Corvette Corrals 2007
As you may or may not know, Chevrolet (www,Chevrolet.com) and the National Corvette Museum (www.corvettemuseum.com) are working together to give all ALMS race fans a Corvette corral for all of the races throughout the United States. I also have heard that there will be a corral at Mosport in Canada. If there is a race in your area, all you have to do is contact IMSA (www.imsaracing.net) and there will be instructions for you to follow. If you have not participated, you will have a real treat. Most of the corrals provide Corvette-only parking, a tent, closed circuit TV, driver autograph session, seminars, a Corvette or two to look at, pace laps, drawings for fast pace car rides, "hot pit" tour, and many other things for the spectators. They are definitely the way to watch a race.
That being said, I will try and put some photos from the events Jackie & I are involved with. If anyone has other corral pictures, let me know and I will try and put them up.
The first race of the season is the 12 Hours of Sebring and we once again helped with the corral. We had a crew of volunteers to help park cars, register participants and help everyone feel at home. I arrived on Wednesday and met the Reliable driver so he could unload the vehicles sent to the track from Chevrolet. What a surprise to see the Daytona Pace Car:
.. which was changed for the race to the ALMS pace car:
.. a Red Genuine Corvette Accessories car, the 2007 Indy Pace car:
.. and Ron Fellows beautiful white Z06. I did say Ron's car and not just a Fellows Z06, since it was VIN number 001 which will be Ron's personal vehicle:
Needless to say, I was very careful with this car!
Enough said, please enjoy the following pictures which are not only ours, but also courtesy of Cindy Manire here with Dr. Dick Thompson:
.. and Howard Brown, here with his lovely wife Sandi:
The night before the race, the NCM hosted a dinner for members and guests at Golf Hammock Restaurant in Sebring. We were very fortunate to have all six of the C6R drivers along with Doug Fehan (Corvette Racing Manager) join us for a few minutes before dinner:
As you can see Johnny O'Connell had a smile on his face:
.. as he left in a cloud of rubber:
Here are a few of the Corvettes parked in the corral:
.. you can tell the Cindy took this one since her husband Dennis is in it along with their two cars, the blue 1967 roadster and their Grand Sport replica:
We were treated to an autograph session with all the C6R drivers in attendance:
Even Jackie stood in line to get some items for the National Corvette Museum auctions:
Dr. Dick Thompson "The Flying Dentist" was honored by Chevrolet and ALMS for all he contributed to Corvette racing history:
All were treated to a few stories of races past. Here he is with ALMS executive Doug Robinson:
He seems to be happy with his plaque and he also received a Corvette Racing Jacket:
Dr. Dick with his lovely wife watching the race:
.. and even sitting in Cindy's car:
At the start of warm-ups, all the fans were treated to a new look for the #3 Corvette. Overnight it was changed from the familiar yellow to white in honor of Ron Fellows. We all had goose bumps as we saw the car flash by:
As you can see, the #4 car was still yellow:
Ron even auctioned off one of his helmets for charity:
He received a word or two of wisdom from Bill Tower owner of #5 Grand Sport:
We also had a few seminars from people like Tom Wallace, chief Corvette Engineer:
.. Harlan Charles, Corvette Product Manager:
..and many other interesting dignitaries.
Before the race all the fans are allowed on the grid to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers. One lucky Corvette fan won the chance to hold the American flag during pre-race ceremonies:
Also, the volunteers were allowed to go on the grid and even get to meet the Michelin Man:
Then with the fly-over the race really began:
Then it was down to business for the next 12 hours. Here are a few of the many pictures taken that day:
One of the advantages of being On-Site Coordinator is that you get to take the winner of the escorted hot pit tour into the pits. It looks like I'm having fun:
As you can see we get as close as SPEED Channel:
.. wait their turn at the wheel. Here comes the number 3 car for a driver change and service:
..and the car is ready to go:
.. and Ron gives Jan the lowdown on the track:
Being in the pits also lets one get up close to "pit out":
.. for a quick driver change:
Along came the #1 team. You will notice that the driver looks happy to get into the car:
.. and after servicing they are ready to go:
Just like all the teams, the first thing to do is de-brief the last stint:
As the sun sinks into the west:
.. it's the end of a perfect day.
We were at the Saint Petersburg corral, but I left the camera home, so the only picture we got was this of Ron Fellows and us:
Hope we get to see you at Lime Rock on July 7, 2007.
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