The Chevy Corvette is the darling of club racers everywhere, especially the C8. With mid-engined balance has come serious speed, and the 655 horsepower hybrid 2024 Chevy Corvette E-Ray was sure to be a fierce weapon on track until it was banned a week ago from competing in National Council of Corvette Club (NCCC) events. But just as quickly as it was banned, it is now completely legal after a slight adjustment of club rules.
According to an email received from the NCCC to The Drive, the NCCC has adjusted section 1.8.14 of its event rules to allow the inclusion of hybrid cars in events. That section of the NCCC rules reads “Electric Vehicles/Hybrids using lithium-type battery packs are prohibited in Competitive events. If driven to NCCC events, they should be parked 30 feet minimum from structures or other vehicles.” That language has been adjusted to exclude EVs and not hybrids. The NCCC oversees hundreds of autocross and time trials nationwide.
As performance hybrids become more prevalent, these sorts of issues will happen more often. Because of the E-Ray’s 1.9-kWh lithium-ion battery, there is a chance of battery fire in the event of a big impact. Though batteries are often fortified against impacts, track driving is a much higher-speed environment than road driving and presents unique crash situations. This risk also presents a challenge to insurers of track days and high-performance driving events. Thus, sanctioning bodies will need to adjust to these developments.
Once lithium batteries light up, it is extremely difficult to put them out, which is the main reason for the worry around the batteries competing. It presents many issues when it comes to track safety and keeping competitors safe, but also secondary issues in clearing the track safely in the event of a fire. A battery fire could shut down a track for a full day, if not multiple days if the wreckage keeps burning.
Either way, the quickest Corvette ever is now legal for competition with the NCCC. E-Ray owners didn’t have to fear long, but now the only thing to do is to take it to the track and find out what’s what.
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