‘I’ve just always loved Corvettes!’ exclaims Craig Davies when GRR asks him how he ended up racing America’s sports car. The reason behind the man’s passion becomes clear when we learn that he’s owned Corvettes since he was seventeen years old.
‘I’ve owned all sorts of different models but the big-block C2 Corvette was always my favourite’ he adds. With this in mind Craig set out to find a suitable car to race and ended up with the fearsome beastie you see here. At the Members’ Meeting he shared pedalling duties with Touring Car star Jason Plato who said of the car: ‘the first time I drove it, I hated it. But… then I learned how to drive it and now it’s great fun!’
It turns out that this particular car has probably never been used on the road. Prepared from new as a competition car it was apparently used little in the States before being sold to an individual in Italy, where it seems to have stayed for many years being raced regularly and even finding its way to Spa Francorchamps, Le Mans and Pau at times.
It made its way to the UK around 15 years ago according to Craig, who acquired it himself about five years ago. ‘Since then I’ve raced it at Spa again, the Silverstone Classic, the Goodwood Revival and Members’ Meetings, and have shared the driving with Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Emerson Fittipaldi and of course Jason Plato.’ But how would Craig himself describe the experience of racing the Corvette?
‘Well it’s very very powerful’ he begins. We should point out at this stage that Craig’s car is a ‘big block’ car in that it runs a 6.5 litre V8 as opposed to the ‘small block’ engine in the 5.4 litre cars. ‘It easily has 600bhp. It’s powerful, torquey, it revs… but the thing with these engines is that you fit them, give them the occasional once-over and just leave them alone apart from that. It’s hardly ever out of the car compared to other GTs of the period. It’s never going to beat a Cobra or a fast E-Type, but it’ll reel in anything down the straights; it was hitting over 150mph down the Lavant Straight at Goodwood. It just keeps pulling!’
We could have predicted Craig’s reply before we asked what his plans are with the brutal Chevy. ‘Well I’m never going to sell it. Never-ever-ever. I’ve always worked hard so I can play with cars and… I just love being with it… love being near it.’
As much as he loves being near the car though, it still has many days of racing ahead of it, starting at the Silverstone Classic next weekend. See you there, Craig!