in the Registry has many facets . . . the C5 Net, the Web Page, the
newsletter . . . . but the part I ENJOY THE MOST IS THE EVENTS! We have
just returned from the C5 Registry event at the Rolex 24 Hours @
Daytona. The race itself was FABULOUS with Corvette coming in 2nd
place overall and 2nd in the GTO class and beating all Vipers
except for one . . . losing to the world champion ORCA Viper #91 Team by
only 30 seconds, after 24 hours of racing!! Imagine. . . . after 24
hours of racing, the 1st and 2nd place cars were
within 30 seconds of each other . . . that is nothing more than a hiccup
during a pitstop!
The weekend started off GREAT with a C5 Registry dinner
Friday night with 275 people in attendance, most of them C5 Registry
members. We also had a good sprinkling of GM engineers, dealers and
other Corvette "celebrities"! We had a few surprises for those
in attendance. The first being "C5 Registry Motorsports" ~ our
Corvette Racing fan club. You have heard me talk about this in the past.
There is no cost to join and nothing to do to join . . . just show up at
the races to cheer Corvette on! (We have golf and T-shirts available.
Just let us know if you are interested.) We are putting together a
Motorsports Web Site. When it is ready to debut, we will be sure and let
you know! Check out the official Motorsports logo at the right.
We also made a very exciting
announcement on a brand new venture for the Registry . . . we have
joined forces with the Matthew Thomas Agency to produce a television
show for SpeedVision that highlights our hobby . . . the Corvette!
"Corvette: The American Dream" will showcase both old and new
Corvettes, restoration and new part installation, and spotlight Corvette
owners and their stories. It will air Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on
SpeedVision. We expect the show to premiere sometime in April - just in
time for the Birthday Bash!
We also introduced a brand new decal to show our support for Corvette's
March to Le Mans . . . we SOLD OUT (over 200!) of the first printing of
the decal in Daytona and have ordered additional decals to meet the
demand of our members! At the Left is the decal. If you are interested in
purchasing one, they are available for $3.55/each (our cost plus
we gathered early at the Daytona Backstretch to begin our historic
parade lap around the Daytona International Speedway. What a sight! The
Parade was led by the Millennium Yellow C5s, followed by the Indy Pace
Cars, C5s, Grand Sports and other vintage Corvettes. It was great - 197
Corvettes speeding around the Tri-Oval and Road Course at Daytona!
With our adrenaline pumping high, this fabulous
day was just getting started! Over 400 Registry members proceeded to the
backstretch sky-boxes reserved especially for US by GM. We were treated
to complimentary continental breakfast and later lunch! The skyboxes
were ours all day Saturday and Sunday! We really got the celebrity
Dave Hill and Jim Campbell spent about 4 1/2 hours
in the skybox with us on Saturday evening and both of them told me that
our view was better than the official GM Sky Box on the other side of
On Sunday, tension was building as the Corvette
C5R, under the expert guidance of Ron Fellows, came from almost three
laps back to challenge the first-place Viper within 30 seconds! It was a
phenomenal driving job by Fellows and his teammates, Chris Kneifel, and
Justin Bell, son of the famous Derek Bell (winner of the 1986, 1987 and
1989 24 Hours of Daytona). The C5 Registry members were screaming their
lungs out as Fellows gained on the Vipers, lap by lap! If the race had
only been the 25 hours of Daytona, we might have grabbed the first place
spotlight! But as it was, this was the absolute highest finish Corvette
has ever had in this historic 24-hour race. Before this millennium race,
the best finish Corvette ever had was back in the 60s, which I believe
was 4th over all.
I would like to think that in some way the
enthusiasm our members showed the drivers' helped to contribute to the
successful run of the C5R racing effort! This was one of our greatest
events ever! If it is any indication of how the rest of 2000 is going to
be, this is going to be one spectacular year!!
I would like to personally thank the people from
Chevrolet for making this great event possible for the C5 Registry! See
you at Sebring . . . another FABULOUS event!