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Corvette C6R team a victim of their own success

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Corvette Racing's Future Depends on Aston Martin
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Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | By GARY WATKINS

Corvette Racing will confirm its continued participation in the American Le Mans Series--as soon as the Aston Martin Racing team does the same. GM road racing manager Steve Wesoloski even suggested that questions about Chevrolet's 2008 plans should be directed at Prodrive (which runs the Aston team) boss David Richards.

"As soon as they announce they are coming back, we'll announce that we'll be back," he said. "I think you should ask that question to David Richards and George Howard-Chappell [who also runs Aston racing]."

Wesloski and Corvette program manager Doug Fehan denied they are trying to goad their rival into returning, and they distanced themselves from a Corvette ad in the Mosport ALMS race program that clearly took a swipe at Aston. A picture of a Corvette passing a solitary team member, which just happened to be Howard-Chappell, bore the words: "Corvette: Turning participants into spectators." Wesoloski insisted that Chevrolet's Canadian subsidiary created the ad and had no understanding of the image's significance.

Should neither Aston nor any other meaningful opposition join the GT1 class next season, Corvette Racing will almost certainly end its long-time participation in the series. It has always insisted that it could only justify racing alone for one season only.

"The only thing I can say with any confidence is that we will be at the Le Mans 24 Hour next year," said Wesoloski. He also said that any operation built around Le Mans will not involve a full assault on the Le Mans Series in Europe, something that the team considered for this season.

In the longer term, Corvette is reviewing its options. It is evaluating a step down to GT2, while Pratt & Miller--which runs the team--appears interested in moving up to the new class for prototype coupes that is due to become Le Mans' top class in 2010.

Aston is also evaluating the future of prototypes. Any chance of it rejoining the ALMS appears to hinge on the series giving it some kind of performance break(s) akin to those it received the last time it competed in the ALMS, in 2006.
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It looks like all those "world-class" cars don`t want to compete with all of the world...A lot of talk at Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, etc. but not a lot of action...I guess they are a little red-faced at a blue-collar American sports car beating them blue...So much for all that "pedigree."


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GT1 is the only reason I've ever watched AMLS...I feel Corvette Racing is making a smart move to try to save the class. I also feel the Aston Martins are pretty evenly matched with the Corvettes, so they shouldn't even be considering performance balancing.

The implication is that it would be an incentive to field a prototype like the Audi R10 or Porsche RS Spyder (which are two different sport prototype classes), not a GT1 car. The prototypes always take the podium, while GT2 is closer to stock. GT2 seems the more likely choice for GM, as the prototype class requires a serious investment in engine development almost completely divorced from production use (currently Audi and Peugeot V12 diesels dominate).
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