The Chevrolet Corvette C7.R will finally break cover in public this weekend at the Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway.
With the creation of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship the Corvette Racing will enter a pair of the new cars into the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class of the series, with the team of drivers remaining largely unchanged. As previously announced Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, will remain as full season drivers. Robin Liddell and Ryan Briscoe join the team to serve as third drivers for the quartet of North American Endurance Championship (NAEC) races, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month.
“It’s all the small things that have been improved… and there are a lot of small things!” says Magnussen, who won the American Le Mans Series GT drivers’ title with Garcia in 2013. “We’ve all driven the car now and everyone has the same sort of feedback: that it’s a little bit easier to drive, it has less movement and you can feel the stiffer chassis. We are still early with the new direct injection engine but are making progress there also. We haven’t really hit on something where we think, ‘Eh, this isn’t going to work.’ Everything is going in the right direction. We will see what the competition has for us when we get to Daytona. But at the very least, we will go there with a better car than we had last year.”
“Testing the car for the first time was quite challenging,” admits Liddell, who will join Milner and Gavin in the #4 car for the NAEC races. “With the car being new and not being rubbed on very hard, it was a great test and shakedown. At the end of the day, there is a little bit of work on balance and handling. The good news is that the things I was feeling and were sort of finding a little tricky were some of the same things that Olly and Tommy were seeing. So we have a little bit of work to do but that’s to be expected because the car is completely new.”
After initial tests in November at both Sebring International Raceway and Daytona International Speedway the traditional ‘Roar Before The 24’ test at Daytona begins the TUDOR Championship season in earnest with nearly the full race field, including ten GTLM class entries, set to take to track over the three days of running.
“It’s important to know where everyone stands,” said Garcia ahead of the test. “In the end, these are all different cars and they behave differently. We need to know where we are strong and where we are lacking against the competition. The Roar will be the first step for us to learn where we are and where we stand after a short offseason. The Daytona 24 Hours will be the real test to know where everyone stands.”