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Corvette Racing’s V8 wins prestigious award

16th November 2006 Print
General Motor’s small-block V8 added another accolade to a long list of honours when Corvette Racing's LS7.R was named the Global Motorsport Engine of the Year at the inaugural Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany on November 9.

The race-prepared LS7.R engine, which shares its architecture with the production LS7 small-block V8, propelled Corvette Racing to its fifth GT1 class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 18, 2006. The 7.0-litre engine also powered the Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars to the 2006 American Le Mans Series manufacturers’, drivers’ and teams’ championships with a perfect reliability record.

”Winning this award is another milestone in the history of the legendary GM small-block V8,” said GM Racing Director Mark Kent. “The championship-winning LS7.R has evolved into a very high level of development, yet it retains the longstanding virtues of compact size, simplicity, reliability and high specific output that have made the GM small-block V8 the world’s most successful production-based racing engine.”

The 2006 Race Engine of the Year Awards were organised by Race Engine Technology magazine. The editors made three nominations in each of the four categories: Grand Prix Engine of the Year, Global Motorsport Engine of the Year, North American Race Engine of the Year, and Alternative Power Race Engine of the Year. The magazine then invited votes from 50 key race engine engineers representing the spectrum of motorsports.

”Never before have so many experts voted for a competition engine award,” said Race Engine Technology editor Ian Bamsey. “Each of the category winners was a genuine selection by an impressive jury of peers.”

The Global Motorsport Engine of the Year award was given to GM engineer Roger Allen, engine manager for Corvette Racing. Herb Fishel, former director of GM Racing, accepted the award on behalf of Allen and GM Racing at the ceremony. The Corvette Racing program was conceived in 1996 under Fishel’s guidance.

”Winning this prestigious award spotlights the technical expertise of GM Racing and the world-class team of partners and suppliers who have contributed so much to the success of the LS7.R engine,” said Allen. “Winning at Le Mans, winning the ALMS championships, and winning this award are all tributes to the teamwork of Pratt & Miller Engineering, Katech Engine Development, and all of the LS7.R component suppliers.”

The LS7.R is the heir to the GM small-block V8’s winning tradition that began in 1955. The small-block V8 is the foundation of the hot rod and high-performance industries and the cornerstone of racing series around the world. GM has produced approximately 90 million small-block V8 engines with a combined output of 27 billion horsepower.

GM Powertrain developed the production 512 horsepower LS7 small-block V8 that powers the Corvette Z06 using many competition-derived components and design features. The LS7 bristles with race-inspired technology from Corvette Racing, including titanium connecting rods and inlet valves, a dry-sump lubrication system, CNC-ported cylinder heads, a forged steel crankshaft, and a big-bore aluminium block with plate-honed cylinders.