Corvette Racing discusses some of the challenges involved in running both races this weekend.
In the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Circuit at the Americas, Corvette Racing will be running a car alongside the rest of the GTE-Pro category in the lone American race in the 2014 WEC season.
Corvette representing American muscle in WEC
Corvette Racing will be one of the two American teams competing in both events with nearly the same car, the other being Extreme Speed Motorsports with their LMP2 Honda. The ESM car has different tires and a few other small components, so how different is the Corvette?
The rules are a little different where they’ve made some BoP changes in the TUSC class, so it’s basically the same spec that we raced at Le Mans
Corvette Racing's Gary Pratt
Team manager Gary Pratt talked to Motorsport.com about preparation and how different the WEC car is from the Tudor United SportsCar Championship car.
Gary Pratt talks about prepping car for Six Hours of COTA
“The rules are a little different where they’ve made some BoP changes in the TUSC class, so it’s basically the same spec that we raced at Le Mans, a little bit smaller restrictor but only by 0.1 mm. But basically it’s the exact same spec [except for] weight, a little bit bigger restrictor for the WEC, a little bit lighter and it’s running on gasoline instead of on E85,” Pratt told Motorsport.com
“We were able to prep our test car and bring it up to the latest spec that we currently race. Just getting the electronics to the latest spec was probably the most difficult part and we were fortunate that we had a longer break in between races so that allowed us to really do this,” he elaborated.
Different race strategies between TUSC and WEC
As for the strategy between the two races, there will be a couple of differences, especially considering the traffic. During the team’s last six hour race, there was a large field of 50+ cars at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen for TUSC. However, in the WEC race, there will be fewer than 30, so navigating on track will be extremely different, as Pratt spoke to.
The traffic’s going to be different, there’s a smaller group of cars in terms of the class structure, and the differences in speeds between them
Corvette Racing's Ben Johnson
“Working through traffic with not as many GTD or GT3 cars out there, it’ll all be GT2 cars with amateur drivers in an amateur class, so I think that it’ll be a lot less slower cars to work through,” Pratt said.
Team strategist Ben Johnson elaborated on that topic.
“The traffic’s going to be different, there’s a smaller group of cars in terms of the class structure, and the differences in speeds between them. How the different classes of cars stack up to one another is different, not that that dictates a lot of how you call the race but I think traffic and how that affects the race is going to be a different variable between those two [races],” Johnson explained to Motorsport.com
The last two big hurdles will be what takes place between the races. The first one will be making sure Tommy Milner will be ready to drive in the WEC race. Milner will be driving in the TUSC race that ends only a couple of hours before the WEC race so he will have to get rehydrated and fit to drive in the race later on.
Logistics of running double duty
The second hurdle will be getting the garage area set up for the WEC race after the TUSC event. Pratt spoke about the logistical hurdle.
“We have to get a fuel rig set up by the garage and then we’re going to operate out of the garage, we’ll bring our super cart into the garage instead of out on pit lane and we won’t have anybody out at the wall, it’s all going to operate out of the garage,” Pratt revealed to Motorsport.com.