January 15, 2014

Horse 1592 - The Lion's Last Bite?

Corvette Racing has, officially, taken the wraps off the racing version of the C7.R at this morning’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car tested at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test from Jan. 3-5 in a checkered, camouflage livery.
The trademark Corvette Racing yellow – which made its mark in the American Le Mans Series – will again be showcased in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Some black accents make up the car, as they have in the past.
As for the car itself, much of the racing C7.R shares DNA with the new 2015 Corvette Z06 production car. Technology transfer between the two represents a large part of GM’s programs, with the racing side working in tandem with Pratt & Miller in Michigan.
- via NBC Sports, 13th Jan 2014.

Seeing that General Motors have decided to pull the plug on Holden's manufacturing operations in Australia and have held the possibility that the lion could be put to sleep and replaced with Chevrolet's bow-tie (in this case bow ties aren't cool), I think that there's a very good case to strap on the gloves and take Chevrolet on in a fight. Since we are talking about motorsport, then that means on the track.

In theory, Holden don't really need to develop an awful lot to take on the Corvette C7.R for the simple reason that they could just raid the parts bin of V8Supercars and have a complete racing car, fully built to FIA regulations in a day or else just take an existing V8Supercar and be done with it if the rules allow.
We found out a decade ago, with Garry Rogers' built 427 Monaro that it is possible to go racing against the world's best and beat them; though that was a bit unfair because those 24 hour races were at Bathurst and local knowledge certainly helped.

Holden themselves proudly boasted that around the Nürburgring, their VF Ute was good for 8min19.47sec; which itself would have stuck the car on pole by 20 seconds at the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race. That sort of performance would be embarrassing for everyone else and struck fear into the chasing pack.
A Ute at Le Mans I think would be brilliant. Of course you can't have a Ute without a dog; so a couple of Blue Heelers might be handy for balance. They could lean into corners and bring the lap times down even further.

Kenneth Wolstenholme of BBC commentary fame once said that "if you've been beaten badly, the only proper way to get revenge is to play harder, better and more nobly". If at the start of motor races they say "Gentlemen, start your engines", then possibly the only last way for the gentlemen at Holden to extract any sort of revenge with Detroit is to play harder, better and more nobly and beat them in the crucible of motor sport. Really there's very little other way for them to fight back at all, considering that the decision to give chop off the lion's head has already been made.

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