Corvette drivers visit troops

GM's Chevy Corvette C5-R Team re-enlists with US Navy Navy Officers to be part of pit crew at select races DETROIT - GM Racing and the U.S. Armed Forces will team up over the next several weeks at numerous racing and military installations...

GM's Chevy Corvette C5-R Team re-enlists with US Navy
Navy Officers to be part of pit crew at select races

DETROIT - GM Racing and the U.S. Armed Forces will team up over the next several weeks at numerous racing and military installations around the world. Beginning with a goodwill tour of several U.S. Navy installations following the Corvette Racing team's practice session at Le Mans, key team members, including all six Corvette C5-R drivers, will spend a week visiting military personnel stationed overseas. This year the team will spend time at four U.S. Military locations in the Mediterranean.

"We are very proud of this connection we have," said Gary Claudio, Marketing Manager for Corvette Racing. "This started as a way for GM Racing to give something back to our military personnel by contributing just a little bit to those protecting and serving on our behalf. It's something we - as a corporation - are immensely proud to be a part of. "

Last year, the team toured several sites including the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain bringing gifts, signing autographs and swapping stories with thousands of navy personnel.

Johnny O'Connell, Corvette Racing driver and winner of this year's 12 Hours of Sebring, is looking forward to the return adventure.

"While we were there in 2002, it was a bit strange in that the troops would look upon us as heroes for racing Corvettes," said O'Connell. "They stood in seriously long lines to get autographs even though they had just completed a long shift of their own. Honestly, compared to them, we aren't heroes at all. They are."

The Corvette C5-R team will play host to dozens of U.S. Naval officers throughout the racing season as a part of the Navy Pit Crew, a program wherein ten sailors will be selected from across America to join the Corvette Racing team as special guests at three American Le Mans Series races. The selected sailors will get involved in pit activities and spend time with the Corvette Racing drivers throughout the course of the race.

GM has a long, proud history of working with the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition to various manufacturing efforts throughout American history, the automaker has produced more than 80,000 military vehicles, from largely production-based platforms, since the mid-1980s.

General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny O'Connell
Teams Corvette Racing