A Conversation with Doug Fehan at the 2011 Petit Le Mans
by Keith Cornett
CorvetteBlogger was on the ground last week at Road Atlanta for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans. We had the opportunity to talk with Corvette Racing’s Program Manager Doug Fehan about the 2nd full season of GT racing, the win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and changes for the 2012 program which including building two new Corvette C6.Rs that are 2 inches wider.
Obviously, the big news from this interview is that Pratt & Miller will be building a new car for 2012. Doug says the new rule change allows them be on par with Ferrari which has been allowed to run a wider car since 2010. The additional width will come from enhancing the flares on the cars as the rules still require the team to use the Corvette ZR1′s production fenders and chassis. Doug adds that the new car will be the focus of testing over the winter break which will start for the team later this month.
The other good news is that despite a report from SPEED saying funding for the 2012 season wasn’t yet approved, Fehan says the program for 2012 is all wrapped up, but the team has to look at the details to make sure the dollars are maximized to ensure the team can do all it needs to (like building new cars).
Lastly, Fehan may have inadvertently given us a tidbit on the C7 program. We were discussing the tire wear that plagued the Corvettes at Laguna Seca in September and I asked Doug if he talked with his Michelin tire engineer Lee Willard about that and what his comments were. (Lee Willard is also the man who engineer the Michelin tires specifically for the Corvette ZR1). Doug responded that Lee wasn’t at Laguna Seca and was back in Detroit working on the new tire for the upcoming C7 Corvette.