The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors (GM) that has been produced in seven generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after the type of small, maneuverable warship called a corvette. Originally built in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri, the Corvette is currently manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is the official sports car of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The National Corvette Museum documents the car’s history, hosts exhibits, tours, and the annual anniversary celebration.
A Corvette has been selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car 11 times, most recently in 2012 with a Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 pace model driven by Guy Fieri.
The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R is a grand touring racing car built by Pratt & Miller and General Motors for competition in endurance racing. The car is based on the C5 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette sports car, yet is designed purely for motorsports use. It became one of the most dominant cars in GT categories, with wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as championships in the American Le Mans Series. The Corvette C5-Rs debuted in 1999 and continues to be raced to this day, although the C5-R has effectively been replaced by the Corvette C6.R.
C6.R GT1 (Z06) In 2005, the factory Corvette Team began racing the C6.R to coincide with the new sixth generation (C6) Corvette being released to the public. Private teams, primarily in Europe, continued to race the C5-R for a couple of years before switching to C6.R. Corvette C6.R went on to win its class at every race it entered in the 2005 ALMS season. By the end of 2009, Corvette had clinched four consecutive ALMS GT1 team and manufacturers titles (2005–2008) and three Le Mans 24 Hour class victories in the LMGT1 category (2005, 2006, 2009). 2007 and 2008 races were won by the factory Aston Martin squad’s DBR9. The last official race for factory GT1 Corvettes was the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.
C6.R GT2 (ZR1) While some privateers continued to use GT1 version of the C6.R in Europe, the official factory team Corvette Racing switched from slowly dying GT1 category to much more competitive and popular GT2 class in mid-2009. The new GT2 C6.R used a modified version of the ZR1 model body, but does not have the ZR1 supercharged engine. GT2 rules are based more on production vehicles, therefore the GT2 C6.R naturally aspirated engine was considerably more restricted and less powerful than its predecessor. The car debuted at Mid-Ohio’s ALMS round. They achieved one ALMS race victory in the remaining 2009 ALMS season, and one victory at the final round of 2010 ALMS season, Petit Le Mans. Corvette Racing’s two GT2 C6.Rs also led most of the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, but both cars were forced to retire. Racing in the new GTE Pro class, the C6.R raced in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans with the No. 73 car taking the class victory. The No. 74 car led the class for most of the race but crashed in the morning hours. The C6.R raced by Larbre Competition also took the GTE Am class victory. In 2012, Corvette Racing returned to glory in the ALMS winning 4 of 10 races and claiming the Driver’s, Team, and Manufacturer’s Championships.