Chevrolet have unveiled the latest in the new breed of Daytona Prototype, taking the covers off the Corvette DP racer as preparations begin for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
The new car will be run by four different teams at Daytona International Speedway for the January 26-29 event. The four teams are all established Grand-Am outifts – Spirit of Daytona Racing, SunTrust Racing, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and Action Express Racing, who plan to enter two cars in the race.
The new look car, aesthetically, marks a significant departure from the much maligned Daytona Prototype designs of previous seasons.
“Grand-Am's new Daytona Prototype concept is aimed at allowing manufacturers to showcase their brand in an exciting, cutting-edge fashion,” said Grand-Am President Tom Bledsoe. “Chevrolet, with its new Corvette DP, has done just that. The anticipation of seeing this new Daytona Prototype compete is building each and every day. This announcement has immediate and far-reaching implications, with the potential to change the face of sports car racing.”
“Racing and performance are the founding principles of Chevrolet, and bringing the Corvette Daytona Prototype to Grand-Am is a tremendous opportunity,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The opportunity for innovation is what makes the Daytona Prototype Class such a good fit for Chevrolet. Sports car and endurance racing is an outstanding platform for manufacturers like us to test and learn. The design of this race car incorporates iconic Corvette styling cues and will be immediately recognized by sports car enthusiasts and fans of Grand-Am Road Racing. We are excited to see the Corvette DP compete in the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona next January.”
The Corvette name is familiar to motorsports fans through the works teams in ALMS and Le Mans competition but, says Mark Kent, GM Racing Director, the new car owes much to a less well known racing Corvette.
“The IMSA GTP Corvette Prototype campaigned by Hendrick Motorsports in the ’80s was the inspiration for this new Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype. And, like the GTP Corvettes, the new Corvette Daytona Prototype contains numerous styling cues from the street version of the Chevrolet Corvette.”
The new car will take part in testing on Wednesday 16 November at Daytona International Speedway – the first on track step towards trying to repeat the overall victory scored by Ron Fellows Johnny O'Connell, Chris Kneifel and Franck Freon in 2001 for the Corvette name.