Through the years, Corvette and Chevrolet have had the honor of racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A number of American sports car achievements have come from Corvette drivers over the years, and those contributions will be front and center during a special ceremony this weekend at Circuit of The Americas.
Friday evening, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), the governing body of Le Mans, will honor Dr. Dick Thompson, the oldest living American to race at Le Mans. "The Flying Dentist" won multiple SCCA national championships from the mid-1950s to early-1960s, and Thompson was part of Corvette's initial journey to Le Mans in 1960 in one of Briggs Cunningham's three Corvettes.
Cunningham's trio of cars, plus a fourth entered by Camoradi USA, started a dramatic shift in the perception of Corvette as a global sports car brand. Corvette Racing's debut of the C5-R at the great race in 2000 added to its rich history. Since that time, Corvette Racing captured seven class victories at Le Mans with the C5-R and C6.R.
As part of this weekend's tribute, both of Corvette Racing's Compuware Corvette C6.Rs that race in the American Le Mans Series' GT class will feature the names of every American driver who has raced at Le Mans in the race's first 90 years. Included on that list are seven American drivers who drove or currently drive for Corvette Racing.
The ALMS shares the COTA weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship.