There are more than a few hundred stop-and-stare Chevrolets at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
But isn't the NCM all closed up following a natural disaster the other week? No sir. The museum itself consists of six or seven distinct buildings, 90% of which are still open to the public.
Every day, all year long. Business as usual for this all-star local attraction. This is a big summer for NCM already: the 20th anniversary celebrations fill the
summer calendar here.
This article focuses on two things:
-- introducing the soon-completed NCM Motorsports park directly across the big highway from the Museum.
-- highlighting some ideas that have been long-time performance tricks in the Corvette Racing back catalog.
A few things about this track look awesome! The layout is variable with 4.0 total miles of concrete in place as we speak. The main track design is 3.15 miles long, which surely must be one of the longest road courses in all of America. Seriously.
This is a great feature because is means long, challenging laps at super Vmax speeds. The layout is also a dream-come-true for many Corvette fans.
1956 Corvette Sebring RaceCar
Time to see what the cars are really like at sustained 160MPH-plus speeds!
Little things like wiper flutter or odd tire wear complaints will feed info back to General Motors loud and clear.
This alone will probably increase the OEM capabilities of the Corvette models themselves in the future. All good things.
Bring the long-tail Z06 previewed by this blue GranTurismo6 concept car?!
1963 Corvette Z06
Overall, a paradise for the 'Corvette guy' in all of us at this huge hoonfarm of a track.
- Road Course: 3.15 miles in maximum configuration with 4 miles of overall pavement, which can be arranged into four different configurations.
- Autocross / Skid Pad Area
- 21 Acre Paddock
- Control Tower with Meeting Rooms, Administrative Offices
- Commercial Business Park
- Tech Inspection Station
- Fueling Station
The initial phase will consist of a twin circuit arrangement of a two mile / 13 turn west course and a one mile / 10 turn East course which can be combined into multiple configurations. Both circuits will feature technical turns, straights and elevation changes. These two courses could be used independently for multiple events, or connected together into a unique large course.
The track was designed with challenging features that are reminiscent of the famous course in Le Mans, France.
Autocross / Skid Pad Training Area
Variable configurations for autocross and wet/dry skid pad area 21 acres in size.
The facilities and 'garage mahals' are almost done, with much more planned down the road, as shown on the aerial maps.
There is eventalk of some residential installations in the future, making this only the second or third giant track that can compete with Monticello, New York or Spain's Ascari resort for fly-in driving thrills.
Part 2: The Corvette Racing Legacy in 58 Photos at NCM
Engineering reigns surpreme on the Corvette teams, and especially the Corvette Racing crews. The template for street to track transformation has maintained a few constants through the years.
These include a revamped and monstrous grip setup, far lower and harder suspensions than the road cars, and aerodynamic obsession.
Shrouded lamps are one place this bit of aerodynamic intuition is dead-accurate to today's computational fluid dynamics algorithms.
CFD computers basically make sense of aero data from wind tunnels, and visa versa.
Shrouded and hidden lamps appear from the C2 forward on nearly all of these racers.
Headline Graphic Drafts
NCM -- Original Aerial Image Photo Credits: http://corvettemuseum.blogspot.com/2013/06/national-corvette-museum-to-break.htm
In closing: What is the single best thing about the Corvette Racing legacy and its new NCM Motorsports park?
Some very valuable exotic Corvettes may rumble to life before screaming around their own private raceway.
Sounds like heaven to Zora, I bet!