ShakeDown Asks: Is Corvette Racing the Greatest American Racing Brand?
When it comes to racing, Corvettes have a storied history. Highlights on their racing resume include wins at Daytona, Sebring, and LeMans, the C4 Corvette Challenge Series, and ALMS dominance over the last decade. In the ShakeDown episode after the break, host Leo Parente takes a brief look at Corvette Racing from its inception all the way up the recent American Le Mans Series GTE title and the Grand-Am Engine Manufacturers Championship in the Corvette Daytona Prototypes.
In the 9-minute video below ShakeDown takes a high-level look at Corvette’s extensive racing history. They briefly review each of the 6 generations and their respective places in Corvette racing history.
Beginning with the C1′s Parente talks about early participation in the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico and the Corvette SS racer. Interestingly, he doesn’t mention the famous 1960 Le Mans win. With the C2′s they, of course, touch on the Grand Sports and their support from Duntov. The C3 portion covers the success in Europe and partnerships with racers like John Greenwood.
Next up is the fourth generation and participation in IMSA and the popular Corvette Challenge Series. The video winds down by covering the recent factory-sponsored C5 and C6 efforts and their repeated success on the ALMS and Grand Am circuits. There’s even mention that Pratt and Miller is already working on the C7R.
So, is there another American brand that’s more celebrated than Corvette? We don’t think that there is (of course we’re biased, though!). When you look at other American marks you logically look at names like Shelby or Mustang. Chrysler and Ford both have enjoyed numerous triumphs in NASCAR in the U.S. Ford dominated LeMans with the GT40. Even AMC enjoyed success in Trans Am back in the 1970′s. Have any of these other marks had the long-running national and international success that America’s sports car has? Simply stated: No.
This is an interesting topic and we?d love to hear what you have to say so feel free share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.
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