Corvette Racing Wins Post-Season Accolades Fellows Named Most Popular Driver, Gongla Wins GT1 Crew Chief of the Year Award MONTEREY, Calif. - The checkered flag at the conclusion of the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna...
Corvette Racing Wins Post-Season Accolades
Fellows Named Most Popular Driver, Gongla Wins GT1 Crew Chief of the Year Award
MONTEREY, Calif. - The checkered flag at the conclusion of the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 21 marked the end of the 2007 American Le Mans Series season, but Chevrolet's factory road racing team kept on winning. Two members of Corvette Racing received special recognition awards in post-season ceremonies: Corvette Racing driver Ron Fellows was voted the Most Popular Driver for the fourth consecutive year, and Ray Gongla, crew chief for the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, was honored as the GT1 Crew Chief of the Year.
The ALMS Most Popular Driver award is determined by the fans in online voting. Fellows focused on endurance races in 2007, driving the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R at Sebring, Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans; he also drove a third Corvette C6.R with Andy Pilgrim at Mosport International Raceway near Toronto. When he wasn't racing, the Canadian star attended ALMS events as a technical advisor and ambassador for Corvette. Fellows is famous for his accessibility, friendliness, good humor, and willingness to spend time with fans.
"It's very flattering to receive this award because it is determined by votes from fans around the world," said Fellows. "I feel fortunate to be associated with Corvette, the most popular car in the paddock. There is a very strong and loyal contingent of Corvette enthusiasts, and that certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to the voting.
"I have always believed that as a professional race car driver, it's important to give as much of your time as possible to the people who are paying to watch you play," he added. "Whether I'm driving in ALMS, SCCA, or NASCAR, I'm genuinely honored when a fan asks for my autograph."
The GT1 Crew Chief of the Year award is selected by the pit lane and technical staffs from IMSA, the sanctioning body for ALMS events. The award was given to Gongla for the second time in three years after he led the No. 4 Corvette crew and drivers Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta to a record-tying nine victories in 2007.
"It really should be a team trophy, so it's an honor for me to receive this award on behalf of the crew of the No. 4 Corvette," said Gongla. "It takes the entire team, drivers, and organization to be successful."
Gongla joined the team in 1999 as a mechanic, and was promoted to crew chief in 2001. He previously won the GT1 Crew Chief of the Year award in 2005.
"I was named crew chief on a trial basis six years ago, so I guess we're still trying to see whether it will work out," he said with a laugh.
-credit: gm racing/cr