Chevrolet unveiled its 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype at Daytona International Speedway today. The Corvette Daytona Prototype will make its competitive debut in the 50th anniversary of the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series Rolex 24 at Daytona from January 26-29, 2012.
“Racing and performance are the founding principles of Chevrolet, and bringing the Corvette Daytona Prototype to GRAND-AM is a tremendous opportunity,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The opportunity for innovation is what makes the Daytona Prototype Class such a good fit for Chevrolet.
“Sports car and endurance racing is an outstanding platform for manufacturers like us to test and learn. The design of this race car incorporates iconic Corvette styling cues and will be immediately recognized by sports car enthusiasts and fans of GRAND-AM Road Racing,” Campbell said. “We are excited to see the Corvette DP compete in the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona next January.”
The new Corvette Daytona Prototype will participate in a GRAND-AM test at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
“GRAND-AM’s new Daytona Prototype concept is aimed at allowing manufacturers to showcase their brand in an exciting, cutting-edge fashion,” said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. “Chevrolet, with its new Corvette DP, has done just that. The anticipation of seeing this new Daytona Prototype compete is building each and every day. This announcement has immediate and far-reaching implications with the potential to change the face of sports car racing.”
Four teams will campaign the Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2012: No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing; No. 10 SunTrust Racing; No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and the Nos. 5 and 9 Action Express Racing teams.
“The 2012 Corvette Daytona Prototype was developed by a multi-faceted effort involving Chevrolet, Corvette Designers, Pratt & Miller and GRAND-AM. Chevrolet also worked closely with chassis builders Riley, Coyote and Dallara,” said Mark Kent, GM Racing director. “The IMSA GTP Corvette Prototype campaigned by Hendrick Motorsports in the ’80s was the inspiration for this new Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype. And, like the GTP Corvettes, the new Corvette Daytona Prototype contains numerous styling cues from the street version of the Chevrolet Corvette.”
Corvette has a storied history of racing-related feats in Daytona. Zora Arkus-Duntov – the father of the Corvette and chief engineer working on the Corvette in the ’50s and ’60s – set a flying-mile speed record of more than 150 miles per hour in a Corvette on Daytona Beach, one of a number of record runs on the beach for him. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Arkus-Duntov turned the fastest laps – 155 miles per hour – in a Corvette SS.
More recently, in 2001, a Corvette driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell, Chris Kneifel and Franck Freon was the overall winner in the Daytona 24-hour. Another Corvette finished fourth that year, with Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins.