As a European, I must salute you. The two Corvette C7.Rs were simply amazing at Le Mans. And not just because of those burnouts.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the greatest race in the world, and while it certainly works without Americans, having a few stars and stripes around always makes it more exciting. Just think of all those GT40s back in the day!
The C7.R is no GT40, but Chevy's newest racer built by Pratt & Miller for the GTE Pro and USCC GT classes. It's no GT40 because it's not a prototype and also because they couldn't beat Ferrari at Le Mans this time: The #73 car finished second behind a 458 Italia while #74 got the fourth place thanks to a rapid 911 RSR.
Still, great results from a pair of brand new cars fighting against the best of Europe, especially with Cadillac's paint from the early 2000s quietly fading away in the background as a constant reminder of previous GM failures at Le Mans.
I already knew how much freedom a pussy magnet yellow Corvette Stingray can spray all over the place at the time I entered Corvette Racing's garage, but the road car is nothing compared to what hits the circuits all over the planet. The C7.R is so wide and so low that I'm pretty sure this is what GM had in mind in the first place.
They didn't make a big fuss about it. While we enjoyed Audi's hospitality, no journalist was putting countless Jack Daniels on GM's tab this time around. Yet, there's a story to be told, and it's about being awesome.
The team worked fast. One minute, the #74 car was just a bare chassis, a bit later, it became a deadly predator getting hungry for some action. The theatre was all there, too. While in the garage, the drivers' heads got photoshopped to bikini model's bodies to keep the guys entertained, outside, the racing world's best pit lane markers sent out the message that the sheriff and his deputy are in town.
Finding the grey/black checkered floor pattern reappear in the carbon weave of the body panels was a nice touch too.
You knew when one of the Corvettes was coming, that's for sure. No replacement for displacement plus very short tubes linked to beefy side pipes. That's the American way, and it works like no other. A proper thunderstorm is what these Corvettes generate, literally all-day-long. We said fuck yeah so many times, I lost count.
Even the Aston Martin V8s wearing a Gulf livery had to make due with the second place as far as badassness went, because the Corvettes simply put a bigger smile on the faces of the audience. Mind you, most of them (including myself) weren't American , so that was all thanks to their presence on the track.
Guess who was the only team whose car did a burnout after crossing the finish line?
The C7.R is no GT40 mostly because it's American. Maybe that's what made me eat a cheeseburger in France. Congratulations!
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik