GM Racing Profile: Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing
From Dusty Midwestern Bullrings to the Top Step of the Podium at Le Mans
A racing odyssey that began 54 years ago at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y., has taken Doug Fehan
to victory celebrations at the world's greatest race tracks. Fehan has traveled a long and winding road
from the dusty Midwestern bullrings where he began his career, to the top step of the podium at Le Mans,
Sebring, and Daytona. While Fehan's official title is GM Racing program manager for the American Le Mans
Series, he is, in fact, the heart and soul of Corvette Racing.
"My grandfather, father and my uncles were in the auto business, and they were absolute race
fans," Fehan recalls. "They took me to my first jalopy race in Buffalo. There was a burgundy
car, with a big, white No. 11 on the door, driven by Larry Marks. At age three, I became Larry Marks'
youngest and greatest fan."
Now Fehan manages racing programs that turn drivers into champions. His was the unseen hand behind
Wayne Taylor's 1996 IMSA World Sports Car title with Oldsmobile's Aurora V-8 and Tom Kendall's 1990
Trans-Am championship in a Chevrolet Beretta. He's guided Corvette Racing's Ron Fellows to three
consecutive ALMS GT1 drivers championships from 2002 to 2004, two of them shared with teammate Johnny
But Fehan knows that racing is not all champagne and celebrations. He experienced the gritty side of
motorsports firsthand, barnstorming a homebuilt Chevelle stock car on the USAC circuit in the late '60s.
"Those were the days when you left for the races after work on Friday, made your way home at
4 o'clock in the morning on Sunday, got two hours of sleep and then went back to work Monday
morning," Fehan explains. "After three or four years of that, it became apparent that my future
was not going to be in racing that way."
Fehan's future was in the business of racing. Driven by a keen perception of the marketing power of
motorsports, a small-time amateur road racing program quickly blossomed into his role managing a major
sponsorship program for Mac Tools from 1985 to 1987 that put the company's logo on the pole-winning car at
the Indianapolis 500 and sent sales skyrocketing.
When an economic downturn hit racing hard in the early '90s, Fehan took a hiatus from motorsports and
pursued his second passion, golf. He patented a wheeled golf bag cover and started a business to market
his invention. Then a chance encounter with GM Racing director Herb Fishel at the Detroit Auto Show
launched Fehan's career on a new trajectory.
First came the Oldsmobile's IMSA World Sports Car program that put the Aurora V-8 in the winner's
circle at the Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-hour endurance races, took the Oldsmobile marque to Le Mans,
and won the 1996 WSC drivers and manufacturers championship. When Olds redirected its Aurora V-8 program
to the fledgling Indy Racing League in 1997, Fehan went to work on the blueprint for GM's first
factory-backed Corvette racing program. Two years later, Corvette Racing broke cover with the C5-R. In the
six years that followed, Corvette Racing scored 35 ALMS victories, including an overall victory in the
Daytona 24-hour race, three 1-2 finishes in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and three
consecutive class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Four consecutive manufacturers championships put an
exclamation point on Corvette Racing's success under Fehan.
"This team has played an important part in Corvette history," Fehan reflects. "Each time
we go to the race track we're writing another page. Years from now, people will look back on this era and
be proud of what we've done."
Fehan is an unabashed advocate for the Corvette cause and an icon for legions of faithful Corvette
"It's hard for me to control my passion for Corvette," he admits. "I've tried to develop
Corvette Racing as a giant tree, and the farther we can spread its roots, the stronger the tree will be. I
enjoy being a one-man band playing the Corvette tune in a variety of places, from the
Corvette Museum and Corvette club meetings to the GM
boardroom. The future looks good for Corvette Racing, and I think we'll continue to be a force in
motorsports for many years to come."
Fehan has traveled a long, strange road from early jalopy races to Le Mans, but he's enjoyed every step
of the journey.
Release Date: May 31, 2005