Chevrolet Cobalt Ready for Pro Racing Debut *pics*
Chevrolet Cobalt Ready for Pro Racing Debut at Daytona
1/13/2005 - The new Chevrolet Cobalt is just hitting dealership showrooms across North America, but the car is already on the race track. Powell Motorsport driver Devon Powell and his team took time out from their regular Cadillac CTS-V racing program to prepare three Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged coupes for three privateer teams. The cars will compete in the Grand-Am Cup Series ST class.
The first car built is the No. 48 blue Cobalt for WTF engineering and will be driven by Ed Magner and Toni Seiler at Daytona International Speedway later this month.
"The Cobalt program is a dream come true," said Magner, who tested the car Friday. "The car is right on pace out of the box. The things I have learned racing front wheel drive cars all these years GM has wrapped up in this baby, and the supercharged EcoTec engine gives it a real kick."
Chevrolet characterizes the Cobalt SS Supercharged as a big-league player in small performance cars, a car that can race on Sunday and commute on Monday. The Cobalt SS Supercharged was developed by GM Performance Division's High Performance Vehicle Operations.
GMHPVO Director John Heinricy is a multiple road racing champion and a competitor in Grand American racing. Heinricy and his team provided technical advice to the privateer race teams that wanted to race the new Cobalt.
"Our Cobalt SS was tested and developed both at Nurburgring, Germany and at GM's Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan on our race track built specifically to assist in the development of performance automobiles," Heinricy said. "With a 0-60 mph time of about six seconds, and braking 60-0 in 118 ft, I had a good idea that the Cobalt SS would work well in Grand-Am Cup competition. Ed Magner, Bo Roach, Jim Holtom and his son Jamie will sure have a lot of fun with this car. I am pleased with its performance at Daytona Test Days, running in the top five in the Sport Touring class."
Bo Roach is the lead driver and team owner of Bo Roach Racing and is the second of the three teams that will race the Cobalt this year. The third team, Georgian Bay Motorsport, features the Holtom duo. Both teams attended Daytona Test Days, and all drivers had a chance to drive the No. 48 machine.
"I am excited," Roach said. "The car is really strong, well made, and in just three days I think we had a raceable car that will let us have a chance to run in the top 10, maybe in the top five with a little luck, from the get-go."
Jim and Jamie Holtom each drove the car on the last of the three test days. "My son Jamie has done well racing in the Ron Fellows Sunoco Karting championship in Canada," the elder Holtom said. "Ron Fellows gave Jamie some good advice, to get lots of racing miles to help progress in racing. The endurance racing format of Grand-Am Cup will give Jamie lots of time behind the wheel and a chance for me to race with him. I think it will be fun." "This is my first time at Daytona and I could not believe the banking, the speed, the whole thing," Jamie Holtom said. "The car was great, it has a lot more power and handling than the car I tried racing last summer in Canada. Dad's crew chief Mike Kuznicki has lots of racing knowledge to help me, so it will be a great season."