This car was created by Doug Rippie. His claim to fame was the Corvette Challenge Series. Rippie loved racing Corvettes in the US, but, his life-long dream was to take on the world-class marques at Le Mans. So, when Chevy introduced the C4 ZR1 the opportunity was opened up. Via his collaboration with MerCruiser and Lotus Engineering, all with Chevy’s blessing, the "Black Widow" program created special street and race versions of the LT5 engine. This engine made 525hp.
The 1990 Escort World Challenge Series Corvette R9G's were only available for one week. Only race teams were allowed to order this very rare Corvette through dealerships. The 1990 Corvette had its own code like the '88 & 89's did, it was dubbed the "R9G" Corvette. The cars were produced for the express purpose of racing in the SCCA World Challenge Series. In 1990, dealers could order cars destined for the World Challenge race series.
The 1989 Corvette Challenge cars had a unique option code from the factory, it was "R7F". The documentation from GM clearly indicates that the cars were produced for the express purpose of racing in the SCCA Corvette Challenge Series. There is also documentation that identifies by serial number, all Corvettes produced with these option codes. Therefore, it is relatively easy to validate the authenticity of any Challenge car.
The 1988 Corvette Challenge Series was created by John Powell of Powell Motorsports. Chevrolet built fifty-six identical Corvettes for the first year of the Corvette Challenge in 1988. Each was equipped exactly the same, with all standard equipment, the 245hp Cross-Fire fuel injection engine, Doug Nash 4+3 transmission, Z51 Handling Suspension package.
The story of this Chevrolet begins with Fords - specifically, the purpose-built IMSA Mustangs and SCCA Trans Am Mercury Capris that became major forces in those series in 1984-85. In 1985, a Mustang built by Jack Roush and chassis firm Protofab took a young John Jones to the IMSA GTO crown and a Roush Protofab Mercury Capri had done the same in the Trans Am championship.
A Corvette in name only, the Corvette GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) was one of the fastest and most exotic race cars ever to wear a red Bowtie. Based on an English Lola T600 chassis and powered by an all-American turbocharged Chevy V6, the mid-engined racer was a rocketship. At full boost, the Corvette GTP's 3.4-liter (209ci) V6 pumped out more than 1,000 horsepower.