I was lucky enough to be around the internet this afternoon to watch the streaming video of the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype race car for the Grand Am series. I have to be honest, I was apprehensive about what I’d see because the Daytona Prototype class by and large has been an ugly group of race cars. As the streaming presentation began, though I was pleasantly surprised to see what appeared to be a very nice shape under the cover on the stage. The twitter community of race fans was assembled watching and one of the first things I tweeted was “I like the shape I see under the cover, can’t wait to see what the car looks like.” Then they called the France family to the stage and unveiled the car.
That is without a doubt the best looking
#GrandAm Daytona Prototype yet.
That is exactly what I thought and tweeted as soon as they took the cover off of the car. Unlike previous Daytona Prototypes, the looks like a race car, not a toad on wheels. It’s a sleeker car and if it races as good as it looks, the Ganassi BMW will have serious competition. The basics of the Daytona Prototype are there in the greenhouse, the wing, and the tail but the rest of it looks more like a car than previous DPs have. You can definitely see the Corvette influence in the nose and to an extent in the rear quarter of the car. When you see this race car, you do think Corvette. Several observers have pointed out the resemblance to a Saleen as well and there is some of that to be seen, particularly the treatment behind front wheels. Personally I don’t consider that to be a negative.
I do question the color they unveiled the car in though. Blue? In Corvette’s recent racing history, the predominant color has been yellow, namely Competition or Millennium yellow. It was the color that Corvette won with in the 24 Hours of Daytona, it was the color that they won with in the 24 Hours of LeMans, it was the color they won GT1 championships in ALMS with; GM and Chevrolet should have carried on and represented that racing heritage by presenting the car in yellow!
The four teams racing the Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2012 will be:
- Wayne Taylor Racing
- Spirit of Daytona
- Action Express Racing
The Spirit of Daytona team may be one to watch in the 24 Hours of Daytona. They have assembled a crew of winning drivers from their ALMS and LeMans efforts: Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen. Those three drivers have a lot of endurance racing experience under their belts and a lot of experience with Corvette. Nothing against the other three teams but I have to think that Chevrolet and Corvette will be throwing a lot of weight behind their stars.
I can’t wait for 24 Hours of Daytona testing and the 24 Hours itself!