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50 Years of Corvettes at Le Mans

Golden Anniversary Celebrations Get Underway for 2010

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1960 Le Mans Corvette

Four Corvettes competed in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans – three entered by Briggs Cunningham. Cunningham's No. 2 Corvette retired at 20 hours, but the sister No. 3 Corvette driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman won its class and finished eighth overall.

Photo courtesy of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans will mark the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette's first participation in the world's most prestigious sports car race. At vintage racing and Corvette meets throughout this year, the anniversary will be celebrated with informational displays, modern tribute cars, and occasionally one of the original Le Mans competition Corvettes. The festivities got underway in April at the C5/C6 Bash at the National Corvette Museum, where GM unveiled a 2011 Corvette designed in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first Le Mans Corvettes.

This month, Chevrolet will celebrate the anniversary with a salute to the Corvette Legends of Le Mans at the American Le Mans Series Monterey race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 21-22. Racing is central to Corvette history, and has been since Zora Arkus-Duntov browbeat GM into making the Corvette a true sports car in the 1950s.

To honor that heritage, the American Le Mans event in sunny Monterey, California will host a special display of historic Corvettes that have raced at Le Mans and will also include appearances by legendary Corvette drivers. Chevrolet will be there in force to give the Corvette Racing team a boost before the big event.

For those who plan to follow this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing will be at Mazda Raceway as the last event before the twin Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars take their transatlantic journey to France. The actual 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on June 12-13.

"It is an honor for Chevrolet to salute the men and machines that have contributed to Corvette's racing heritage at Le Mans since 1960," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Chevrolet Marketing. "They are part of Chevy's longstanding tradition of developing technology on the track to improve the design, performance and efficiency of Corvettes on the street. The hardware has changed dramatically over five decades, but the challenge and excitement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has endured through the years."

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