Page 1

Design Develop Build Race Win


contents 3

20 Years of Pratt & Miller

16 20-Year Timeline 20 Corvette Racing 2009 Season – GT1 24 GT1 and GT2 Corvette C6.R 26 Corvette Racing 2009 Season – GT2 30 2009 Corvette Racing Team and Accomplishments 31 Thanks to Our Sponsors and Partners 32 Pratt & Miller Engineering Today

35 Pratt & Miller in NASCAR

36 Corvid Technologies

39 Case Study: 2010 Cadillac SRX Competitive Test Program

40 Case Study: Tactical Wheeled Vehicles

41 Motus MST-01 Sport Touring Motorcycle

42 Case Study: ArvinMeritor Megalodon Flow Bench

43 Case Study: TOMCAR Data Acquisition and CAE Analysis

44 Case Study: Aptera 2e Composite Structural Analysis

45 Case Study: Corvette C6RS Active Wing

46 Pratt & Miller Customer Teams

46 DKR Engineering

47 Luc Alphand Aventures

47 Selleslagh Racing Team

48 PK Carsport

48 AT Racing

49 Stevenson Motorsports

49 Banner Racing

50 From the Editor 51 Pratt & Miller Employees 2

BUILT OUT OF PASSION Looking back, it’s hard to believe that our company today has grown from very humble beginnings. People make the company, though, and right from the start, everyone in this organization has been dedicated to achieving success, and passionate about their work. But who would have thought that what was built out of passion would allow us to become competitive world-wide in so many areas? Well, that’s what happened. It happened because, along with our passion and dedication, we’ve always been – and always will be – committed to satisfying our customers. That’s the essential ingredient for success. We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many talented and motivated people who share that commitment. Everyone we work with here has the satisfaction of knowing they make an important contribution. The result has been a profitable company every year for the past 20 years.

With our successes come challenges, and 2009 was a hard year for the automotive industry. We as a company had to tighten our belts and work harder, not only to survive and grow, but also to position ourselves to thrive when the auto industry does make a comeback. By diversifying, Pratt & Miller has been able to develop new areas of business with cutting-edge technology. We are proud to offer our customers everything from racing to rocket science. It’s what helps us stand out from the crowd. Following our motto – Design, Develop, Build, Race, Win – we are applying the lessons we have learned on the racetrack to help us continue growing in new areas. In this past season, the Corvette Racing program has presented new challenges, too, with the departure of the GT1 C6.R and introduction of the GT2 car. We did not have much time to test, so we had to use the second half of 2009 to prepare for 2010. It was a building year, and a great way to stretch and test ourselves in ways we’ve never experienced before. This upcoming year will provide a new set of challenges, but we have survived and grown in these tough times. The dedicated, hard-working people of Pratt & Miller have brought us to where we are today, and kept us on track for a successful future. It’s exciting to think about what we’re capable of doing in the next 20 years.

Gary Pratt and Jim Miller

pratt & Miller Engineering

OUT ONTO THE LEADING EDGE TWO COMPETITORS JOIN FORCES Gary Pratt and Jim Miller met at a race track. They couldn’t tell you which one, exactly, and it doesn’t matter. They were competitors in the Trans-Am series in the mid1980s. They both wanted and needed something to take their aspirations to the next level. And as they got to know one another and became friends, each recognized in the other that certain something that could make it happen. Jim saw in Gary the ability to not only build competitive race cars but also to organize and operate an efficient and successful racing operation – to make things work and get things done. In Jim, Gary saw the good business head – the ability and savvy to operate at a profit. In fact right from the beginning, one of Miller’s core requirements was to have a profitable company – never take on a project that didn’t have good profit potential.

“While I was growing up messing with race cars Jim was figuring out how to make money,” Pratt says. “So Jim also brought the financial backing that it takes to attract major sponsors – so they know you have the resources to do what you say you’re going to do, even if they’re not funding 100 percent of the program.” Gary credits Jim with being the visionary, but they both knew, even then, that the company needed to be more engineering driven, and lead the motorsports industry in technology application, instead of just building race cars. “We’d been a cut-and-weld kind of shop,” says Pratt, speaking of his previous partnership in Protofab Racing. “We had a lot of experience and had been successful, but we were just going by historical things that had worked well for us – not really leading edge. When you bring lots of experience and then add some good engineering and young ideas and new technology – that puts you out there

on the leading edge. The mix has been really good, and we’ve been fortunate to attract a lot of very good people.” That also has always been one of the core ingredients in Jim Miller’s recipe for success – the ability to attract and keep good people, by creating an environment where they enjoy working and know they have an opportunity to grow and advance professionally. “We have to invest in our ability to do our jobs better, satisfy our customers, grow in the future, and ensure that we stay on the leading edge of our industry,” says Miller. They founded Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication in the later part of 1989. On the race track, Miller was already out there on the leading edge, racing in a series for some of the most exotic, expensive, highly sophisticated race cars on the planet.


20 Years, 1989-2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

BEGINNING: Spice GT Prototype



When Pratt & Miller opened its doors, Jim Miller wanted an organization that could field a competitive operation in the International Motor Sports Association’s GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class – no small undertaking. GTP represented the pinnacle of prototype sports car racing in America. The period from 1981 to 1993 was an era of unrelenting development as manufacturers, engineers, and race teams continually raised the bar in technology. The series was being dominated by factory-backed efforts from the likes of Porsche, Nissan, Jaguar and Toyota.

Undaunted, Pratt & Miller challenged themselves against these heavyweights, armed with Miller’s Chevrolet-powered (but not sponsored) MTI Vacations Spice SE89P. Jim drove it in 1989 with Bob Earl, and they notched a respectable nine top-10 and five top-five finishes, including a second-place showing at the 500-km Camel Continental at Watkins Glen, and another runner-up finish on the streets of Tampa, where they finished just three-tenths of a second behind the winning Jaguar XJR-9.

Wayne Taylor took over as Miller’s driving partner in 1990. They continued to log decent performances – four in the top five – and once came oh so close to victory. That was at Lime Rock Park, where they finished less than a second behind the winning Jaguar XJR-10. In mid-season, Miller decided to step out of the driver’s seat and concentrate on the business side of the operation. They already had attracted the attention of Chevrolet, and soon brought the GM division on board as a sponsor, backing Pratt & Miller’s first start-to-finish race car development project, to be launched early in 1991.…

pratt & Miller Engineering

Breaking the Mold IMSA GTP was a showcase for advanced aerodynamics, exotic materials, and sophisticated suspensions. The arrival of the Pratt & Miller Intrepid in 1991 abruptly changed the rules in road racing’s premier class. The GTP category had been dominated by turbocharged engines from Europe and Asia, but Pratt & Miller’s MTI Racing Intrepid GTP was an Americanmade contender for the GTP crown. It was powered by a naturally aspirated 6.0-liter Chevrolet small-block V-8 with innovative splayed-valve cylinder heads. The Intrepid’s all-composite chassis emulated an F-17 Stealth fighter plane, while its Bob Riley-designed body produced unprecedented downforce. “The Intrepid GTP was designed specifically for American tracks and street circuits, not high-speed European road courses like Le Mans,” Gary Pratt explained. “We sacrificed top speed for increased

downforce – and it made nearly 10,000 pounds of downforce at 150 mph! The Intrepid’s steep nose angle, extended front splitter, and an underbody shaped like a wing really worked well. The rear wheel covers were worth nearly two seconds a lap on the Sebring short course.” The Intrepid GTP’s competition debut, at West Palm Beach in March 1991, was remarkable. Wayne Taylor drove the brand-new car to a second-place finish, and along the way recorded the fastest race lap. Tommy Kendall unveiled the second Intrepid GTP at Lime Rock Park. The two Intrepids finished second and

third at Mid-Ohio, and Taylor won on the New Orleans street circuit. A high-speed crash at Watkins Glen injured Kendall and prompted a redesign of the rear uprights to withstand the car’s incredible downforce. Changes in racing’s rules and the economic environment curtailed the GTP enterprise, and a lightning strike destroyed Pratt & Miller’s manufacturing facility. The GTP program concluded in 1993 after four Intrepids had been constructed. “GTP racing is absolutely top level, and I want to excel,” said Jim Miller at the Intrepid’s press introduction. “To accomplish that, we had to build a car that would serve as a magnet in attracting the best people to make it work. I think we achieved that.” Pratt remembers the Intrepid GTP with affection. “An opportunity to build a prototype from the ground up only comes along about once every ten years,” he observes. “I can’t wait for the next one.”

20 Years, 1989-2009

Intrepid GTP


20 Years, 1989-2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

RM-2 OLDSMOBILE A SPORTS-RACING CUSTOMER CAR Jim Miller and Gary Pratt had early warning from Chevrolet that the Intrepid project would be coming to an end. They wanted to keep the manufacturing side of the operation busy with a product, and decided on another sports racer, though much less exotic than the Intrepid. Also, where the Intrepid was a Chevrolet factory program, this would be a customer car, for sale to anyone who wanted to race one. The Intrepid had been designated RM-1, so this car became RM-2, essentially a Sports 2000 car built to the specifications of the SCCA’s Oldsmobile Pro Series. It was

another Bob Riley design – a two-seat, open-cockpit car on an aluminum monocoque chassis with fiberglass and Kevlar bodywork. Riley had a certain amount of design freedom, but aerodynamic devices like wings and groundeffects venturi tunnels were prohibited. The powerplant for all cars in the series was a spec Oldsmobile 2.3-liter Quad 4 engine. Pratt & Miller built seven or eight of these cars. They were fun to race, and Miller once again caught the bug. He dusted off his helmet and piloted one of his own creations in selected races in the series.

Pratt & Miller Camaro Trans-Am Transformation The Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am series was a 30-year war. What began in 1966 as the Trans-American Sedan Championships soon became a long-running battle for road racing supremacy between manufacturers and drivers. The competition between Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs that first propelled the Trans-Am to popularity in the ‘60s became even more intense in the ‘90s as the battle lines were drawn between Roush Racing, Ford’s factory team, and Chevrolet’s champion, Buz McCall’s American Equipment Racing. When Pratt & Miller developed a new tube-framed Camaro for McCall’s team in 1995, the tide turned. Chevrolet won the Trans-Am manufacturers championship by a two-point margin over Ford in one of the series’ tightest title races. AER driver Ron Fellows scored a career-best five victories and finished second in the drivers championship, while his young teammate, Jamie Galles, was fifth in the standings. In 1996, Fellows scored four wins on street circuits driving an AER Camaro carrying the iconic Sunoco colors made famous by Mark Donohue in the early days of the Trans-Am 6

championship. Fellows and Galles posted a 1-2 finish in Reno, and Chevrolet’s Camaro concluded the season with a record 87 victories in America’s longest running race series. “The AER Trans-Am Camaros were cars designed and built in-house by Pratt & Miller and GM Racing,” Gary Pratt reports. “They went through an extensive development

program, with a combination of wind tunnel tests and extensive track testing. We focused our efforts on handling and reliability, and it paid off.”

pratt & Miller Engineering

Peak Performance On a clear day, you can see forever from the 14,110foot summit of Pikes Peak. For one week each year, the 12.4-mile, 156-turn gravel road to the top of Zebulon Pike’s mountain becomes the world’s most spectacular raceway. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb combines breathtaking vistas with spellbinding displays of driving – without the reassuring presence of guard rails, curbs, or pavement. Pratt & Miller was the king of the mountain in the 2000 “Race to the Clouds” with an overall victory. Off-road

racer Larry Ragland set the fastest time at 11:17.66 and dominated the High Tech Truck and SUV class with Herzog Motorsports’ GMC Envoy. Ragland relied on a Pratt & Miller chassis and a racing version of GM Powertrain’s DOHC Vortec 4200 inline six-cylinder engine to reach the top. The Pikes Peak win was the culmination of a threeyear program by Pratt & Miller. The first expedition to the mountain with a two-wheel drive pickup revealed the unique demands of the course’s asphalt, gravel, and dirt surfaces. Pratt & Miller returned the following year with a four-wheeldrive truck that won its class, and followed that up with the overall victory with the all-wheel-drive GMC Envoy.

“Our philosophy was apply road racing technology to the hill climb,” said Gary Pratt. “The key was to maximize traction and maintain grip on the various road surfaces. We learned valuable lessons over the three years, and improved the performance every time we went back. By the third year, we had designed the GMC Envoy to use the same tires on the front and rear – they were actually 14-inch wide rain tires originally designed for an open-wheel car. Even though the inline six-cylinder made less horsepower than a V8, the increased grip produced the fastest time.”

20 Years, 1989-2009

GMC Envoy


pratt & Miller Engineering 20 Years, 1989-2009

Oldsmobile Aurora The Dawn of a New Age On November 1, 1994, Oldsmobile General Manager John Rock announced a major change in Oldsmobile’s motorsports programs. “Oldsmobile’s focus for the future will be on world-class powertrains,” said Rock. “A motorsports version of the 4.0-liter Aurora engine is being developed to compete in the International Motor Sports Association Exxon Supreme GT Series.” Two years later, Brix Racing’s twin Pratt & Miller-built Auroras utterly dominated IMSA’s Exxon Supreme GTS-1 division, sweeping the 1996 manufacturers and drivers championships. The team debuted its sleek Aurora race cars with a victory in the season-opening Daytona 24-hour race, and went on to win eight races and eight poles in the ten-race series.


Prototype Design: Engineering Challenge

Irv Hoerr pulled double duty in 1996 as both Brix Racing’s team manager and lead driver. Hoerr earned his sixth career IMSA championship with a dominant performance, scoring the most wins (seven--including a streak of six straight) and the most poles (five). He was runner-up in the three races he didn’t win, and he ran the fastest race lap at three events. Hoerr’s teammate Darin Brassfield was runner-up in the GTS-1 standings. “The Aurora chassis was based on our Trans-Am chassis, but it was designed and built to meet the demands of endurance racing,” said Gary Pratt. “Instead of running a one-hour sprint race, the cars had to be capable of racing flat-out for 24 hours. Our focus was on reliability and durability. Brix Racing’s win in the season-opening Daytona 24-hour race showed that the Aurora was up to the job. “The Aurora GTS-1 race cars were a cooperative effort between GM Design and Pratt & Miller,” Pratt explained. “The rulebook allowed us to shorten the wheelbase so the Aurora race car looked more like a two-door coupe than the production four-door sedan.” With its shapely curves and sleek contours, the Aurora is still regarded as one of the most striking cars ever to compete in IMSA’s top production class. After dominating the IMSA GTS-1 championship, 1996 was truly the year of the Aurora – and Pratt & Miller.

Prototype sports-racing cars are among the most exciting and challenging to design, build and race. After the Intrepid, Pratt & Miller was looking forward to another such project. To be ahead of the game when an opportunity arose, they undertook creating what they thought the most advanced prototype design should be. “It was kind of a research and development project,” says Gary Pratt. “We did a rendering, built a quarter-scale model, and did some wind-tunnel studies with it, just to see how it would work.” At that time they had not made the additions to Pratt & Miller’s engineering staff that they enjoy now, and they weren’t ready to invest a lot of money in it, so the project never advanced beyond the wind tunnel model. They hoped to generate some interest from an automotive OEM, but GM, for instance, became interested in productionbased “silhouette” cars for road racing. And that’s the direction Pratt & Miller took. Big time.

pratt & Miller Engineering 20 Years, 1989-2009

CORVETTE C5-R A REALLY GREAT RACE CAR The total program called Corvette Racing has been Pratt & Miller’s biggest, most extensive, most high-profile, and most successful project so far. And today, more than 12 years after development began, it is still going strong. It started with the Corvette C5-R, and with Herb Fishel as the driving force. Fishel was GM’s director of racing, and in 1997 he established a team designed to provide both marketing support and technology transfer opportunities for the Chevrolet and Corvette brands. Pratt & Miller would handle the development and racing operations. Work began on a racing version of the Corvette C5 (thus C5-R) in 1997, with the first on-track testing done late that

year. Development and testing continued through 1998, including long-distance runs, since the goal was to win highprofile endurance races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Daytona. Corvette Racing’s first season, 1999, comprised the Rolex 24 at Daytona plus five selected races in the new American Le Mans Series. They didn’t win, but a pole for the 12 Hours of Sebring, and a couple of runner-up finishes were encouraging. The C5-R’s first victory was logged by Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim at Texas Motor Speedway in 2000, and it just got better from there.

During its six years of service with Corvette Racing, the C5-R proved to be one of the most successful race cars ever produced: 35 wins in 55 starts; one 24 Hours of Daytona overall win; three 24 Hours of Le Mans GTS wins; three 12 Hours of Sebring GTS wins; four ALMS GTS manufacturer championships; four GTS team championships; four GTS driver championships. Fellows and Johnny O’Connell won the C5-R’s final race – the ALMS series finale at Laguna Seca in 2004. Fellows summed up the emotions: “It’s kind of sad to see the C5-R go, but I’d say this is a fitting end for a really great race car.”


20 Years, 1989-2009

pratt & Miller Engineering


STAYING ON THE LEADING EDGE New Facilities For its first 12 years, Pratt & Miller operated out of rented industrial park units in Wixom, Mich., including a manufacturing area and another facility that housed the race team operations. The company was quickly building its reputation, and its resume of successes. A fire in 1992 destroyed much of the manufacturing area, but they immediately rented new space, moved any equipment that had survived, and were back in operation with barely a missed beat. By the early 2000s, the Corvette C5-R program was in full swing and Pratt & Miller was operating on a world stage like never before. They had talked about the possibility of investing in their own land and building, but nothing happened until an outside impetus helped prompt the decision. “Two things happened,” recalls Pratt. “Our lease came up for renewal and all of a sudden our rent skyrocketed. And also, for the first time we reached a contract agreement with GM that was longer than one year. So that gave us the confidence to invest in the new building.” They also discovered the Michigan Economic Development Board, and qualified for some of its programs and lowrate financing. “That really made a difference in how big we could make the building and what we could do,” Pratt says. The original New Hudson building was 35,000 square feet, designed specifically to meet the company’s needs. It looks like the nerve center of a top-line automotive engineering business, with spaces that work effectively for all the various engineering, manufacturing, and administrative operations. It’s right in line with their operating philosophy, because it has created a much better environment in which to work and to grow. Demand for their services grew quickly, and they were out of space in the new building within the first 12 months. So they built an even larger addition that brought the total square footage to about 100,000. It opened in 2004. Part of what drove the need for expansion was a dramatic increase in Pratt & Miller’s engineering capabilities. That began shortly after they moved, with a merger that launched them into the realm of, literally, rocket science.

pratt & Miller Engineering 20 Years, 1989-2009

Expanding Capabilities In 2002, Aletheon Technologies LLC, with operations in Ann Arbor Mich., and Mooresville N.C., joined the Pratt & Miller organization, adding an extensive new set of engineering capabilities. Aletheon excelled in the application of advanced tools, including CAD, CAE, Vehicle Dynamics Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and virtual prototyping and development. The North Carolina branch of Aletheon offered state-ofthe-art simulation technologies and high-performance computing resources to military and aerospace clients such as the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense program, in addition to supporting customers in the motorsport industry. At the time, Jim Miller was enthusiastic about future prospects that would result. “We expect that [Aletheon] will create other opportunities for the company,” he said, “whether it be in design or manufacture of parts, in testing, or other areas. Knowing our capabilities, and our ability to meet schedules, GM has already started to bring us projects from the production side. And then there are other ancillary, non-motorsport things like our defense department work. In 2004 the North Carolina operation was renamed and incorporated in North Carolina as Corvid Technologies. Today, Corvid’s expertise, its highly experienced engineering staff and ultra-sophisticated computer hardware and software continue to complement Pratt & Miller’s engineer-

ing capabilities. By providing world-class simulation and computational support for aerodynamics development, structural design, and vehicle analysis, Corvid adds a new dimension of advanced technologies for Pratt & Miller to offer its customers. “I can’t help but be unbelievably proud of the fact that all our people are executing the way they are,” Jim Miller says. “I can just walk around the place and say, ‘I work with them!’ They help us deliver world-class results on a world stage. It’s a lot of fun!”


20 Years, 1989-2009

pratt & Miller Engineering


CADILLAC CTS-V Meeting the Challenge Can a four-door Cadillac sedan beat legendary sports cars like Porsche and Viper on the race track? That was the challenge presented to Pratt & Miller when Cadillac launched its Team Cadillac motorsports program in 2004. Competing successfully in the Sports Car Club of America’s World Challenge GT series was a key element in Cadillac’s rebirth as a brand that delivered both performance and luxury. Cadillac dominated the World Challenge GT for the four years that the menacing black CTS-Vs competed in the production-based road racing series. Cadillac won manufacturers championships in 2005 and 2007, and Andy Pilgrim captured the drivers championship in 2005. The Cadillacs scored 12 wins in 41 races (the most victories by a manufacturer), 10 poles, 13 fastest laps, and 38 podium finishes. Pratt & Miller provided design, engineering, fabrication, and trackside support services from Day One. “The challenge of the Cadillac CTS-V program was to make a four-door sedan competitive with two-seat sports cars,” said Gary Pratt. “The Cadillac race cars were based on production bodies, so we had to fabricate the roll cage and structure inside the shell, like building a ship in a bottle. We had developed our in-house engineering capabilities to the point that the entire car was designed on a computer before we cut the first piece of tubing.”

Pratt & Miller deployed an arsenal of high-tech tools to turn the production CTS-V into a racing champion. Working within SCCA guidelines, the body was modified to lower its center of gravity and accommodate wide racing tires. Sophisticated computer simulations analyzed engine cooling, aerodynamics, and chassis setups. Pratt & Miller fabricators fashioned an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing with complex compound curves to balance the race car’s aerodynamic performance. The success of the Team Cadillac program changed perceptions of the Cadillac brand by demonstrating the marque’s performance capabilities. Working alongside GM Racing, Pratt & Miller made Team Cadillac the standard of excellence in the SCCA World Challenge GT series.

pratt & Miller Engineering

The Dynasty Continues The championship-winning Corvette C5.R was a tough act to follow, but the Corvette C6.R was up to the task. Unveiled in January 2005 at the North American International Auto Show alongside the production Corvette Z06, the Pratt & Miller-built GT1 Corvette C6.R became the most successful race car in the history of the American Le Mans Series. From its first race at Sebring International Raceway in March 2005 to its farewell appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2009, the Corvette C6.R was the dominant machine in the GT1 class. The twin Compuware Corvettes scored 42 wins in 60 races, including three class victories in Le Mans, and claimed four straight ALMS drivers, team, and manufacturers championships. The Corvettes defeated Ferraris, Maseratis, Aston Martins, Vipers, Saleens, and Lamborghinis to earn a prominent place in auto racing’s record book for Pratt & Miller. Pratt & Miller’s Corvette C6.R program combined years of racing experience with the technical advancements of the sixth-generation Corvette. The Corvette C6.R race car sprang from production roots: the same hydroformed frame rails used in production Corvette coupes and convertibles provided the foundation for the racing version. With a shorter overall length and a longer wheelbase than the C5-R, the sixth-generation Corvette presented an aerodynamic

challenge to Pratt & Miller engineers. By leveraging the design features of the C6, including flush headlamps and a teardrop-shaped greenhouse, the Pratt & Miller team produced a race car with low drag and exceptional stability. Through a combination of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies and on-track testing, the end result was an aerodynamically balanced package that could be tuned to suit both the low-drag demands of Le Mans and the high-downforce requirements of a street circuit. Continuous development by the Pratt & Miller team ensured that the Corvette C6.R remained on the leading edge of performance despite a series of rules-mandated performance adjustments. The impact of the Corvette C6.R was felt around the world of motorsports. Many of the championship-winning machines campaigned by the factory Corvette Racing team continued their success in the hands of independent teams competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the European Le Mans Series, the FIA GT series, and French and Scandinavian national series. The close working relationship between Pratt & Miller and the production Corvette group produced a world-class race car. “There can be no doubt that the people who created these cars have learned from each other,” said Corvette chief engineer Dave Hill at the C6.R’s introduction. “Which way did the technology flow – from the race car into production, or from production to the race car? It went both directions.”

20 Years, 1989-2009



pratt & Miller Engineering 20 Years, 1989-2009




The genesis of Pratt & Miller’s Pontiac GTO development program, for racing in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series’ GT class, grew out of Pontiac Division’s ongoing work in positioning itself as the exciting, high-performance car line at General Motors. This would be a customer program, with the cars being fielded by independent racing teams instead of a Pratt & Miller team like Corvette Racing. The Pontiacs went through months of development and testing before their first race, at Daytona International speedway in June, 2005. The first of four victories in that debut season came just two races later, at Watkins Glen, with Jan Magunssen and Paul Edwards driving for the TRG team.

In 2006 the number of cars expanded with the addition of Pacific Coast Motorsports, and the GTO.Rs were dominant. They won eight of the season’s 15 races, and at least one GTO.R driver was on the podium at every race. Counting the last four races of 2005, GTO.R drivers were on the podium for 19 consecutive races. Pontiac won the GT manufacturers, TRG took the team title, and TRG drivers Andy Lally and Marc Bunting were the GT champion drivers. Due to a change in Pontiac’s model lineup, the GTO.R’s racing life was brief, but highly successful. And the next year a new car would pick up where the GTO left off.

pratt & Miller Engineering

A NEW GENERATIOn Pontiac retired the GTO from its lineup after the 2006 model year, and introduced a new sport model, called the GXP. Since it doesn’t make marketing sense for an OEM to race a car that isn’t being sold, Pratt & Miller was already busy developing its successor while the GTO.R was still racing in 2006. Like the GTO.R, the next generation GXP.R was designed and built to Grand-Am GT specifications. It combined a fabricated tubular steel frame and rear-wheel-drive

powertrain layout with a race-prepared version of GM’s LS2 small-block V-8 engine. Lightweight carbon fiber body panels reduced overall weight, with muscular fender flares and a rear wing to give the GXP.R an aggressive appearance and improve its high-speed aerodynamics. Leighton Reese’s two-car Banner Racing team campaigned the GXP.R in 2007. Reese and Tim Lewis Jr. scored the car’s first victory at Lime Rock Park in May. Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins piloted the team’s second GXP.R to six poles, two GT class victories, and second place in the drivers’ championship. If the GXP.R’s first season was good, 2008 was fantastic. Three more teams came on board with Pontiac – Stevenson Motorsports, Autohaus Motorsports, and PR1 Motorsports. Of the 13 races, Pontiac GXP.Rs won seven – four by Banner and three by Stevenson. Pontiac won the championship for manufacturers, and Banner the team title. Banner drivers Edwards and Collins were the GT champion drivers, with Stevenson’s Robin Liddell and Andrew David very close behind in second. As the company prepared to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Pratt & Miller’s prowess for creating winning race cars was proven yet again.

20 Years, 1989-2009



RM-2 Oldsmobile project begins

1992 fire destroys Wixom facility; doesn’t slow operations for long

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 Chevy Intrepid GTP 1st win, New Orleans, Wayne Taylor

Spice GTP, 2nd at Watkins Glen Jim Miller, Bob Earl

Spice GTP, 2nd at Lime Rock Jim Miller, Wayne Taylor

Prototype design R&D

Pikes Peak International Hillclimb project begins

Chevrolet wins Trans-Am manufacturers championship; Ron Fellows scores 5 wins Oldsmobile Aurora GTS-1 development begins

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora wins IMSA GTS-1 championships for manufacturers and drivers (Irv Hoerr)

Corvette C5-R development and testing begin

Pontiac Pro Stock wind tunnel model

Corvette C5-R: 1st overall, Rolex 24 at Daytona Chevy S-10 wins class at Pikes Peak

1st in GTS, 24 Hours of Le Mans

Corvette Racing is 1st in GTS, 24 Hours of Le Mans, again Jim & Jane Miller Cadillac CTS-V program begins

Corvette Racing 1st win: Texas Motor Speedway New Hudson facility opens

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. join Corvette Racing for Rolex 24; finish 2nd in class, 4th overall

Corvette Racing competition debut: Rolex 24 at Daytona

Johnny O. bails at Laguna Seca

GMC Envoy wins overall at Pikes Peak

Corvid joins Pratt & Miller

Corvette Racing wins ALMS championships for manufacturers and teams

Corvette Racing wins ALMS PANTONE 661 C GRADIENT championships for manufacturers, PANTONE 535 C PANTONE 7462 C @ 75% PANTONE 7541 C @25% teams and drivers (Ron Fellows)

ALMS CEO Scott Atherton (l) presents team trophy to Gary Pratt; Chevrolet wins manufacturer title; Johnny O’Connell and Ron Fellows are champion drivers

Corvette wins 3rd Le Mans in 4 years

Debut of Corvette C6.R: wins ALMS championships for manufacturers, teams and drivers (Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta)

Corvette C6RS supercar project begins Corvette wins 5th Le Mans in 6 years

Jan Magnussen and Johnny O’Connell take ALMS drivers’ championship

Pontiac GTO.R project development begins

P&M CFO Tom Mikrut (r) with GM’s Gary Claudio

Corvette wins 4th Le Mans in 5 years

Corvette Racing wins 8th straight ALMS team and manufacturer championships

Corvette wins ALMS championships for manufacturers, teams and drivers (Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta)

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Pontiac wins Grand-Am GT championships for manufacturers, teams (TRG) and drivers

10 Pontiac Solstice race cars are prepared for SPEED TV’s show, SETUP

Corvette C6RS is launched

Last season for Corvette C5-R; wins ALMS championships for manufacturers, teams and drivers (Johnny O’Connell, Ron Fellows)

Cadillac CTS-VR wins Speed GT manufacturers championship; Andy Pilgrim wins drivers’ title

GM Racing Director Mark Kent Corvette wins ALMS championships for manufacturers, teams and drivers (Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta)

Cadillac wins SPEED GT manufacturers’ championship

Pontiac GXP.R wins Grand-Am GT championships for manufacturers, teams (Banner Racing) and drivers (Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins)

Corvette Racing, 2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

Corvette GT1 Season: The Farewell Tour

Jim Miller 2009 was a year of transition for Corvette Racing as the team celebrated its tenth anniversary in international road racing competition. The Corvettes competed in the GT1 class in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Grand Prix of Long Beach in preparation for their 10th participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following a sixth victory in France, Corvette Racing moved to the GT2 category to begin a five-race test and development program in preparation for an all-out assault on the unified ALMS GT class championship in 2010. The team had a new driver lineup for 2009 as Antonio Garcia joined defending ALMS GT1 champions Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R for the Sebring 12-hour, Le Mans 24-hour, and 1000-mile Petit Le Mans endurance races. Marcel Fassler teamed with 2005-07 GT1 champions Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R for the three long-distance races. There was also a new look for the GT1 Corvettes as the No. 4 wore black while the No. 3 carried the traditional Velocity Yellow livery. The new graphics reflected the special GT1 Championship Edition Corvette produced by Chevrolet to commemorate Corvette Racing’s success in the GT1 class. 20

Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Sebring, Florida March 21, 2009 1. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 349 laps 2. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, Marcel Fassler, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 348 laps


History Made, Records Set The season began at Sebring with Oliver Gavin winning the GT1 pole in the black Corvette C6.R, but it was O’Connell, Magnussen and Garcia who made history in the 57th running of the classic 12-hour endurance race. O’Connell scored his record-setting eighth Sebring class victory, Magnussen notched his milestone 100th career victory, and Garcia tallied his first win with Corvette Racing. The winning trio completed 349 laps in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R to take a one-lap victory over Gavin, Beretta, and

Fassler. The Corvettes finished sixth and seventh overall, and the winning car set a record for the most laps completed by a GT car in ALMS competition in America’s most demanding endurance race. The No. 3 Corvette C6.R also won the inaugural Michelin Green X Challenge with the best score in the GT classes based on performance, efficiency, and environmental impact. “I don’t know why this place has always been special for me, but a lot of it is that I’ve been here with good people,” said O’Connell after his historic victory. “This is how you want to start a year.”

pratt & Miller Engineering

Long Beach, California April 18, 2009 1. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 73 laps 2. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 42 laps

Corvette Racing, 2009

Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach

Long Beach

41 Plus 32 = The Most One month later, the American Le Mans Series at Long Beach marked the final appearance by the GT1 Corvettes on U.S. soil. The series saluted the GT1 Corvettes in a special ceremony in the Long Beach winner’s circle as several former Corvette Racing drivers joined the team for the celebration. “The best sports car teams in the world have competed in the American Le Mans Series over the last 11 years, but it is impossible to think of one that has generated more success than Corvette Racing – both on and off the track,” said ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton. “The countless people at Corvette Racing, GM and Pratt & Miller who have made this program the most popular among our fans and dominant among its competitors have every reason to be proud as they have made history and rewritten the record book in GT1.” Gavin and Beretta had a trouble-free run in the 100minute race through the streets of Long Beach. Beretta extended his record for ALMS victories with his 41st career win, while Gavin notched his 32nd ALMS victory. With a total of 73 wins, the pair affirmed their standing as the most successful driving duo in ALMS history. The No. 3 Corvette C6.R of O’Connell and Magnussen suffered a tire puncture while leading and then retired with a drivetrain problem.


Corvette Racing, 2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

GT1: FAREWELL TOUR, continued 24 Hours of Le Mans

Going Out A Winner Corvette Racing went to Le Mans on a mission. After runnerup finishes in Le Mans in 2007 and 2008, the team was totally committed to winning its sixth Le Mans title in its final race in GT1. Magnussen won the pole in the GT1 category for the second straight year with a time of 3:54.230 on the immense 8.47-mile circuit. Beretta was a heartbeat behind at 3:54.702 to give the Corvette Racing team a one-two qualifying sweep. O’Connell, Magnussen and Garcia brought down the curtain on the GT1 era with a victory in Le Mans, scoring Corvette Racing’s sixth win in the world’s most prestigious sports car race. O’Connell became the first American driver

24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans, France June 13-14, 2009 1. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, #63 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 342 laps 2. Julien Jousse, Xavier Maassen, Yann Clairay, #73 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 336 laps not classified: Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, Marcel Fassler, #64 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 311 laps (retired) Luc Alphand, Patrice Goueslard, Stephane Gregoire, #72 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 99 laps (retired)


to win four class titles in the 24-hour enduro. The winning Corvette C6.R completed 342 laps, racing to a six-lap margin of victory over the No. 73 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R. The No. 64 Corvette C6.R retired from the lead in the 22nd hour when a pinion bearing failed within sight of the pit entrance. The two Corvettes waged a fierce battle throughout 22 of the 24 hours, never separated by more than one lap. The pole-winning No. 63 Corvette C6.R led from the start for 18 hours and 52 minutes. Beretta then put the No. 64 Corvette C6.R in front, passing Garcia on a restart following a safety car period. The 21st hour saw an intense duel between O’Connell and Fassler with the cars dicing around the entire circuit. “It was a great race, but a shame that the No. 64 Corvette was not there at the finish,” said Garcia. “We raced really, really hard for 22 hours. We were racing fair, and we were all going 100 percent.” This race marked the end of the Corvette Racing’s GT1 era that began in 1999 – a program that propelled America’s premier production sports car team to 77 victories and eight consecutive American Le Mans Series championships. “At the end of the day, today’s victory is emblematic of what American teamwork and American spirit is about,” said program manager Doug Fehan.

pratt & Miller Engineering Corvette Racing, 2009 23

pratt & Miller Engineering Corvette Racing, 2009

The GT2 Corvette C6.R is built on the same aluminum frame as production Corvette Z06 and ZR1 models. The GT1 race cars use steel frames from the Corvette coupe and convertible. The GT1 car’s front fender louvers are not allowed in GT2.

GT1 and GT2 Corvette C6R: Brothers in Arms There’s a family resemblance, but similarities end with the name


The GT1 and GT2 versions of the Corvette race car are both designated C6.R – Corvette 6th Generation, Racing – but that is the end of their similarities. When Pratt & Miller set out to design, build, develop and race the next-generation Corvette C6.R, the project began with a clean sheet of paper – or, to be precise, a blank computer screen. The rules that govern international road racing are prescribed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the global motorsports sanctioning body, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The regulations for the GT2 category (simply called “GT” in the 2010 American Le Mans Series) impose strict limits on modifications. Consequently the GT2 Corvette C6.R is much closer to the production Corvette than its predecessor, with virtually no interchangeable parts with the GT1 version. Paradoxically, hewing closer to production speci-

fications presented a greater challenge to Pratt & Miller’s engineering team. The GT2 Corvette C6.R is based on the Corvette ZR1 supercar, while the GT1 version was homologated on the Corvette Z06 model. The GT2 Corvette C6.R utilizes the ZR1’s body design, aerodynamic package, aluminum frame and chassis structure, steering system, windshield, and other components. Building on this production foundation, Pratt & Miller prepared the cars for the rigors of endurance racing with safety and performance modifications as permitted by the GT2 rules. In place of the GT1 Corvette’s steel frame, the GT2 version utilizes the production ZR1’s hydroformed aluminum frame as the base for a fully integrated tubular steel safety cage. Pratt & Miller developed a proprietary method using both mechanical joints and aerospace adhesives to attach the roll cage. The GT1 version’s wide, louvered fenders were replaced by flared ZR1-style fenders manufactured in

Pratt & Miller’s in-house composite shop. In accordance with the aerodynamic regulations, the rear wing was reduced 25 percent in width, the diffuser became a flat panel without fences or strakes, and the splitter dimensions were defined by the production ZR1 component. “Integrating a steel safety cage that meets GM Racing’s stringent standards as well as the strength and durability targets required in racing is a challenge with an aluminum frame,” explained Pratt & Miller engineering director Doug Louth. “Working in conjunction with the structure and chassis engineers in the Corvette production group, we designed, built and tested numerous examples before we finalized the configuration. We went through a similar process with the production Corvette group on the body design and aero components. It was truly a collaborative effort between the production engineers and the race team.” Advanced technology tools enabled Pratt & Miller to meet

pratt & Miller Engineering Corvette Racing, 2009

The production Corvette ZR1 has wide carbon fiber front fenders with dual vents, which are reproduced in the GT2 race car. The production-based ZR1 splitter extends 25mm, in contrast to the 80mm splitter allowed under the GT1 rules. The chord width of the GT2 rear wing was reduced 25 percent, from the GT1’s 400mm, to 300mm.

The GT2 car’s diffuser now starts at the back of the rear wheel opening rather than at the centerline of the rear axle. Strakes and sidewalls are not permitted, so the GT2 diffuser is a flat panel while the GT1 diffuser was effectively a tunnel.

GT1 C6.Rs are equipped with carbon brake rotors. GT2 rules require ferrous (steel) rotors. Wheel and tire dimensions are the same in both classes, but GT2 cars have aluminum rather than magnesium rims.

the challenge and complete the project on time. “With the short development schedule, we relied on ‘virtual’ design and computer simulation more than ever before,” said Gary Pratt. “We made design, engineering and manufacturing simultaneous processes as much as possible. For example, while the first chassis was being built, we continued to run computer simulations on suspension geometry and refined the aerodynamics using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) because these areas didn’t have to be finalized until later in the production timeline. We have developed the capabilities to do finite element analysis and composite fabrication inhouse, which accelerated our design and production cycle.” With less than a year from concept to completion, Pratt & Miller’s advanced technology and talented people propelled the GT2 Corvette C6.R from CAD screen to the ALMS winner’s circle in record time. 25

Corvette Racing, 2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

Corvette GT2 Season: This Is Only a Test Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio Lexington, Ohio August 8, 2009 1. Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 108 laps 2. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 108 laps 3. Dirk Mueller, Tommy Milner, BMW E92 M3, 107 laps 4. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 107 laps


Corvette Racing opened a new chapter in racing history with the debut of the GT2 Corvette C6.R at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 6. With the prospect of a single GT class in the American Le Mans Series in 2010, Pratt & Miller used the final five rounds on the 2009 calendar to test and develop the next-generation Corvette C6.R. “We’re not running for a championship this year, so we’re looking at the upcoming races as preparation for 2010,” said Gary Pratt. “Our only testing from this point on will be at the races, and we’ll be doing it in the public eye. Certainly we hope to achieve the same level of success that we did in GT1, but the caliber of the competition we will face in GT2 is very high. When we started in GT1 in 1999, it took a while to win; now we have 10 years of experience that should help us to become competitive in a new category. Everyone at Corvette Racing is looking forward to the challenge.” It was a speedy transition as Corvette Racing posted five podium finishes and notched its first GT2 win at Mosport International Raceway. In the series’ final five races, Corvette Racing scored more team and manufacturer points than any other GT2 entry, and drivers Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen tallied the most points in the GT2 drivers championship.

Mi d-Ohio

First Time Out, Second Magnussen and Gavin qualified the GT2 Corvette C6.Rs third and sixth respectively in the team’s GT2 debut at MidOhio. “Ordinarily we wouldn’t be very happy with third, but I’m quite pleased,” said Magnussen. “The cars worked well and the team has built a fantastic car with real potential.” Magnussen and O’Connell realized that potential with a runner-up finish while Gavin and Beretta finished fourth

in the hard-fought GT2 category. The No. 3 Corvette C6.R crossed the finish line 21 seconds behind the class-winning Porsche 911 RSR while the No. 4 Corvette C6.R finished one lap down after getting caught out by the safety car during a full-course caution. “Today was such an impressive debut for the new GT2 Corvettes, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from this team,” O’Connell said. “We’ve gained so much experience in GT1 over the years, and Corvette Racing sets the standards for car construction and preparation.”

Ro ad Americ a

Split Decision The high-speed Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis., was the next test for the new Corvettes. The Corvettes qualified fourth and fifth, and O’Connell and Magnussen returned to the podium with a third-place finish. An inopportune safety car period essentially decided the race after only 15 minutes when the BMWs gained a lap on the rest of the GT2 field. Series officials subsequently revised the safety car procedures to prevent splitting the GT2 entries.

Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 16, 2009 1. Joey Hand, Bill Auberlen, #90 BMW E92 M3, 69 laps 2. Dirk Mueller, Tommy Milner, #92 BMW E92 M3, 68 laps 3. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 68 laps 6. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 67laps

pratt & Miller Engineering Corvette Racing, 2009

Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport Bowmanville, Ontario August 30, 2009 1. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 117 laps 2. Jamie Melo, Pierre Kaffer, Ferrari 430 GT, 117 laps 3. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 116 laps


The final 30 minutes of the race featured a fast and furious duel between Magnussen and Ferrari driver Pierre Kaffer. When Magnussen rejoined the race after his final pit stop, the two cars went side-by-side into the fast downhill section following the pit exit. Magnussen held the inside line through Moss Corner and took the lead for good going into the Andretti Straight. The Dane then withstood intense pressure from Kaffer to take the checkered flag. “That was one of the finest drives I’ve ever seen,” said O’Connell. “It was mistake-free, and knowing what he had to do with that car, today was all Jan. He was a rock star, and the crew had a killer pit stop to get him out in front of the Ferrari.”

First Win! So Sweet The Grand Prix of Mosport was a milestone for Corvette Racing as O’Connell and Magnussen scored the team’s first GT2 victory. Gavin and Beretta finished third to give Corvette Racing two places on the podium. It was an emotional win for O’Connell and Magnussen, who shared their first ALMS victory at Mosport in 1999. O’Connell scored his recordsetting seventh win at Mosport in his milestone 100th ALMS start, while Magnussen celebrated the birth of his second son earlier in the week.


Corvette Racing, 2009

pratt & Miller Engineering

GT2: THIS IS ONLY A TEST, continued

Petit Le Mans Braselton, Georgia August 30, 2009 1. Jamie Melo, Pierre Kaffer, Mika Salo, Ferrari 430 GT, 170 laps 2. Dirk Mueller, Tommy Milner, Jorg Mueller, BMW E92 M3, 169 laps

Road Atlanta

Splish Splash


The GT2 version of the Corvette C6.R faced its first test of endurance in the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Beretta and O’Connell qualified third and seventh respectively in hot and humid conditions, but rain was on the way. The two Corvette C6.Rs dominated the first three hours of the race, running first and second consistently until a flurry of pit stops mixed the running order just as heavy rain arrived. The deluge forced officials to red flag the race with only four hours and 50 minutes completed. When the race ended with the cars parked in the pit lane, the No. 4 Corvette C6.R was fourth in the GT2 class, one lap behind the GT2-winning Ferrari 430. The No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R was classified sixth, two laps down.

3. Wolf Henzler, Dirk Werner, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 169 laps 4. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, Marcel Fassler, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 169 laps 6. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 168 laps

pratt & Miller Engineering

Monterey, California October 10, 2009 1. Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 155 laps 2. Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen, #3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 155 laps 3. Wolf Henzler, Pierre Ehret, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 154 laps 10. Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta, #4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R, 143 laps

Laguna Sec a

Wild Finish The ALMS season finale in Monterey, Calif., concluded the team’s test and development program. Magnussen claimed Corvette Racing’s first GT2 pole when he topped the class in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, and Gavin qualified the No. 4 Corvette C6.R third in GT2. The four-hour race finished with fireworks as Magnussen spun across the track and hit the wall on the pit straight. The wild finish capped an intense battle between the No. 3 Corvette and the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche. Magnussen had relentlessly cut down the lead of the class-leading Porsche to mere inches in the closing minutes. With the checkered flag already displayed for the overall winner, the Corvette and Porsche had contact in the final corner and raced side-by-side to the finish line.

“It was really good, hard racing,” said Magnussen. “It was a drag race up the hill, and I managed to get ahead of him. Then he turned me into the wall, and he kept turning in. Then I spun around the nose of his car.” The Danish driver was examined and released from the trackside medical center after his close encounter with the concrete barrier as the Corvette’s safety systems and energyabsorbing structure performed as designed in the impact. “Racing in GT2 has been a great experience so far,” said Gary Pratt. “I realize now how much everyone on this team enjoys having good competition. We have been able to carry over everything we learned in previous programs to GT2, and we were competitive right out of the box. That underlines the importance of the people and the continuity of the program.”

Corvette Racing, 2009

Monterey Sports Car Championships


Corvette Racing, 2009

pratt & Miller Engineering Corvette Racing 2009 Accomplishments 4 wins 12 Hours of Sebring – GT1 (O’Connell/ Magnussen/Garcia) Long Beach – GT1 (Gavin/Beretta) 24 Hours of Le Mans – GT1 (O’Connell/ Magnussen/Garcia) Mosport – GT2 (O’Connell/Magnussen)

4 fastest qualifiers 12 Hours of Sebring – GT1 (Gavin) Long Beach – GT1 (Beretta) 24 Hours of Le Mans – GT1 (Magnussen) Laguna Seca – GT2 (Magnussen)

4 fastest race laps 12 Hours of Sebring – GT1 (Gavin) Long Beach – GT1 (Beretta) 24 Hours of Le Mans – GT1 (Gavin) Laguna Seca – GT2 (Magnussen)

Thanks to all the people at Corvette Racing and GM 30

pratt & Miller Engineering


Shelby Trim

General Motors

Master Blaster


Liberty Chevrolet


Klein Tools

BBS Wheels

Motorsports Composites



Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC)

Team Tech

FARO Technologies


Genuine Corvette Accessories K&N Filters Katech Mahle Pistons Michelin Mobil 1 Motorola Paul Reed Smith Guitars PolyWorks® UAW-GM XM Satellite Radio Dewitt Radiators A special thanks to: Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch

CDM Detroit

Corvette Racing, 2009


McNichol’s Anodizing Michigan Sandblasting H.E.B Powder Coat Tram Tool Carlisle Productions KFC Composites Lightnen’s Customs Piloti Competition Graphics American Le Mans Series Automobile Club de l’Ouest Hans Electric Les Stanford Chevrolet


the business today

pratt & Miller Engineering

DESIGN, DEVELOP, BUILD, RACE, WIN As Pratt & Miller enters its third decade of operation, the company has become a powerful force in both racing and high-level engineering. It ranks among a very small, elite group of North American companies, with proven capabilities to design, develop, build, race, and especially to win. A resolute commitment to excellence continues to ensure that customers receive exceptional products and services – innovative, cost-effective, time-efficient, and results-oriented. From the beginning, one of the company’s goals was to get out ahead of the technological curve in its abilities to produce winning results. At first that meant results on the race track, but over the years it has grown to mean every aspect of automotive design, engineering, development, low-volume manufacturing, and also missile systems and military vehicle applications. Auto racing was Pratt & Miller’s original reason for being, and still is its core. But the skills, the can-do attitude and no-excuses approach that it takes to win at the upper levels of professional racing transfer very well to non-racing automotive projects, too. “We approach our work with much more intensity than a company that doesn’t have a racing-inspired mind-set,” says Jim Miller, “and we apply that same level of intensity to every project we’re engaged in.” Whether a customer’s goal is to win on the racetrack, in marketplace, or on the battlefield, Pratt & Miller can provide professional technicians and engineers who have the insight, skills, and passion to deliver success.

ENGINEERING SERVICES: COMPUTER-AIDED EXPERTISE Engineering is the heart of the enterprise. Pratt & Miller design engineers are proficient in powerful software programs such as Unigraphics NX, Autodesk, SolidWorks, and ANSYS finite element analysis. The hallmarks of Pratt & Miller design solutions are efficiency, accuracy, performance, and timeliness. Pratt & Miller also has world-class expertise in multibody simulation (MBS), software development, training, implementation and application. The company’s proficiency 32

pratt & Miller Engineering the business today

in virtual simulation and advanced structure tool sets produces a condensed and robust development process. Strong capabilities in computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) make possible the creation of “virtual” components, ranging from a simple bracket to a complete vehicle. Technical resources include a FARO Technologies laser scanner that can digitize such complex surfaces as a body panel, and a rapid prototyping machine that can create sample parts. CFD and vehicle dynamics simulation (VDS) are often key components in a development program. They are fully integrated with Pratt & Miller’s proprietary automated dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) model,

as well as kinematics, vehicle and component mass inertia testing, seven-post rig analysis, full and fractional scale wind tunnel development, and finite element analysis (FEA). These technologies help ensure that Pratt & Miller provides its clients with the most advanced level of analysis possible.

MANUFACTURING Pratt & Miller extends its engineering prowess with state-ofthe-art manufacturing and fabrication capabilities. When a vast engineering foundation provides the means for these activities, supplying parts – from intricate to massive – on short notice for customers becomes possible. Pratt & Miller has manufactured various suspension and driveline components, structural lightweight composite parts,


the business today

pratt & Miller Engineering

DESIGN, DEVELOP, BUILD, RACE, WIN, continued Pratt & Miller’s 20th anniversary celebration at the New Hudson headquarters.

and fabricated assemblies for a variety of military vehicles and many cars and trucks for automotive OEMs. With a racing-bred specialty in tight timelines, Pratt & Miller is helping its customers to in turn satisfy their end customers, by enabling them to maintain or even accelerate their schedules for development, testing and assembly operations – helping to make the seemingly impossible become reality.

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS Today’s indispensable tools in motorsports include computers and software. Now, Pratt & Miller’s proprietary software programs, developed for racing, are being used to gain a competitive advantage for customers outside the motorsports industry.


These include the Lap Time Simulator software, which allows engineers to predict and optimize a car’s performance; the Design of Experiment post-processing program that distills volumes of data, and points out potentially productive ways to improve performance; and the Vehicle Engineering System – a powerful knowledge-base application that is tailored for vehicle development programs. “Many of our software solutions have applications beyond the race track,” said Kumar Periannan, manager of the computer-aided engineering department. “The advantage of these tools is that they exist in a computer environment. Instead of building a series of expensive prototypes for realworld tests, much of the preliminary development can be done in a virtual world. This reduces cost and speeds up the production cycle. Testing on the computer is faster and less expensive than testing on pavement.”

INVESTMENTS FOR SUCCESS Techniques employed by Pratt & Miller demand specialist skills and high levels of proficiency across numerous disciplines. The company continuously invests in the resources necessary to employ people with the required expertise, and dedication. Pratt & Miller Engineering has a staff of more than 140 employees, including 65 engineers with advanced degrees in mechanical, electrical, aerospace, computer and nuclear engineering. With an intelligently designed infrastructure and highly sophisticated equipment at their disposal, Pratt & Miller technicians can produce everything from individual components to complete road and race cars. And because the fabrication and assembly divisions are fully integrated with Pratt & Miller’s design and development services, customers receive unrivaled accuracy, efficiency, and performance.

pratt & Miller Engineering the business today

HIGH-SPEED ACTION; HIGH-TECH TOOLS PRATT & MILLER IN NASCAR Since 2005, a team of Pratt & Miller engineers located in North Carolina has supported several Chevroletsponsored teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series. The company offers advanced engineering support in the form of customizing toolsets and methodologies that are integrated into the team’s existing race operations and engineering departments. Over the past several years, Pratt & Miller’s support has helped these GM teams enhance a solid engineering base in ways that they may find difficult to do on their own. The support provided includes advanced simulation work,

database development, design and finite element analysis, and aerodynamic development through the use of proprietary computational fluid dynamics software. “One of the most important toolsets we offer is the Pratt & Miller Vehicle Engineering System,” says Chris Gilligan, NASCAR program manager. “It can be applied to either race-car or production-car development, and it integrates design, CAE, development and testing data into one manageable database. The teams use VES as their car-setup and trackside-information-gathering tool.” The Pratt & Miller engineers also have had success with some timing and scoring analysis tools in order to help the teams analyze such data in connection with the development and execution of race strategy. Such timing and scoring information is the only numerical data the teams

can access during a race weekend as NASCAR prohibits the use of standard data acquisition systems that are typically utilized in motorsports. In all forms of racing, tire performance is critical. In NASCAR, a consortium of the vehicle manufacturers participate in Goodyear tire testing. From this testing, all teams have access to the same raw data, but from there, Pratt & Miller engineers use their proprietary tire model to test and analyze the information. The results, the engineers believe, give the Chevrolet teams an advantage in making beneficial use of the testing data. In addition to their work at the race shops, Pratt & Miller engineering personnel attend every Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series race on behalf of General Motors. This trackside assistance helps the teams use the related engineering tools they provide, and assist with any engineering or support questions that may arise.


the business today

pratt & Miller Engineering



It could apply to a Corvette C6.R rocketing down the Mulsanne Straight, or a ballistic missile hurtling toward its target. The problems are complex; the scientific challenges intimidating. Corvid Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., applies the power of advanced technology to solve the problems and overcome the challenges. Corvid is the foundation of Pratt & Miller’s strategy to deliver state-ofthe-art engineering and high-performance computing to a diverse customer base. Corvid is all about power – brain power and computer power. More than 60 percent of Corvid employees hold advanced degrees (MS or PhD) in physics or engineering. The company’s in-house supercomputer system is loaded with 2500 processors, approximately 90 terabytes of data storage, 3000 gigabytes of RAM, and the capability to calculate problems with more than 200 million elements. Originally, Corvid’s intent was to bring cutting-edge engineering and technology to the racing industry,

NASCAR in particular, and the U.S. Department of Defense. One of the most powerful implements in Corvid’s engineering toolbox is high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) – a “virtual wind tunnel” that mathematically simulates airflow around a vehicle. This sophisticated technology is influencing the design of both racing and production automobiles. For example, the aerodynamics of the championship-winning Corvette C6.R race car were developed entirely on a computer screen using Corvid’s CFD programs. The ANSYS CFD package, the Corvid-developed RavenCFD flow solver, and proprietary development tools permitted Corvid to perform drafting studies, and design and analyze aerodynamic improvements. These included drag reduction, downforce increase and optimization, ride height studies, radiator flow optimization, and brake cooling studies. This same technology can be used to evaluate blast dynamics, missile launchers, and propulsion systems for defense applications.

Corvid applies its massive computing power to solve difficult problems in shock physics and structural mechanics. Their portfolio also includes styling and surfacing, applied tool development, experimental test support, and theoretical research. Corvid Technologies developed Velodyne, a finite element analysis tool, as an advanced structural mechanics code that’s capable of solving complex engineering problems. Through its integration with Pratt & Miller Engineering, Corvid has the ability to take a project all the way continued on page 38

pratt & Miller Engineering the business today

CAD model

CFD analysis

Computer renderings

Land Speed Record car development.

High fidelity CAD model prior to CFD grid application

Corvid’s advanced Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulations helps predict and quantify physical impact testing.


the business today

pratt & Miller Engineering


Corvid’s CFD analysis quantify physical testing of AEGIS ballistic missiles.


concept to completion. In the development phase, the company offers industrial design services, concept sketches, and computer-aided design. The analysis phase of a project can include CFD, shock physics, structural dynamics, and simulations on Corvid’s massive supercomputer. In the prototyping step, Pratt & Miller provides design, fabrication, and composite components. The next stage is testing, where Corvid’s portfolio ranges from aerodynamic evaluation to ballistics and munitions test support. Corvid customers have included GM Racing (its NASCAR, IRL, ALMS, Grand-Am, SCCA, and other programs) and several top-tier NASCAR teams. In the defense sector, Corvid’s clients include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Army Air and Missile Command, DARPA, Missile Defense Agency, Navy Integrated Warfare Systems, Special Operations Command, Space and Missile Defense Command, Sandia National Labs, Aviation Missile and Space Command, Applied Physics Lab, and Naval Surface Weapons Center. More information about Corvid Technologies is available at

pratt & Miller Engineering

The following pages contain case studies on a variety of Pratt & Miller projects. They describe in some detail the customer’s needs, the actions Pratt & Miller took, and the resulting customer benefits. Most involve several of the disciplines that are integrated into the company’s operations.


2010 Cadillac SRX Competitive Test Program When Cadillac marketers needed an objective thirdparty test of the 2010 Cadillac SRX and its marketplace competitors, they called Pratt & Miller Engineering. Utilizing the same sophisticated technology that powers Pratt & Miller’s championship-winning race cars, the Pratt & Miller engineering team instrumented the test vehicles, collected accurate performance data, and analyzed this data to compare the performance of the Cadillac SRX with its competition. Pratt & Miller also provided comprehensive video and photography services, sourced the competitive vehicles (Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Lexus RX350), and compiled a comprehensive report.

DESIGN: The Pratt & Miller team consulted with Cadillac representatives to determine the client’s objectives. Drawing on years of experience in vehicle dynamics testing, Pratt & Miller engineers then designed an intensive one-day evaluation plan incorporating a variety of dynamic tests.



After the scope of the test program was defined, the testing procedure was evaluated and refined. Additional tests were scheduled, and the resources needed to conduct the test were determined.

Executing the test in a compressed time frame, Pratt & Miller provided a trained development driver and utilized its team of race engineers to manage data collection and analysis. The test team monitored and adapted to changing weather conditions, analyzed the real-time telemetry data, and calculated the objective performance values using PM-MetricGen software. They also documented the test procedures and provided photography and videography of every vehicle and event.

BUILD: Pratt & Miller personnel instrumented the test vehicles and utilized its transporters and logistics expertise to stage the test at the GM Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Mich. The performance evaluations included autocross, slalom, lane changes, and skidpad tests on both wet and dry surfaces, as well as acceleration runs.

The Business Today: Case Studies

engineering in action

WIN: The test results were delivered on time and on budget to Cadillac, providing essential information for the successful launch of the SRX. The Pratt & Miller test program provided a benchmark for Cadillac to compare the SRX with its showroom rivals. .


The Business Today: Case Studies

pratt & Miller Engineering



TACTICAL WHEELED VEHICLES As the nature of armed conflicts in the world has changed, the needs of the military for versatile and efficient Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (TWV) also have evolved. Although race cars and military vehicles have vastly different missions, they both share the need for efficiency, reliability, durability, and performance under extreme stress. Now Pratt & Miller is applying the expertise developed in motorsports to multiple Tactical Wheeled Vehicle programs. Pratt & Miller Engineering has been contracted to provide engineering and manufacturing support for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP), MRAP All-Terrain Vehcile (M-ATV), Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), and Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) programs. Pratt & Miller was selected due to the company’s proven ability to provide weight-optimized solutions with expeditious timing.

DESIGN: Pratt & Miller Engineering has designed body structures, engine, driveline, steering and suspension components for the MRAP, M-ATV, JLTV and LAV programs.

yet lightweight components are designed to enhance the TWVs’ fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and payload capacity. Pratt & Miller has also manufactured driveline, steering and suspension components for these programs.



Pratt & Miller Engineering has led development on body structures, engine, driveline, steering and suspension components for the MRAP, M-ATV, JLTV and LAV programs.

Pratt & Miller Engineering has provided all of these services on tight deadlines in a compressed schedule.

WIN: BUILD: Pratt & Miller Engineering has manufactured carbon composite body structures and engine components. These strong

Customer vehicles employing Pratt & Miller’s technology and components are among the finalists for the U.S. military’s TWV programs based on their performance, payload and protection.

pratt & Miller Engineering The Business Today: Case Studies


Motus MST-01 Sport Touring Motorcycle

The Motus MST-01 was conceived as the ultimate sport touring motorcycle – a next-generation machine designed for spirited performance, personal comfort, and extended range. Committed to producing an American-made motorcycle unlike anything currently on the market, Motus Motorcycles turned to Pratt & Miller Engineering to develop and manufacture their innovative design. Motus Motorcycles’ target customers are discerning enthusiasts who appreciate responsive handling, absolute reliability on extended journeys, premium components, and exceptional design. Pratt & Miller’s advanced engineering tools and high-tech manufacturing capabilities are giving Motus an edge on its competition in performance, safety and durability. Pratt & Miller Engineering’s 20-year history of success in motorsports was a key factor in Motus Motorcycles’ decision to form the business relationship. “With their vast experience developing high-performance, lightweight vehicles, we quickly identified Pratt & Miller as the perfect partner to engineer our lightweight, high-performance motorcycle,” said Brian Case, VP and Design Director of Motus Motorcycles. Founded in 2008, Motus Motorcycles is a privately held company entering the market with the first V4-powered American sport touring motorcycle. The MST series motorcycles and accessories will be sold internationally through a network of independent dealers and distributors.



Design and production of the Motus MST series of motorcycles incorporates many of Pratt & Miller’s race-proven technologies. A combination of computer-aided engineering tools such as CAD, finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and multi-body simulation are being implemented throughout the design process.

Pratt & Miller Engineering has led the engineering effort for the Motus MST-01, integrating the chassis with Katech’s unique KMV4 engine and meeting Motus’ stringent design criteria. An accelerated design, development and manufacturing timeline has been made possible using Pratt & Miller’s leading edge virtual development process.



Using sophisticated ADAMS multi-body simulation tools, Pratt & Miller Engineering is developing the suspension and handling systems for the MST-01 in a digital environment. PME will also support the testing and development process for the prototype bikes.

Pratt & Miller Engineering will deliver a world-class sport touring motorcycle to Motus in a compressed 10-month period. “We are thrilled about this partnership with Pratt & Miller,” said Motus president Lee Conn. “They have a total commitment to excellence, a world-class staff and proprietary technology that allow small companies like Motus to compete on a global basis. Because their engineering and fabrication teams are all under one roof, they can build complex vehicle packages with very few iterations.”

BUILD: Pratt & Miller Engineering will be responsible for manufacturing the 4130 chromoly steel space frame, transmission, and composite body work. The rolling chassis will be integrated with the Motus KMV4, the world’s first direct-injected V4 developed by Katech Engines of Clinton Township, Michigan. Katech was Pratt & Miller’s longtime technology partner in the GT1 Corvette Racing program.


The Business Today: Case Studies

pratt & Miller Engineering


ArvinMeritor Megalodon 400 LPM Flow Bench ArvinMeritor, Inc., is a Tier One automotive supplier that produces body components, drivetrain systems, and ride control products for heavy-duty and commercial trucks, light trucks, passenger cars, and all-terrain vehicles. Among the company’s products is the driver-adjustable ArvinMeritor Dynamic Height Control (DHC) suspension that is standard equipment on the Pratt & Miller Corvette C6RS supercar. Pratt & Miller Engineering extended its relationship with ArvinMeritor by designing and manufacturing two custommade flow benches for the company’s research and development laboratory. The second-generation unit, the Megalodon 400 LPM flow bench, is one of the largest capacity damper flow benches in the world. Previously existing flow benches could only measure 10 percent of the operational flow of military dampers produced by ArvinMeritor.

DESIGN: Pratt & Miller engineers designed the Megalodon damper flow bench to handle a peak flow requirement of 400 liters per minute (LPM) at 3000 psi pressure. Electro-hydraulic proportional throttle valves control the flow through the damper valve being tested. Pratt & Miller’s flow bench design incorporated instrumentation, accumulators, control valves, control computers, data acquisition, cooling system, test fluid reservoir and storage, and an operator workstation.

DEVELOP: The project’s test requirement was to have sufficient power at 3000 psi to ramp up to 400 LPM and back to zero in 60 seconds. Pratt & Miller specified a 200-horsepower hydraulic-to-hydraulic power unit (HPU) to meet this performance target. The HPU used ArvinMeritor’s 2000-horsepower power supply as its primary power source. The HPU was based on a hydraulic vane motor capable of supplying 340 LPM at 3500 psi to the flow bench. The 400 LPM flow requirement was achieved with 3.5-gallon accumulators that supply additional flow as needed.


Pratt & Miller technicians fabricated the complete flow bench, including the framework, elevated and perforated

steel flooring, T-track fixture mounting, fluid return channels, overhead lights, and overhead wire management. Pratt & Miller personnel installed the HPU, test circuit control valves, and instrumentation. ArvinMeritor supplied computer controls, electronic boards, and software, which were installed by Pratt & Miller. The project timeline was 13 weeks from kick-off to completion.

RACE: Pratt & Miller tested the completed flow bench to maximum operating conditions and fully inspected the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical systems. Pratt & Miller supplied full documentation and specifications to ArvinMeritor.

WIN: The Megalodon 400 LPM Flow Bench has significantly expanded ArvinMeritor’s ability to test dampers at high flow rates and pressures. By duplicating real-world operating parameters in a laboratory environment, the 400 LPM flow bench allows ArvinMeritor to design and manufacture superior quality dampers that meet and exceed its customers requirements.

pratt & Miller Engineering

TOMCAR Data Acquisition and CAE Analysis Originally conceived and still used as a rugged military off-road vehicle, civilian versions of the TOMCAR all-terrain vehicle are now used in the mining, agricultural, recreation and tourism industries. Smaller than conventional sport utility vehicles and faster, safer and more nimble than conventional ATVs, the TOMCAR is designed and built to exacting standards. Pratt & Miller Engineering provides analysis and data acquisition support for TOMCAR. For example, Pratt & Miller performed computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis of the roll-over protective structure (ROPS). Several organizations publish ROPS standards that are used to certify off-road vehicles for roll-over safety. Recognizing the need to team with an engineering partner familiar with tubular structures and safety requirements, TOMCAR called Pratt & Miller Engineering. Using advanced finite element analysis, Pratt & Miller engineers duplicated the physical ROPS testing procedures digitally. This enables design changes to be evaluated quickly using the computer, and will help ensure that the ROPS passes the physical certification test without expensive retesting. Pratt & Miller Engineering also supported a full vehicle road load data acquisition project with TOMCAR. The objective was to collect data that could be used to create an ADAMS model and develop load cases for strength and fatigue optimization. The vehicle was instrumented at Pratt & Miller using the same technology used to acquire race car data.



Design iterations were completed to evaluate different materials and frame geometries for the roll-over protective structure. An explicit analysis program was utilized to characterize the non-linear, high strain rate seen in the ROPS testing sequence. In the data acquisition program, a test plan and sensor package were designed to support the project objectives.

The TOMCAR was tested at Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds on several off-road courses, including severe sine wave bumps and large jumps. Standard braking, acceleration, and handling events were also run and data was collected. A max/min file for each of the tests was created to list the maximum values for each channel seen on each road. Data also was collected for both sets of dampers and comparisons were made between the original and alternative dampers.

DEVELOP: A number of design iterations were completed to evaluate different materials and frame geometries for the roll-over protective structure. The data acquisition test plan and sensor package were refined to support the project objectives.

BUILD: The optimum solution for the ROPS will be constructed using an existing frame and modifying critical elements of the structure that were revealed in the CAE analysis. In the data acquisition program, a vehicle was instrumented and damper designs were tested on Pratt & Miller’s in-house shock dynamometer to characterize their force vs. velocity curves.

The Business Today: Case Studies


WIN: CAE analysis of the TOMCAR rollover protective structure dramatically increases the likelihood that the ROPS will be certified in its initial test. The data collected by Pratt & Miller was used by TOMCAR to generate an ADAMS model and load cases for strength and fatigue optimization. TOMCAR now has the data to complete additional modeling and analysis without supplementary physical testing. This will accelerate product development and design optimization while reducing overall cost. 43

The Business Today: Case Studies

pratt & Miller Engineering


Aptera 2e Composite Structural Analysis

Will the Aptera 2e redefine the urban automobile? With three wheels, a battery/electric powertrain, and an aircraft-inspired design, the Aptera 2e makes a dramatic statement about the future of transportation. The Aptera 2e is the first in a series of innovative vehicles to be produced by Aptera Motors, a Californiabased startup. One of the key elements of Aptera Motors’ vision is the use of lightweight yet strong composite materials to reduce mass while enhancing safety and enabling aerodynamically efficient shapes. Aptera (Greek for “wingless flight”) enlisted Pratt & Miller to optimize the 2e’s innovative composite body structure. The objectives of the project were to minimize weight while meeting all performance requirements. Since the composite material properties are unique for each application, Pratt & Miller utilized its experience to define, run, and interpret the results of a composite material property testing program.

thickness of the composite cloth, locations of the core material, and the glue seams used to join the individual body components. Several design iterations were then performed to manage the stresses on the body. The results of the Pratt & Miller defined material property test program were then used in the finite element analysis model to match the planned cloth and resin system properties. A modal analysis was performed to determine the frequency and shape of each of the body structure modes, and several design iterations were performed to adjust the modal frequencies and shapes.

DESIGN: The first phase of the project included finite element modeling of the complete body structure to determine stresses under various loads and a modal analysis of the body structure. Using CAD data provided by Aptera, Pratt & Miller created a mesh model, and evaluated its performance under different conditions.

BUILD: This project was executed digitally, without any physical builds. Several design iterations were “constructed” virtually and included in the finite element model to improve the body structure performance.


An initial lay-up schedule matching the construction of the composite structure was defined, with consideration for the

Advanced finite element analysis was used to perform strength and safety testing in a digital environment without the time and expense of physical testing. By utilizing

these powerful computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools, many design improvements were incorporated quickly and efficiently.

WIN: The result of the Aptera 2e composite structural analysis was a shortened product development cycle with increased confidence in passing the physical test that will be performed for verification. Pratt & Miller’s expertise in composite material modeling and testing eliminated the need to construct and test expensive prototypes during the development phase of the ground-breaking Aptera 2e vehicle. Aptera Motors highlighted the benefits of composite construction in its marketing by explaining to customers, “When you can let an elephant sit on your car with no problems, you’re doing something right.” Pratt & Miller used computers instead of elephants to test the Aptera 2e’s body structure, but the results were equally impressive.

pratt & Miller Engineering

Corvette C6RS Active Wing RACE:

Pratt & Miller’s Corvette C6RS supercar delivers breathtaking performance with everyday drivability. Now the C6RS has surpassed its racing counterparts with the addition of an active rear wing. While movable aerodynamic devices are widely banned in racing, the C6RS takes full advantage of the benefits of a rear wing that deploys at high speeds to balance aerodynamic downforce and improve stability.

The Corvette C6RS active wing was tested at the GM wind tunnel in Warren, Michigan, and test results correlated with Pratt & Miller CFD simulations. CFD and wind tunnel tests measured an additional 220 pounds of downforce with the wing deployed while improving front-to-rear aerodynamic balance. The benefits of the active aerodynamics allow for reduced drag during normal highway operation while adding increased high-speed stability when needed during cornering and braking maneuvers.

DESIGN: The project’s objective was to balance the aerodynamic forces acting on the C6RS at speed. The car’s low stance and extended front spoiler create aerodynamic downforce on the front wheels; the rear wing complements the aero package by producing downforce on the rear wheels. This aero balance promotes driver confidence and improves vehicle stability during high-speed braking and cornering.

DEVELOP: Pratt & Miller engineers used the company’s extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capabilities to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of various wing designs digitally. Virtual testing allowed the engineers to analyze the wing’s profile, height, angle of attack, and placement relative to the rear deck. CFD analysis predicted that the active wing would produce an additional 306 pounds of downforce at 200 mph in the deployed position, with an additional 63 pounds of drag. This downforce-to-drag ratio underscored the aerodynamic efficiency of the active wing design.

The Business Today: Case Studies


WIN: check for clearance between the wing, body panels, and the linkage that raises and lowers the wing. Pratt & Miller’s in-house composite and machine shops manufactured the wing and actuating mechanism. The wing mechanism is powered by a compressed air system used by the Corvette C6RS’s ArvinMeritor Dynamic Height Control (DHC) suspension. Wing activation is controlled by the DHC Mototron controller. By utilizing the existing DHC pneumatic power and ECU, minimal additional hardware was required to implement the active wing: a check valve, solenoid valve, air lines, pneumatic cylinder, and mounting brackets. In normal operation, the DHC controller deploys the wing at 75 mph and retracts it at 45 mph. An override switch allows the driver to lock the wing in the retracted position to minimize drag when performing top-speed runs, and a lockup feature keeps the wing in the raised position regardless of speed.

Vehicle testing at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Ground and Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport confirmed the vehicle characteristics that were predicted by the CFD analysis and measured in wind tunnel tests. With the wing deployed, drivers reported improved high-speed stability. This project is another example of Pratt & Miller applying advanced technology to enhance the driving experience for Corvette C6RS owners.

BUILD: The Pratt & Miller design staff used a Faro ScanArm laser line probe to digitize the complex compound curves of the Corvette C6RS bodywork. These surface scans were subsequently used to refine the wing profile and the pocket that receives the retracted wing. Articulation studies were performed to


the business today: customer cars

pratt & Miller Engineering

TEAMS WITH THE WINNING EDGE Racing teams who want a competitive edge have long recognized the excellence and value of Pratt & Miller race cars. American teams have included Buz McCall’s American Equipment Racing in the 1990s, and continue today with Banner Racing and Stevenson Motorsports. When Pratt & Miller and Corvette Racing first traveled to France in 2000 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it didn’t take long for European racers to recognize the quality of their operation and equipment. It has grown from there, and Corvette teams have been racing and winning on European circuits ever since.

DKR ENGINEERING Team principals: Kendy Janclaes, Dany Lallemand This Belgian team has been running Pratt & Miller Corvettes for the last four seasons. In 2009, they ran the full French GT Championship with C6.R 002 and C5.R 011. Their performance included five victories, which led them to both the team and drivers’ championships. The drivers’ title went to Eric Debard and former F1 pilot Olivier Panis, driving the C6.R. DKR also ran the last five races of the FIA GT series with two Brazilian drivers, Enrique Bernoldi and Roberto Streit. They scored two podium finishes, including the win at Paul Ricard. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the DKR crew worked on the Luc Alphand Corvette that finished second in GT1.


team website:

pratt & Miller Engineering the business today: customer cars

LUC ALPHAND AVENTURES Team Principals: Philippe Poincloux, Luc Alphand Luc Alphand’s team also has raced Corvettes for the last four years. In 2009, they competed in the European Le Mans T E A M Series, and the French GT and FIA GT championships. They also raced two cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the second-place Corvette in GT1, driven by Julien Jousse, Xavier Maassen, and Yann Clairay. It was a tough season, due to a motorcycle accident for Luc, and a transporter fire in September that burned one car and all the equipment. But their on-track success more than made up for the lows. In the Le Mans Series, they swept the team, driver and manufacturer championships with performances that included two wins and two other podium finishes. They were on the podium seven times in the French GT series, including wins at Spa and Algarve.

team website:

SELLESLAGH RACING TEAM Team principal: Patrick Selleslagh SRT is Pratt & Miller’s oldest European customer, the first to purchase a Corvette for European GT racing (C5.R 007, in 2001). In 2009, they ran in the French GT and the FIA GT series. In FIA GT, they won the Algarve race with drivers Bert Longin and James Ruffler, who finished third in the championship for drivers. In the French GT series, SRT won twice, at Magny Cours and Paul Ricard, and were on the podium at four other races. SRT is a small family team with Neils, Patrick’s son, being the only full-time mechanic. Patrick’s wife and daughter are also part of the pit crew during race weekends.

team website:


the business today: customer cars

pratt & Miller Engineering

PK CARSPORT Team principals: Toine Hezemans, Paul Kumpen The race cars of Hezemans and Kumpen, fielding separate teams, have included Corvettes for the last four years. They merged for the 2009 season and raced in the FIA GT series, finishing second in the drivers’ championship with Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen. They scored two wins, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Spa, and two secondplace finishes. In the run to the championship, they were close in points to the winning Maserati drivers, but were thwarted by team tactics made possible by Maserati entering a third car for the last five races.

team website:


Team principal: Alexander Talkanitsa AT Racing has completed two seasons with Pratt & Miller Corvettes. The newly formed team made its mark quickly in 2008, winning four races and the Citation Cup division of FIA GT1. In 2009, this Austrian team raced in a national championship series in the Czech Republic, where they scored six top-five finishes, including two runner-up efforts, and a victory in the 6 Hours of Brno, the season finale. They are in the process of buying a GT2 Corvette for the 2010 season.


team website:

pratt & Miller Engineering

Team principal: John Stevenson Stevenson Motorsports, based in Jacksonville, N.C., has completed its second season racing Pontiac GXP.Rs in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series’ GT division. Their remarkable 2008 performance – three victories, three second- and three thirdplace finishes – landed them second in the championship for drivers. In 2009, drivers Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis again scored three wins, at Virginia International Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park, and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and finished third in the drivers’ standings. In 2010, the team is campaigning a pair of Camaro GT.Rs in the Rolex Series, as well as two Camaro GS.Rs in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

John and Susan Stevenson, team owners

the business today: customer cars


team website:

BANNER RACING Team principal: Leighton Reese

Jim Lutz, program manager

Leighton Reese’s Banner Racing, from Eden Prairie, Minn., was the team that launched Pontiac’s GXP.R race cars into Grand-Am GT competition in 2007. After three wins in that debut season, Banner’s GXP.Rs, developed and built by Pratt & Miller Engineering, went on to sweep the GT championships for drivers, teams and manufacturers in 2008. In 2009, drivers Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards finished second and fourth, respectively, in the drivers’ championship. They notched three second- and three third-place finishes before winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

team website:


pratt & Miller Engineering

FROM THE EDITOR It’s hard to believe we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary at Pratt & Miller Engineering. Over the years the company has had its share of trials and tribulations, but through it all we’ve managed to pull together and make it work. In 1992 our building burned down, and that was the point of no return. Jim and Gary had some big decisions to make, and Jim Miller didn’t think twice. We forged ahead through a very hard time and continued building Pratt & Miller into what it is today. There is an old saying: The harder you work the more successful you become. I also believe there needs to be a balance, and Jim and Gary seem to have that balance. They’ve always made family a big part of the equation. I believe you can learn a lot about people by the way they treat their families, and Jim and Gary are good businessmen and great family men. They share traits I admire, like being kind-hearted, gentle, strong and very business-savvy. They are not afraid to say no, and less afraid to say “let’s go for it.” They’ve said “let’s go for it” several times over the years, and the results have been spectacular. One of the main reasons we’ve been so successful is our people. Everyone shares the same goals, and to succeed is one of them. They take a lot of pride in their work and the results of that work; getting it done right the first time is something everyone strives for. And this has given our customers the confidence to keep doing business with us even in the hardest of times. They know we will do the job right. In these tough economic times, trust is probably the biggest reason we have stayed in business, and we can thank every person at Pratt & Miller for working hard, learning every day, and putting their very best into every job they turn out. This book is not just a retrospective of Pratt & Miller’s first 20 years. It’s a tribute to every one of our people. Without you, we would not be where we are today.


Thank you, Robin Pratt



Robin Pratt, Chris Ladouceur, Evan Deneau, art direction, editing

Dan Boyd Gayle Brock Peter Brock John Brooks Kevin Cole Joos Custers Ginny Darcey Cédric Delfosse Evan Deneau Cyril De Plater Colleen Egan Jurgen Evers

Evers Media Eric Fabre Jim Fets Florian Gatenbein Jerry Howard Dr. Gregory P. Johnson Chris Ladouceur John Machaqueiro Darren Maybury Robert Mochernuk David Noels Dorsey Patrick

Robin Pratt Richard Prince Steve Robertson Susane Rossbach Shawn Slattery Martin Straka Rene Tanner Denis Tanney Dirk Theimann V’ Mike Zimmermann

Copyright © 2010 Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication, Inc. 29600 William K Smith Dr., New Hudson, MI 48165

Phone: 248-446-9800 Fax: 248-446-9020

Rick Voegelin, writing, editing Chuck McLaren, writing, editing, production coordination Ray McAllister, design Dan Kelly, Colortech Graphics, Inc., printing Alleyne Kelly, proofreading

pratt & Miller Engineering EXECUTIVE STAFF Jim Miller Gary Pratt Doug Louth Lynn Bishop Tom Mikrut Bill DeLong MOTORSPORTS ENGINEERING Doug Louth Lynn Bishop Benjamin Brady Steven Cole Ken Flory Paul-Andre Hebert Chuck Houghton Avi Kagan Kyle Millay James Otten Jason Trompeter ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING Rich Priester Chris Ciliento Stuart Taylor Jon Woods ENGINEERING SERVICES Kevin Caparella Derek Carboni Kris Houghton Ben Johnson Benjamin LeVesque Justin Lin Ben Meikle Jonathon Nichols Jesper Slattengren Brandon Widmer Steven Reini, intern CAD/DESIGN Gary Latham Tom Diehm Jeremy Foust Derek Gallo Michael Kurylo John Lankes Julie Palmieri Bob Payton Kevin Kwiatkowski Andrew Rogers, intern

NASCAR ENGINEERING Chris Gilligan Reginald Botchwey John Collier Doug Kirby Chris McMillan Jackie Mohrfeld Justin Rodriguez Ryan Smith Derek Vaughan CORVID TECHNOLOGIES David Robinson Brian Adams Brandon Angell Andrew Attardo James Carpenter John Cogar Jonathon Cowan Cameron Dempster Michael Dick Mike Eidell Joe Harmon Danney Huber Patrick Keistler Jason Kremar Anne Kurtz Andrew Lloyd Scott Lusted Julie Markham Gaurav Mathur Daniel McCullough Greg McGowan David Miller Aaron Nace Rob Nance Lisa Ortiz Hua Pan Allen Shirley Greg Simmons Brian Slusser David Stowe Sean Treadway Aaron Ward Jenna Worsham Mike Worsham Xudong Xiao

FABRICATION DEPT. Bill DeLong Vinny Ciaravino Chad Cole Ray Gongla Sam Howard Adem Jakupi Patrick LaPorte David Matte Mark Salice Bill Taylor Brian Wade Rocco Wilson Greg Ziegler COMPOSITE DEPT. Eric Hartwig Charles Degener Mitch Boroff Jeff Campbell John Chad Bob Edgar Shane Fagan Darryl Glynn Stephen Harvey

Michael Harrison Tylor Klausing Michael Kuhl Brad Lafevre Matthew Loiselle David Longhi Lee Patterson Bridgette Wood MAINTENANCE Steve Hartsell MACHINE DEPT. Ron Clayton Blake Brooks Paul Follett Kevin Hecht Don Locher Frank Lomik Don Schmidt Sam Valdez Ryan Wade

QUALITY ASSURANCE Brad Buenting John Stimpson Frankie Wilson Will Carter, Intern Chris Dutro, intern Louis Post, Intern RACE TEAM: C6.R Dan Binks Mike West Tom Dix Jim Durbin Brian Hoye David James Ross Jeffrey Dave Marin Bryan Tringal Gary Young RACE TEAM: TRUCK DRIVERS Don Male Rich Eldred Steve Longhi Chad Monroe

FRONT OFFICE Kati Hollier Lloyetta Atkins Lisa Martello Sharon Riggs PUBLIC RELATIONS/ MARKETING Robin Pratt Chris Ladouceur David Arnout, intern Evan Deneau, intern CAE TOOLS AND METHODS Kumar Periannan Rob Cooper Colleen Kelly Joe Kiefer Prashanth Vakati Mingyu Yu James Jarrett, intern Spencer Scott, intern

IT DEPT. Mike Sullivan Jay Wright CUSTOMER SUPPORT PROGRAMS Mike Atkins Dave Albright Bob Chapman Alex Roberge PURCHASING Mike Atkins Rusty Elliott Bill Giordano Tony Gubacz Rob Walker


Kathleen Baer Maureen Fisher Frank Silzer Madeline Spakausky

51 • +1 248 446 9800 29600 W.K. Smith Dr. • New Hudson, MI • 48165 USA

Design Develop Build Race Win

Pratt & Miller 2009 Yearbook  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you