yourself on engine mechanics before sounding like an ass.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Mike:
        Why do you care what the displacement is? It's just the amount of air pumped through the engine in two turns of the crankshaft. When comparing across different engine designes (OHV versus OHC) it's not a good measure of engine size, weight, etc. The 6.2L LS3 is in fact lighter than the Ford 5.0, it's cheaper (going by crate motor prices) and almost certainly smaller too. Do you have something against smaller, lighter, cheaper and more powerful engines?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, a whole 20lbs lighter and its an OHV motor, that's supposed to be impressive? More displacement = more power, and we all know what the numbers would be with a 5.0 stroked to the same displacement as the LS3. Not to mention, which motor do you think has stronger internals?

        You don't know the size of the 5.0, and neither do I, so don't pretend as if you know the LS3 is smaller because they haven't released specs of the fully dressed engine yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dude! push-rods are so outdated. The LF-A will run circles around this old V8 car on the track.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...Troll.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 2012 Corvette is going to be lighter & smaller with a smaller engine. Maybe it will be based off this 5.5 liter.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Quijeeboe: If the leaked UAW agreement is anything to go by, I don't know if it is because a lot has changed since then, but the C7 was at least planned to be built in 2012.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here's the thing though, making the displacement smaller doesn't necessarily make it lighter unless you change the block. Because otherwise, you're just replacing what would be air with more metal. And it also doesn't make it physically much smaller, either. All small blocks are nearly the same size from the 5.7L LS1 to the 7.0L LS7.

        It seems like you'd have to change the bore spacing and reduce the maximum throw so you can make the crankcase smaller. So if they really want a smaller engine, does that mean there's a new small block coming?
        • 5 Years Ago
        LS, they didn"t say the engine would be lighter, just the overall vehicle. Smaller displacement will allow better fuel economy, less chamber to fill, less air/fuel used (everything else being equal) and fuel economy is king in the minds of auto manufacturers right now, especially those that have to answer to this liberal government.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mike:
        If you just want to use less air (and thus less fuel), you can just as easily just use lower revs instead.This reduces friction experienced too, reduces the amount of reciprocation* and reduces the energy lost to spinning masses.

        You can do most of what smaller displacement gives you by just running lower revs except for actually making the engine physically smaller. So I can't see a lot of point in going down to 5.5L displacement if you don't change the block size?

        Good point about GM never saying the engine would be lighter though.

        As to saving fuel, there's nothing wrong with saving fuel. And it's not just a political thing. Go ask a racer if he'd like to use less fuel or more fuel to make the same amount of power. The answer is always they'd like to use less. Less fuel means less weight, less weight means you can accelerate faster, handle better and stop quicker. In fact, I can't see any advantage to using more fuel, no matter what your political leanings.
        • 5 Years Ago
        that is the great hope, a new small block optimized for 4-5 liters (compared to the current block which is optimized for 6-7 liters.

        imagine VVT, DI and turbos on a block thats even more compact than a CSB

        that sounds like win to me
        • 5 Years Ago
        ooh, I forgot to put in the asterisk explanation.

        *Actually it decreases total product of mass reversals per unit time. Which is the same thing that reducing mass while keeping revs the same would do. Reducing this product increases efficiency because it is lost energy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its kind of sad that engines are getting smaller. It will only be a matter of time before every car becomes electric :weeps:
        • 5 Years Ago
        We might not have the standard-issue 454 Chevelle monsters of the 70's, but to have vehicles nowadays with 2.0L engines pushing 300HP is nothing short of incredible, and unheard of during those eras. So what if the LS engines will lose a few cubes in the next generation? They're going to be packed with technology, make the same or more power than the current (awesome LS3) generation, and probably will get more gas mileage to boot.

        Sounds like having your cake and eating it, too.

        I'll let other people at classic and custom car shows have their 7- and 8-liter engines. And i'll want them to fire them up so I can hear them, because they do kick serious ass. But for me, i'll take my LS6 in a C5Z that gets 30+MPG highway and makes 400+HP. Win-win!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lighter, but more powerful *and* more efficient?

        I'll take that.

        Besides, it's not like the Corvette is going to a sub 2l buzzbox.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am with you. While this is interesting racing, it is pretty wimpy compared to the original Can-Am, which I consider to be the zenith of auto racing. I shudder at the thought of the original Can-Am rules extrapolated to today. It would make F1 look like GT racing. Think of the machines that were created over 35 years ago such as the McLaren M8, the Shadow, and ,of course, the 917/30. Now think of what 35 plus years of technology would do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Q: On a serious note, what were the lessons learned in Jan's last-lap crash at Laguna Seca?"

      A: That paybacks are a beyotch... watch out Flying Lizard, you will get yours. :o)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm still shocked there wasn't a huge penalty handed out by the ALMS league to punish the Flying Lizard team. It's one thing to bump into each other, but to run someone all the way to the left side of the track in order to keep them from passing is a major penalty in racing, you have to keep to your line and not go to such extremes to block someone. Heck, even Nascar would have booted the team for trying so hard to block! hehe They were gettting bumped by the Corvette because they were doing so much blocking, and if they don't have the skills to properly keep someone from passing them, then they need to get out of the way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        seriously, that last lap move FL made was one of the dirtiest things i've seen in racing as far as I can remember. It still makes me angry just thinking about it. flying lizard is garbage
        Best wishes to the Corvette Racing Team! might have to install some self deploying spikes on the car lol just in case a lizard comes around.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LS, It's not as though Bergmeister's intention was to put Mags in the opposite wall. After 4 hours of racing, the last several laps were the most intense racing I've ever seen. (I was on top of the hill running back and forth watching the two cars bumping at seemingly every other corner until the last lap when only the Porsche came out from under the bridge) I'm sure the only thought that went through Joerg's mind was "FU, you're not getting by" not "I'm gonna spin this sumbitch and put him in wall." I'm not saying Joerg was in the right, I'm just saying Mags had it coming. Welcome to GT2.

        Anyway, Corvette will be back to wrestle the GT crown from Flying Lizard, and they Lizards won't be giving it up without a fight. To tooth and nail, most likely. Throw in Risi with their F430, maybe Sharp and vOberbeek in theirs, an increasingly competitive BMW squad in the middle of the newcomer's grudge match against the defending champions and we've got a recipe for the best season ever. Hopefully with enough action to forget the fact that Highcroft will be beating their privateer competition senseless with a 2-lap beatstick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you Clavius. That Bergmeister got away with intentionally causing a crash is shocking to me. I can't imagine doing that, what if Magnussen ended up dead? How would you live with yourself? It's not worth it.

        If Magnussen pulls the crap he did, just let him do it and take your chances with the marshals after the race. Bergmeister was clearly done wrong, I would like to think the marshals would have seen it his way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm still pissed at that race ending. One thing to nudge or block but to litterally spin a car out like F.L. did and to have it result in the horrifying (to me atleast) crash yeah.. Payback shall be a bitch this coming race season. Personally I hope they dont make 'em crash but rather just mop the floor in a season sweep of 1st place finishes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe Jan should not have the target, but Jorg had a Ferrari put him in the wall at Sebring in the past. I think Jorg was determined that he was not the one going into the wall this time. Anyway, I believe both Jan and Jorg are on probation for 4 races anyway. I think the payback may have to wait a while.
        • 5 Years Ago
        IOMTT:
        We are referring to the same incident. Salo did push Bergmeister over in a ridiculous move that should have been penalized. He pushed him off track and may have pushed him so he scraped along the wall. But what I am referring to with "put him into a wall" is to spin a car or otherwise hit them so they hit the wall hard (often head on), instead of just scraping it and continuing on.

        In my book, Salo's moves were wrong, Magnussen's were more wrong and Bergmeister's were the most wrong of all (which is strange since he's always been a very clean driver). If it were up to me I would have taken away all of Magnussen's and Bergmeister's race points, effectively putting the 3rd place driver up in first, this on top of the probations handed out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Magnussen was driving dirty his whole career and it was only a matter of time before someone was going to have enough of it. In this case, it was Flying Lizard who had been on the receiving end of most it this past season.
        FL will have an updated 911 for the coming year and we'll have to wait and see how the new mill in the Covette will tip the scales.

        Although I do not agree with Bergmeister's move, Magnussen had something like that coming for a long time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with Vision. He had it coming. We armchair racers can't get too upset at the incident as even Magnussen himself said it was "good hard racing." The Corvette boys have been bullying their competition for the better part of this decade, and come face to face with the best of GT2, they were bound to get a shove back. If the Risi Ferrari had been in the Lizard's place, I have no doubt in my mind that we would have seen a similar result. IMSA saw fit to place both drivers on a 2-race probation and barring that, I fully expect to see the fiercest season in GT we've yet to see in the ALMS.

        As a testament to the professionalism of both organizations, neither team had a single bad word to say about the other but the battle for podium spots in 2010 will be like thing else. I can't wait.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Duh, it was in the interview. So I guess we will see some other Corvette teams.
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