With thanks to the good people at Corvette Racing, and following on from our recent rundown of the earlier C5-R, here’s the story extended, into the final era of GT1 ‘Corvetteness’, the multiple Championship-winning (and twice Le Mans 24 Hours class-winning) C6.R.
The car was in factory competition from the start of the 2005 season through to the end of 2009 with four consecutive Manufacturer, Driver and Team championships in IMSA competition. The C6.R carried on in privateer competition until 2011 (with one car active in contemporary competition until 2015)!
Along the way there were race wins in FIA GT (including an overall win at the Spa 24 Hours in 2007), class wins in the Le Mans Series and race wins and a Championship win in the FFSA GT Championship.
A C6.R holds the place in the history of winning the last ever GT1 race in 2011.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-001
A new era in Corvette history began with the debut of the C6.R in 2005. Chassis C6R-001 was driven by Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell, who scored the first win for the sixth-generation Corvette at Road Atlanta with additional victories at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma. After the 2005 American Le Mans Series season, it was sold to GLPK Carsport. It went on to win the 2007 Spa 24 Hours and raced on with the team, and partners Phoenix Racing until 2010 when it took part in the FIA GT1 World Championship.
Remarkably its international career wasn’t over, now in the hands of V8 Racing from the Netherlands it went on to set pole position (in much-restricted form), at the Dubai 24 Hours in 2014 and raced there again the following year. The first C6.R was also the very last in contemporary competition.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-002
Corvette C6R-002 is perhaps the most honoured Corvette chassis in modern history. It 15 wins in 76 races with seven coming from the trio of Oliver Gavin/Jan Magnussen/Olivier Beretta including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005. It also won the 2005 ALMS GT1 Championship before moving on to a long career in Europe with first PSI Experience then DKR Engineering who ran the car under their own name, and that of Sangari Team Brazil and Mad Croc Racing, the car was winning in FFSA and FIA GT series as late as 2009 and continued in front-line competition to the very end of GT1 in the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-003
Corvette chassis C6R-003 raced 13 times with the factory squad in a high-profile GT1 battle in the 2006 American Le Mans Series. It claimed victory at Road America that year and was a third Corvette entered (in the white livery shared with the Ron Fellows edition road car) for the Mosport round in 2007 for Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim. This chassis also won twice in 2008 Le Mans Series competition with Luc Alphand Aventures and raced with the team at Le Mans too as well as in FIA GT and FFSA GT competition.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-004
Another Corvette chassis that raced with distinction, C6R-004 won five of its 11 races in 2006 with the factory program including four straight in the American Le Mans Series to start: Sebring, Houston, Mid-Ohio and Le Mans. It also won at Portland and gave Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta a second straight ALMS GT1 title.
The car was one of a pair acquired for European competition by Luc Alphand Aventures.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-005
Corvette chassis C6R-005 featured Jan Magnussen’s addition to full-time duty. Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell won three times in the 2007 American Le Mans Series’ GT1 class, a season that saw the car wear special liveries twice – in ‘Arctic White’ to match the ‘Ron Fellows Special Edition’ road car at Sebring and in ‘Jake’ colours at Laguna Seca.
Chassis 005 went on to take multiple FIA GT wins in private hands with Phoenix, Carsport and Peka Racing, including the win at the 2009 Spa 24 Hours with Mike Hezemans, Anthony Kumpen, Kurt Mollekens and Jos Menten, finishing its career as one of the last racing survivors as one of the pair of Phoenix Carsport cars in the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-006
Corvette chassis C6R-006 was another dominant force in the hand of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the 2007 ALMS. They claimed nine wins in 12 events including the 12 Hours of Sebring with Max Papis. Unsurprisingly, those results led to another ALMS GT1 Championship. The car finished the season in celebratory ‘Jake’ livery at Laguna Seca. After the car was sold to SRT, Marcel Fässler drove it to a victory in the FFSA French GT Championship.
The car was used as late as 2011, the final year of GT1 machinery in the FIA GT1 World Championship – running as a ‘Mad Croc’ entry the previous year before finishing its racing career in the colours of Exim Bank China where this car holds the historic honour of winning the final two GT1 races in the class’s history thus far, at the end of the 2011 season winning both races at Argentina’s astonishing San Luis circuit.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-007
One of the final Corvette GT1 chassis went out in a big way! Corvette C6R-007 won 10 times in 15 races between 2008-09. Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen won the 2008 ALMS GT1 title with eight wins in the category’s final full season. They won the Sebring 12 Hours back-to-back and went out a winner at Le Mans in 2009 with Antonio Garcia.
CORVETTE CHASSIS C6R-008
The end of the ALMS GT1 era saw four wins in 15 events for Corvette chassis C6R-008 and the Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta duo. Among them was a win at home in Detroit in 2008. Its final win for Corvette Racing came at Long Beach in 2009, the final GT1 race in ALMS.
#008 also raced in black livery in 2008 at Sebring and Le Mans.