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Saturday CarToon: Corvette C6.R at Sebring

Driver's Eye view

From  at  GM Authority:

Tommy Milner, one of the more recognizable faces of Corvette Racing, collaborated with the Drive Channel during one of last week’s practices leading up to last Saturday’s ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring. Milner eventually battled out to win the GT Class, making a pass and holding onto the lead with just 15 minutes to go.

In the opening of the video, we find Milner donning his helmet in the Corvette Racing garage, and walking out to pit lane. He then briefly discusses with the crew chiefs before eventually hopping into a C6.R race car, powering away under the cover of night. As always, the raw noise and power of the Corvette C6.R is intoxicating, and there’s plenty of it in this 11:40 minute video.

Published on Mar 19, 2013

DRIVER'S EYE with Corvette Racing's Tommy Milner around Sebring International Raceway. Featured in this video, Corvette Racing's new rear facing radar system.

The blue lights indicate how much traction control activity there is. They will turn red during braking and indicate whether a tire is about to lock up and when it is fully stopped. One of those units is what caused our small fire during the race. They are just a small help to us so we are more aware of what is happening with the car.

How Corvette Racing won the 12 Hours of Sebring: Tommy Milner's Autoweek blog

The 12 Hours of Sebring started off great this year. We had the lead for the first two hours; when Richard took over, he had to pit a few laps short of his scheduled stop because of smoke in the cockpit. There isn't a worse feeling than seeing your car in pit lane with a relatively unknown problem. These things can take a long time to diagnose and fix. My first reaction was, “There goes the race.”

Instead, the Corvette Racing crew identified the problem as a frayed wire that had shorted and caused all kinds of problems with the dash and electronics.

Oliver hopped in and set back out to try and continue to lap while the team could devise a plan of what to do. Our C6.R had lost the function of its taillights, and IMSA quickly pointed out we needed to pit and fix it. A few laps later and Oliver was in. Dave Marin, our crew guy who had spotted the melted wire, just cut the wire to the offending unit, and everything was fixed. We no longer had the “lock-up lights” in the cockpit that indicate if we've locked or are about to lock a wheel under braking, but that's just a minor creature comfort for us drivers. No other issues remained, other than being down a lap-and-a-half from the GT leader.

I was amazed we only lost that little amount of time. It felt like ages while the car sat in the pits. Every second matters in these races, and a lap-and-a-half with nine hours to go in the race is not insurmountable. I knew we still had a shot and so did the rest of our team. Oliver drove a stellar stint to close the gap considerably on the leader, and then a yellow came to put us right with the leaders, meaning we had a shot to get our lap back. As it would shake out, I got in the car for my second stint of the race and came out of the pits buried right in the middle of the GT fight, but still one lap down. I knew this would be our best chance to get back on the lead lap.

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Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

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