RFD had the chance to catch up with Lou Gigliotti to learn more about their GT2 Corvette racecar, the LG Motorsports team, and what makes Lou tick during the Petit LeMans weekend. Check out the interview below.
RFD: Where did the idea for the GT2 Corvette come from?
Lou: Well, actually we were getting abused significantly by the officials over there at SCCA, we really wanted to find another place to race, it had to be a Corvette. So we aquired what we had to do to get a GT2 car approved and Chevy decided Riley was going to be the GT2 supplier and so I gave Bill [Riley] a call and we started talking. We don’t have the budget to run it, its the most expensive racing I’ve done in my life, but here we are and the car’s going fast. We’ve made so many changes since Sebring, we were over weight, we’re 120lbs lighter than what it was when we got it. We built a new nose, splitter, undertray, rear undertray treatment. At this point it’s a pretty different car.
RFD: What was the SCCA doing to you guys?
Lou: The worst was in 2006 when I had the lead in the championship and that didn’t fit their game plan. So they added 190lb at Elkhart Lake 2006. That was 3 races from the end, we didn’t really have much. They took the weight off and we ran well, then they added back 75lbs back on and we lost to the Porsches, 75lbs is about a half a second a lap. We went to Laguna for the last race and we discovered they [Porsche] had illegal brakes, we protested, SCCA said we’re right and they had them for 7 races and we just didn’t catch it. We got a letter from Porsche, SCCA changed the rules, Porsche won by 2 points that year.
RFD: So you’re not looking back on SCCA all too fondly?
Lou: If you ever see me racing SCCA, shoot me, find me, kill me shoot me.
RFD: Difference between SCCA and GT2 Vette?
Lou: GT2 vette has its own suspension, uprights, pick up points are allowed to be move, ALMS allows a change. We run the LS3 6.2 and destroked it to 6 liter, 2 30mm restrictors instead of staring with the 6 liter.
RFD: Transfer the racecar to streetcar?
Lou: Not much, but Brake technology. We use Cobalt brake pads on this. They are the best brake pads I’ve tried in my entire life, I’ve raced forever.
RFD: Vision for the team?
Lou: Got to find a way to get some money to run the entire season. If we can come up with some kind of deal, a teammate with a sponsor that comes with them, or a corporate sponsor or something. We’re not looking for money from GM, theyre not giving us any, any help. My company is more profitable anyway.
RFD: GM Factory into GT2?
Lou: It means they threw us under the bus. I must be the Rodney Dangerfield of road racing. GM said yeah go racing with Riley, he is the guy for GT2, were never going into GT2. Then they said ah we changed our mind, going to go with Corvette racing.
RFD: Power of the GT2 car? for the HP junkies.
Lou: 510-520hp with the restrictors. 700 unrestricted.
RFD: 2009 LeMans on the Horizon? Goal?
Lou: We’re going to apply, hope we get accepted there. It’s a goal. The downside is LeMans costs 500-700k to go.
RFD: Any other manufacturer given your history with GM?
Lou: Actually, any manufacturer that would offer us support. At some point I want to phase myself out of driving and be a team owner. And GM is not about to help me. Look at Acura, they got 3 or 4 teams. They support them all with the technology together. They race each other. GM, its not quite that at all, you buy a GM car from Pratt and Miller and you get a year old car and you don’t get the technology.
RFD: Favorite Corvette?
Lou: 2006 SCCA World Challenge car, that car we had it dialed in. GM performance in 2005, different than GM Racing, they let us in their windtunnel in 2005. We ran it successful, they added lead to us. You guys can come and race, as long as you don’t win, you win we’re going to kill you.
RFD: Favorite streetcar?
Lou: 2008 Z06 right now. Cams, heads, headers, 580rwhp and it’s a blast.
RFD: Favorite track?
Lou: Maybe 3, Road Atlanta, Mosport for sure, and Sears Point.
RFD: Forza Motorsports TV Show?
Lou: Well we didn’t think it would help, as they started running that show our sales shot up during the show then tapered off. We said well that was a nice buffer. Then during re-runs, sales started going up again. So I would love to do another show.
RFD: How did you get involved with the show?
Lou: Actually, guy comes to the shop and asks us to build a sleeper car to take to this Forza thing. Sure we can do it, turn it into a hotrod. I told him, bring us a car and about 30k to 50k and we can make it exactly what you want. We gave that kid 480whp, that’s what he had against those guys. He told his father, the car is loooooose, holy god this car is loose! His father comes to me with his finger in my face, he says you listen to my son, he’ll tell you how to make this car faster. Oh really, well shit!
RFD: Parting shots?
Lou: This is more fun than anyone should be allowed to have. All i worry about is, the only thing that can stop something like this, is the government. So if you guys and your people and your blog, love racing, cars and high performance cars, you got to find somebody to vote for that will get government out of your life, instead of more government in your life. That’s my political thing.
RFD: You’re a conservative?
Lou: Nope I am a racer. If we could have anarchy, I’d go for that. I’m a libertarian, I’d want there to be no govt. You guys better shut me off, because I’ll get in trouble, they’ll hunt me down. Government should build roads and have an army, and get out of the way! That’s it.
From RFD and Lou Gigliotti: think about your Obama votes folks.