Chevrolet and Road America recently announced a multi-part marketing partnership that will put Chevrolet (and the Corvette in particular) in the spotlight at one of the world-class race tracks of the United States. Road America, in beautiful Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is one of the most challenging and picturesque road racing courses in America or the world, and it's fitting that Corvette should be a featured model there.
Corvettes have raced at Road America since 1956, just one year after the track's inaugural 1955 season. Bill Mitchell, GM's Vice President of Design, was an avid racer who fielded the original Sting Ray racer driven by Corvette legends John Fitch and Dick Thompson at Road America. Mitchell chose Elkhart Lake as the venue to preview his stunning Mako Shark concept car in June 1961. The lightweight Grand Sport Corvette created by Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov rumbled through Road America's rolling hills with racing luminaries Roger Penske, Jim Hall and Hap Sharp sharing the driving chores. In modern times, Corvette Racing has notched six victories at Road America in ALMS competition. Many notable Corvette champions have made their mark on the legendary circuit, including Tony DeLorenzo, Jim Jeffords, Dick Thompson, Jerry Thompson, John Greenwood, John Heinricy, and of course Ron Fellows and his Corvette Racing teammates.
Per the new marketing agreement, Chevrolet is now the Official Vehicle of Road America, and Road America's famous Corvette Bridge will return to the historic track. Further, the Corvette World Tribute will celebrate Corvette's rich racing heritage on Sunday, August 21 following the American Le Mans Series race at the track.
The Corvette World Tribute will be a Corvette-only day, including a racer's reunion, races for club and pro series including vintage, historic and contemporary Corvettes; a concours d'elegance with expert and people's choice awards; special guests and presentations; 4-mile track touring; High Performance Driver Education sessions, an autocross; parade laps and a vendor marketplace. All racers, performance enthusiasts, collectors, hobbyists and fans are invited to participate in this special gathering.
"As we celebrate Chevrolet's 100th birthday, it's fitting that two icons of American racing, Chevrolet and Road America, join forces," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "Road America has played a prominent role in Chevrolet's racing programs for more than 55 years, and we look forward to even more success at this magnificent venue in the future."
Road America is working with the Registry of Corvette Race Cars to coordinate the Corvette World Tribute. The RCRC is the world's largest online resource for information and photos of Corvette race cars of every generation (C1 through C6) that have raced under the sanction of a variety of series recognized by the FIA.
A ceremony will be held at the Tribute to rededicate the famed Corvette Bridge, which spans the track at the top of the hill at Turn 6. The Corvette Bridge was a signature landmark at the track from 1963-81, and the Corvette logo reappeared on the track crossing in 1992.