FOR RELEASE: May 15, 2002

Corvette Racing to Unveil New Chassis at Sears Point

SONOMA, Calif. - General Motors Corvette Racing will utilize two new chassis at Sears Point Raceway on May 19 while the two "older" and very successful chassis remain in Le Mans, France, fully-prepared for the upcoming 24-hour race in June. The Sears Point race will mark the debut of two newly completed Corvette C5-R chassis for this year's 2 hour 45 minute endurance race at the 2.52-mile Sonoma circuit.

"From a spectator and series standpoint the 2002 ALMS schedule is brilliant," said Corvette Program Manager Doug Fehan, "but from a logistical standpoint it is a nightmare for a team that seriously wants to win at Le Mans and compete for the ALMS championship. With two trips to France, and the Sears race sandwiched in between, we elected to build two more C5-R chassis. We sent the two older cars to the Open Test in Le Mans on May 5 and they will remain there for the 24-hour race June 15 - 16. The new cars are on their way to Sears Point."

The two new chassis, clones of the cars that have recorded victories at Daytona, Le Mans, Sebring and eight ALMS races, will contest the balance of the 2002 races in North America. Following the 2002 Le Mans race, chassis no. 03, the 2001 Daytona, Le Mans and Sebring winner, will be enshrined in the museum with other many of GM's championship and race winning cars. Plans for chassis no. 04 are undecided.

American Johnny O'Connell and Canadian Ron Fellows will drive the familiar No. 3 GM Goodwrench C5-R Corvette. O'Connell and Fellows were the winning co-drivers in 2001, and are well acquainted with the hilly Sears Point road race facility. Fellows has driven a Chevrolet Silverado in NASCAR Craftsman truck series, a Monte Carlo in Winston Cup and the Camaro in SCCA's Trans-Am. O'Connell is also very familiar with the circuit having been a driving instructor at the track's race school for two years. He also recorded a GTP win in 1995 as well as numerous podium finishes in Formula Atlantic.

Veteran Team Corvette driver Andy Pilgrim and Californian Kelly Collins, teammates since September of 2000, will again handle the No. 4 GM Goodwrench C5-R Corvette. Pilgrim has participated at Sears Point in a variety of cars going back to the 1980s, and his resume includes Renault Cup and Corvette Challenge series efforts. Pilgrim and Collins, teamed with Franck Freon, have back-to-back wins at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 2000 and 2001.

Following the May 19th Sears Point race, Team Corvette will continue to test the new chassis before returning to France to defend the class GTS title against an impressive class entry list that includes the Chrysler Viper, Saleen S7 and Ferrari 550.

The Corvette C5-R continues Chevrolet's tradition of racing production-based vehicles to improve the breed and enhance the performance image of Corvette worldwide. There have been more than 1,000,000 Corvettes built and sold since first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in June of 1953, with 33,000+ produced annually.

 

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