Chevy Racing–CORVETTE DPs AT ROAD ATLANTA: Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship in Sight

CORVETTE DPs AT ROAD ATLANTA: Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship in Sight
Corvette Daytona Prototype won race, pole position in 2014 Petit Le Mans

· Chevrolet needs a single Corvette DP to start in order to win fourth straight title

· Three Corvette DP teams within six points for Driver’s, Team championships

· Wayne Taylor Racing returns as defending Petit Le Mans winner

DETROIT (Sept. 30, 2015) – The Corvette Daytona Prototype program returns to Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans with two goals: wrap up another Prototype Engine Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet and claim a second straight victory in the 10-hour endurance race.

Chevrolet is on the doorstep of its second straight Engine Manufacturer title in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and fourth straight overall since the program’s debut in 2012. As long as one of the four Corvette DPs entered for Petit Le Mans takes the green flag for the start, the Bowtie Brand will repeat as champion.

“It has been a tremendous season for our Corvette Daytona Prototype program,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager for Corvette DPs. “To be on the verge of winning our fourth consecutive Engine Manufacturer title is gratifying. It has taken great commitments from our drivers, teams and partners to reach this point. There wouldn’t be a greater amount of satisfaction that clinching our second straight TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and then winning our second straight Petit Le Mans.”

There are other titles on the line, as well. Just six points in the chase separate three Corvette DP driver pairings for the Driver’s Championship. Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante in Racing’s No. 90 Corvette DP lead by six points with 36 points available in Saturday’s race.

If Westbrook and Valiante – who will drive this weekend with Mike Rockenfeller – finish third or better at Road Atlanta, they will wrap up their first Prototype titles. The No. 90 Corvette DP has finished on the podium six times in nine races – the most of any entry in the Prototype class.

Each of the four Corvette DPs will use three drivers. Action Express Racing’s two Corvette DPs are tied for second in points heading to Road Atlanta. Defending Prototype champions Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will team with Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP. The trio won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and Fittipaldi was the pole-winner for last year’s Petit Le Mans.

Eric Curran and Dane Cameron also are six points out of first place in the championship with their No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP. They have two victories this season and will drive with Max Papis.

Should either of the Action Express Racing Corvette DPs win the race, they need the Racing Corvette DP to finish no better than fourth in order to win the championship.

Wayne Taylor Racing arrives at Road Atlanta as the defending Petit Le Mans race winner. Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli will team in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP. The Taylors have won two races this season, as well.
Petit Le Mans also marks the final round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup – made up of the TUDOR Championship’s four endurance races: Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans. Based on points from the quartet of events, Barbosa and Fittipaldi lead the Prototype Driver’s standings by seven points; the advantage is the same in the team standings for Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Corvette DP.

In the Prototype Manufacturer standings, Chevrolet holds a four-point lead. Points are awarded at the four-, eight- and 10-hour marks at Road Atlanta; five points go to the leading car, four to second place, three for third place, and two points for fourth place on back.

For the 2015 TUDOR Championship, all Corvette DP cars have been running with updated Chevrolet bodywork that reflects the Corvette C7 production line. The frontal area sees a striking change in design from the previous generation Corvette DP, including updates to the hood surface, headlights and radiator inlet area. The rear window area also has been updated. The Corvette DP will take styling cues from the C7 including the rear taillights.

At the heart of the Corvette Daytona Prototype is a purpose-built 5.5-liter Chevrolet LS9 V-8 engine developed by ECR Engines. The peak output is 560 hp as the power is regulated by a pair of sonic air restrictors that are mandated by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) – the sanctioning body of the TUDOR Championship.

The Corvette DP also features a new engine management system from Bosch Motorsport for 2015 and a continuation of a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle-shift. The brakes feature six-piston calipers with carbon rotors. Without the driver, the Corvette DP weighs 2,285 pounds.

Corvette, Chevrolet on Display at Road Atlanta
Chevrolet and Corvette will be featured heavily at Road Atlanta this weekend. In addition to the weekend’s on-track activities, fans and guests at Petit Le Mans can learn all they need to know about Chevrolet and Corvette by visiting the Corvette Racing Display from Thursday to Saturday in Road Atlanta’s Vendor Village. Among the Chevrolet attractions at the Display include:

• Chevrolet production vehicles such as the 2016 Corvette Stingray, Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel, City Express, Malibu 1LZ and Equinox LTZ.
• Chevrolet specialty vehicles the Corvette Z06 C7.R edition, Corvette C7.R showcar, accessorized Chevrolet Colorado, Midnight Edition Impala and 2016 Chevrolet Camaro.
• Samples of Chevrolet engines, performance parts and accessories available to fans for purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer
• Commemorative t-shirts for fans who sign up with Corvette Racing.

The Corvette Racing Display will be open from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The 18th annual Petit Le Mans is set for 11:15 a.m. ET for Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. It is the 10th and final race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. It will air live on FOX Sports 2, FOX Sports Go and throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m. Flag-to-flag radio coverage also will be available via IMSA Radio.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 5 MUSTANG SAMPLING CORVETTE DP: “We’re focused on the North American Endurance Cup, but we can’t take the focus off the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The challenge got a little tougher after COTA, but we’ve still got a solid shot at the championship. We’ll put a little emphasis on the NAEC; we’re so close, but if we don’t pay attention we can lose it. Hopefully we’ve put a wrap on the NAEC at the four-hour mark, which is a possibility. After that we can control our own destiny and do everything we can. We can’t control the No. 31 or No. 90.”

RICKY TAYLOR, WAYNE TAYLOR RACING NO. 10 KONICA MINOLTA CORVETTE DP: “Last year was an amazing experience and still one of the highlights of my life. It is so special that our dad won the first-ever Petit Le Mans and we won the first TUDOR Championship Petit Le Mans. There were so many reasons that made it a great day – the team executed perfectly, Max and Jordan drove very well, the car was fast, and everything went our way.”

ERIC CURRAN, ACTION EXPRESS RACING NO. 31 WHELEN ENGINGEERING/TEAM FOX CORVETTE DP: “Obviously we are still very much in the championship fight going into the final round of the season so that’s going to be our focus. Anything can happen in 10 hours at Road Atlanta. This track is extremely tough, especially when the sun starts to set and the darkness falls. You’ve got to be alert for lapped traffic, competitors in your class and anything else. The track is not forgiving so typically when you make a mistake, it’s going to be magnified.”

MICHAEL VALIANTE, VISITFLORIDA.COM NO. 90 CORVETTE DP: “We have to treat Petit Le Mans like any other race. Our focus is to win and after a strong test a few weeks ago, we feel like we can do that. Our team has really worked well together and we have constantly tried to improve in our weaker areas. So we’re just going to do what we’ve done all year and treat this like any other race weekend. “