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Earlier this fall there was speculation that Chevrolet would withdraw the Corvette Racing team from the 2008 race season due to a lack of competition. Throughout most of the 2007 ALMS season, the two bright yellow C6.Rs were the only GT1 cars on the track. Corvette fans can now rest easy because the thundering 'Vettes will be back for the full 2008 race calendar. The two-car factory team will run all twelve ALMS races as well as shooting for another class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Even if you aren't necessarily a Corvette aficionado, the distinctly memorable sound of the C6.R hurtling down the track is definitely something worth experiencing, and race fans will be lucky to have another opportunity in 2008.
Corvette Racing to Compete in 12-Race American Le Mans Series in 2008
Chevrolet Factory Team to Run Entire ALMS Schedule and 24 Hours of Le Mans
DETROIT – Corvette Racing, the most successful team in the history of the American Le Mans Series, will compete in the GT1 class in all 12 events on the ALMS schedule in 2008. Chevrolet's two-car factory road racing team will also return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in pursuit of a sixth GT1 title in the world's most famous sports car race.
"Corvette Racing was conceived as a long-term program to showcase the performance, technology, and value of Chevrolet's world-class sports car," said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing. "Since the team's competition debut in 1999, Corvette Racing's success in top-tier road racing has produced a strong return on our investment, paying dividends in marketing, engineering, technology transfer, personnel development and other areas of our business. Corvette is now a performance icon that's recognized around the world, and Corvette Racing's continued participation in the ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be an important element in the global celebration of GM's 100th anniversary in 2008."
Corvette Racing has won seven consecutive GT1 manufacturers and team championships and six straight drivers championships in ALMS competition. The team holds the series' records for class victories (57) and 1-2 finishes (40).
"Our decision to compete in all 12 rounds of the ALMS schedule in 2008 reflects our commitment to our sponsors, our suppliers, and to Corvette enthusiasts worldwide," said Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing Road Racing Group manager. "There is a reason why thousands of Corvette owners attend Corvette Corrals at ALMS events and why the autograph line at Corvette Racing is the longest in the ALMS paddock: Racing is an integral part of Corvette's history and heritage, and we are continuing that tradition.
"Experience teaches us that motorsports is cyclical, and the GT1 category is currently in transition," Wesoloski observed. "Would we like to see more competition in GT1 in the ALMS? Absolutely! But in the absence of season-long competition, we are absolutely committed to controlling our own destiny. We are pushing hard to develop our chassis and powertrain, to refine our race strategy, and to continuously improve every element of the program. We know that the competition at Le Mans will be intense, and we will use the ALMS series to hone the race cars, the drivers, and the team to prepare for it."
Corvette Racing will test two new Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars in February in preparation for the season-opening round of the ALMS series, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, on March 15, 2008.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.