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Just curious. I plan to catch the races this year on TV, but wondered what it was like to go and see them.

:huh:
 

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Make a trip up to RA this year. They put on a great show and possibly the best part is access to the cars on Thursday-Fridays. I don't make all the races at RA but I normally go up Thursday or Friday depending on their schedule. Crowds are small and the practice sessions can be intense as well.
 

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Nothing like seeing them in person at RA and watching them go down the straights. I had a great time last year. The C5R didn't sound like I thought it would :(
 

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I agree with you on the sound issue. The sound is not what you woudl expect. Almost sounded like big block low RPM motors. Almost sounded like a Sunday drive and short shifting!!
 

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I'm planning on hitting RA myself this year... finally. One of the guys I'm stationed with can get tickets for free, so I'm told. His brother-in-law works and races at RA. Hoping this pans out for me. :excited:
 

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Onyx Black said:
Just curious. I plan to catch the races this year on TV, but wondered what it was like to go and see them.

:huh:
Go to

http://www.rjsmith.com/corvettes-at-laguna-seca-alms-race-2002.html

to see photos I took of the 2002 Laguna Seca ALMS race, the only 2002 race not won by the Corvette Racing team.

It's worth going especially if you get paddock passes and mingle with the race teams. For the most part they are very accessible (they gotta keep the sponsors happy) and they will pose for photos and sign autographs. The Pratt & Miller Corvette Racing team is a friendly bunch, but so are the Viper team and the Olive Garden Ferrari team. In fact, the Italians are probably the most gregarious team in ALMS. They will let you photograph everything on their car (don't try that with the ProDrive Ferrari team, I took a photo of their engine and they had a cow).

If you really want to get into it, get a Racing Radio scanner and headset. You can listen to the pit-to-car communication and also listen to the ALMS rAdio network broadcast of the race as well as the SpeedTV audio of the race. That makes watching from a grandstand seat a lot more informative, since at most tracks you can only see a few corners (sometimes only one).

You will not see as much of the race as you would on TV, but the experience is much more involved. There is no mistaking the Chevy/Katech V-8 in the C5-R, especially when they accelerate out of a slow corner. The damned ground shakes.

I posted a reply to Patrick's posting of the ALMS schedule. See that response for a list of the best tracks. I've been to all of them and if you can make it to any one of them you'll have a great time. Don't waste your time at a temporary street circuit. There is no comparison between those and an honest-to-God road racing course like Mosport Park, Road America, Laguna Seca, or the grand daddy of them all, the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans.

If you get the chance to go to Le Mans be prepared for somewhat of a shock. The Europeans love Corvettes, and cheer practically everytime the C5-R goes by.

Ray
 

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Chalky said:
I agree with you on the sound issue. The sound is not what you woudl expect. Almost sounded like big block low RPM motors. Almost sounded like a Sunday drive and short shifting!!
They run high (numerically low) rear end ratios (2.58:1) for Road America since it has three very long fast sections (main straight, between turns 3 and 5, and from the exit of the Carousel through Canada Corner) where top speed is important, and few low-speed corners (5, 6, and 8). They run the same rear at Le Mans. That is why it sounded low RPM. It takes longer to rev to the redline with a high rear.

When they race at a track like Laguna Seca or Mosport Park they run lower (numerically higher) ring and pinion sets (3.54:1) since the torque multiplier effect gives them more grunt coming off slow corners. For street circuits (R.F.K. Stadium and Miami) they go to 3.90:1 or 4.11:1 for even more grunt. Since there are no long straights, the limit on top speed induced by the lower rear is immaterial. At these races the engines rev to the shift point much quicker (in terms of distance).

And by displacment standards (rather than by block casting dimensions) it is a big block, 427 Cubic inches (6.9 Liters), redlined at 6,800rpm.

I have stood next to these cars in the paddock at a total of 9 races (7 ALMS, 2 Le Mans) and you can feel the vibration from the exhaust through the soles of your shoes.

Ray
 

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Shark Bite said:
That's pretty interesting Ray, you are a wealth of knowledge. I think I am going to see some of those races, depends on my summer schedule....

:surprised
You aren't far from Laguna Seca. You could drive down on a Friday morning and arrive in time for practice. The race is Sunday afternoon. You also get to see the SpeedTV Speed Challenge race with Z06s entered by Phil McClure, David Farmer, and Roy Boysal.

They are widening the 101 south of San Jose, before the turn-off for Monterey, and it was a pain last September, but it should be finished before the next race.

Get yourself a scanner and a headset. You used to be able to rent them at the track but I didn't see the Motorola people at the track last year. Check out

http://www.racingradios.com/

for information on scanners and headsets. Not only can you monitor the radio, but the headset protects your ears when you're near the cars in the paddock and in the grandstand.

Tip: set your VCR (or Divo) to record the race, then watch it when you get home. It fills in the gaps that occur when you attend a race, since you can't see every corner. For example, when the #3 C5-R caught fire at the corkscrew we could see the smoke from over on the pit straight, but didn't know that Johnny O'Connell had to grab a fire extinguisher from a course marshal and battle the blaze himself. We saw that on the tape. We saw the car after the fire, in the paddock, and were amazed that the Pratt & Miller crew put it back together for Petit Le Mans.

Maybe we'll see you there.

Ray
 

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I went to the race at Sebring last year, very :cool:. I prefer watching the actual race on TV, I find it easier to follow what's happening. But I like being at the track for practices and qualifiying and i'll probably be heading up to RA a few times this summer on Thursdays or Fridays.
 

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I watched the last three Roplex 24 hr races at Daytona including the C5-r overall win. With Paddock passes it's great to get up close before the race. (especially when the Earnhardts raced together)

It was really neat to watch the race live and then follow the action through the night on Speedvision (Speedchannel) and then go watch the end of the race live!

The factory C5-R's have been missed the last two years at Daytona but the privateer vettes have done quite well anyway!

It would be great to see them at Daytona in 2004 but I don't believe that will happen!
 

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RED Z06 said:
I watched the last three Roplex 24 hr races at Daytona including the C5-r overall win. With Paddock passes it's great to get up close before the race. (especially when the Earnhardts raced together)

It was really neat to watch the race live and then follow the action through the night on Speedvision (Speedchannel) and then go watch the end of the race live!

The factory C5-R's have been missed the last two years at Daytona but the privateer vettes have done quite well anyway!

It would be great to see them at Daytona in 2004 but I don't believe that will happen!
I bet that was very exciting. I hope to get to a race this year!
 
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