Economy or Bust – GM’s Corvette Will Be At Sebring

This years 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will be the last time to see the GT1 Pratt-Miller Corvette in the U.S. With all the deary financial news about General Motors and their bailout(s), the Compuware Corvette C6.R program is going ahead as scheduled. The popular yellow ‘Vettes are to run the GT1 class till LeMans and then the GT2 program for the remainder of the schedule. Pratt & Miller continues as the engineering group and is moving forward and hopes to test the new GT2 car soon. This years Sebring drivers line-up will have a slight change with the winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, Antonio Garcia joining Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the #3 Covette. Newcomer, Marcel Fassler who drove the Corvette for the Phoenix Carsport Team in Europe last year and also made an appearance in the Audi R10 at Road America last year is the new shoe in the #4 C6.R entry. He’ll join GT1 champions Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the three long-distance races. Fassler, the 32-year-old Swiss from Einsiedeln, has also competed in the DTM, the European Le Mans Series, A1 Grand Prix, and the FIA GT championship. Fassler has won the prestigious Spa 24-hour race in 2007 and continued that success in 2008 with five pole positions and a win in Adria, Italy, finishing fourth in the championship.

“Antonio and Marcel have the ability, the experience, and the mindset that we look for in a Corvette Racing driver,” said GM Road Racing Group manager Steve Wesoloski. “We’ve seen their speed on the track, and we know they have the discipline and team-oriented attitude that’s essential for success in endurance racing. Our international driver lineup reflects the global marketing objectives of the Corvette Racing program.”

Veteran, Ron Fellows will be missed but I’m sure you will see him in the paddock assisting, perhaps coaching as well as an ‘ambassadorail’ role as was announced earlier. The GT2 car is all set to go and has some customer cars on order. This is really going to make for a strong field in GT2 and will be the class to watch for some good racing.

NASCAR has made sure the first eighth of the season has seen full field, however many have predicted short fields later in the season. One has to be concerned with the 28 cars entered at Sebring, its premier event. No start and park in ALMS. Many racing personnel still employed, have their fingers crossed hoping their team has the funds to make through the ’09 season. Sebring should be entertaining, it’ll be good hearing the rumble of the Corvettes around historic Sebring.

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