The beauty of an American racing icon
Pretty much since the Corvette debuted in 1953, it’s been a fixture at race tracks. America’s sports car has charmed spectators all over the world, the rumbling V8-powered cars announcing their arrival miles away. Today we celebrate the car’s racing exploits through Corvette racing art by Roger Warrick.
We visited Mr. Warrick’s terrific artwork once before, admiring his penchant for capturing race cars in flight. Mr. Warrick has painted many different cars that have plied American race tracks, none more so than the cars from Corvette Racing. At left is a mash-up of various racing Corvettes on track at Sebring, coming out of the last turn onto the pit straight. Driving over the famous bridge that leads cars from the entrance into the track are 2 more street Corvettes.
At right are Corvettes again coming out of the last turn at Sebring, this time in 2007. The C7R is the star of this piece, both team cars making their way out of the wickedly bumpy turn. Cars jump and bump visibly as power is put down with authority so that top speed down the pit straight is maximized. If I was to watch the entire 12 Hours of Sebring from one corner, the final corner would be it. Especially as the cars race into the final hours, drivers getting weary from the routine pounding the old and famous track metes out. Sideways cars with straining headlights are quite exciting through here.
Corvette at Daytona
Sebring and Daytona figure prominently in the body of Mr. Warrick’s work. Here, the C5Rs hustle through the Daytona banking in formation, rain pouring down. The number 3 car was famously shared by Dale Earnhardt and his son Dale Jr. in the 2001 24 hour race. They did pretty well too, finishing 2nd in class and 4th overall. Both impressed with their roadracing skills, something most NASCAR drivers were not known for at that time. Sadly, Dale Sr. was killed at the same track in the Daytona 500 just two weeks later.
If you are any kind of Corvette racing fan, you’ll remember and admire the John Greenwood Corvettes that raced in IMSA. The car at right also went to LeMans, where the loud bellow of the V8 down the Mulsanne Straight, the wild bodywork and patriotic paint scheme wowed the fans. This particular car promised so much and was super-fast but failed to deliver most of the time. The project was very much a private effort, although there was suspicion that Chevrolet provided more that a little support behind the scenes.
The newer Corvette C7R blasts into view in the piece at top, which is precisely titled “Corvette C7.R”. The last of the front-engined Corvette race cars burns into your mind with spectacular color.
Bringing Corvette history up to the present, Mr. Warrick’s latest ode to Corvette goes to Daytona again. The 2020 debut of the mid-engined C8R was considered a success, the silver-grey #4 going the distance and finishing 4th in GTLM. The new C8 engine features a flat-plane crank design, the rumbling sound of old replaced by a higher pitched scream. I’m sure we’ll all come to love the sound as much as we love the new design.
Lastly, some not-as-serious Corvette racing art by Roger Warrick
Mr. Warrick also has a love for car-toons. These stunted and exaggerated illustrations will surely bring a smile to the face of any Corvette lover. Just as the street and racing Corvettes have done consistently through the years.
You can see the complete array of Corvette racing art by Roger Warrick, along with all of the other wonderful racing art he has created here.
You can find even more Warrick work offered on the Freck’s Auto Art site here.
For racing art across the spectrum of artists, click here.