While we’re probably not going to see the latest, greatest street Corvette revealed at the Detroit Auto Show this week, Chevrolet still unleashed their 2017-spec Corvette C7.R race car on Daytona International Speedway for the Roar Before the 24 test weekend. Well, they did until it went down in flames.
The No. 4 Corvette C7.R of 2016 24 Hours of Daytona winners Corvette Racing caught fire coming at Turn 1 during the first test session of the day on Sunday thanks to a malfunctioning fuel injector line, reports Racer.
Fortunately, ex-Audi World Endurance Championship driver Marcel Fässler was able to pull the hottest new Corvette yet over safely and escaped harm.
Because the car uses a high-pressure direct fuel injection system to feed the C7.R’s big V8 engine, the team told Racer that any leaks can coat the engine bay pretty fast and tend to be pretty catastrophic. This time, the fuel fire torched the windshield, bodywork, and numerous items in the engine bay, however, the team does not believe the No. 4 was damaged enough to necessitate the move to a spare car for the upcoming Rolex 24.
Curiously, this fuel fire happened exactly 364 days after the No. 4 Corvette suffered a fuel fire at last year’s Roar Before the 24. While that fire was a smaller one at the rear of the car, it all worked out well in the end: the team still put the car back together in time to claim a 1-2 GT Le Mans class win at the Rolex 24 just a couple weeks later.