Designed for the 2024 racing season to compete in the GT3 category, Corvette Z06 GT3.R will soon join a family of long-standing victors on the track. This track-only race car will be the first that Chevrolet offers to both pro and amateur teams. Although based on the design of the street-friendly Corvette Z06 and its 5.5L engine, the GT3.R won’t be street legal. The track-only race car will be modified with racing-specific equipment and will comply with FIA regulations.
The story of the Corvette and how it came to race at Le Mans is one in which the dreams of a number of individuals intersect, over a prolonged period of time. While each of these dreamers came from vastly different backgrounds and held often times very different agendas, they all shared a common vision—an American sports car winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For Le Mans, the Sebring #2 car was renumbered as #1.
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 Corvette L88 Scuderia Filipinetti Le Mans Racer holds a significant place in Corvette's racing history. With a coil spring front suspension and an L88 engine prepped by Zora Arkus-Duntov and smuggled out the back door to circumvent GM's ban on racing, the L88 was driven at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans by Henri Greder and Umberto Maglioli. It dominated the Porsches and led the GT class til 6th hour when carburetion problems melted a piston.
At Sebring in 1967, the Corvette L88 made its debut appearance. The L88 package included many competition components which included a M22 transmission, large disc brakes, upgraded suspension and an alumunim head 427. Shortly after the race, the L88 option would be offered on production cars which was a formidable package.
This 1961 Chevrolet Corvette factory race car possesses a host of rare options and a provenance worthy of the velvet rope treatment at any of the world’s finest auto museums or vintage races. Gulf Oil sponsored and driven to an SCCA B-Production national championship by the likes of Dr. Dick “The Flying Dentist” Thompson and Don Yenko, it stands as one the most successful and important production-based Corvette race cars ever constructed.
The Purple People Eater MKIII is a 1959 Corvette that was literally unbeatable in SCCA B-Production racing in the late 1950s. There were three Purple People Eaters built in 1958 and 1959. The 1959 model, won every race it entered, except the last one, with Jim Jeffords behind the wheel and mechanic Ronnie Kaplan turning wrenches. The car was built by a team at Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago.
Duntov started off with a ‘54 Corvette as his test mule. He knew that accomplishing his goal would require two things: more power and improved aerodynamics. First, he removed the stock windshield and built a small windscreen. A tonneau cover was then added to the passenger side, and a fairing with a long fin was added to the rear deck behind the driver’s head.
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.
When one of his cars was severely damaged in 1972, John Greenwood converted his 1969 L88 Convertible into a formidable race car. Included as the formidable ZL1 engine with 750 bhp on tap. Other modifications included a rear spoiler, quick replacement radiator and camber adjusters. At Le Mans, this car set the GT-class record for top speed down the Le Mans straight with 215 mph.
Known as the “Race Rat,” this rare 1960 Corvette is one of just 10 produced by the factory with the LPO (Limited Production Option) 1625A 24-gallon fuel tank designed by Zora Arkus-Duntov for racing purposes to reduce the frequency of pit stops. A true factory-prepared race car, this 1960 Chevrolet Corvette Tanker was ordered by gentleman racer and businessman George Reed of “Reed’s Race Rats” fame to compete in 1960 Sebring 12 Hours.
Some of the iconic American sports car’s earliest forays into racing were snuffed out before they ever truly began. The 1963 Corvette Grand Sport, a Zora Arkus-Duntov designed rendition, of the C2 was staged for track domination, both at home and abroad.
Always on the hunt for greater speed and greater thrills, Delmo decided to replace the '61 he had been racing with a brand-new 1962 Chevy Corvette. Owing to his demonstrated skill behind the wheel and prior successes with Corvettes, Delmo had a close relationship with legendary chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and enlisted his assistance with the new car. "It was easy," Delmo recalls. "I called Zora and said, 'Build me a race car.' The only other thing I said was to make it white."
In 1956, Ed Cole, then General Manager of Chevrolet, decided Corvette could be saved from extinction due to lagging sales by promoting the car as a performance car which could be raced in production classes. The first of these Corvettes was to debut at Daytona Beach for acceleration and top end speed trials, the 12 hour race at Sebring, and also possibly Le Mans.
In late 2007 Corvette Europe approached the FIA seeking approval to race a C6 Coupe in the GT4 category. After much study the FIA approved their request. Kroymans shipped a new 2008 C6 Z51 six-speed coupe to Callaway Competition in Leingarten, Germany. In less than six weeks the Callaway team stripped the new car of all non-essential parts including carpet and standard seats.
Chevrolet begins a new chapter in its storied racing legacy with the introduction of the new mid-engine Corvette race car, known as the C8.R. The C8.R will be Chevrolet’s first mid-engine race car to compete in IMSA’s GTLM class and the first clean sheet race car design since the C5.R debuted in 1999. It will make its racing debut at Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 25, 2020. The C8.R is based on the strong foundation of the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
The Corvette C6-R race car debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 2005. The two-car, factory-backed Chevrolet sports car program competed in the production-based GT1 class (formerly GTS) of American Le Mans Series as well as the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. It was the most technically advanced sports car ever developed by GM, culling years of experience from the Corvette C5-R as well as the advancements brought forth from the next-gen Corvette C6 and Z06.
The C6.R ZR1 GT2, if you were to use its full name, was the model used in the last four years before the Corvette C7.R was introduced, and had a slick sequential manual operated by paddles that was combined with the rear differential to create a rear transaxle. This style of transaxle eventually made it into the road-going Corvette, especially the Grand Sport and ZR1 of the C7 generation.
During the summer of 2005, a decision was made to transform selected Z06 road cars into a new breed of racer to compete in the world's top GT3 championships. The first series to introduce this new GT3 class was the SRO and FIA's GT3 Championship. Based on their racetrack test results, Team Carsport saw instant potential in the car. Hezemans contracted Callaway Competition in conjunction with Koos Pettinga, manager at Corvette Europe, to convert the street Z06 into a Z06R GT3.
The C7.R Corvette by Pratt & Miller is one of the winningest race cars in modern history. Explore what makes this Corvette a winner on race day, and discover the connection between the C7.R and the seventh-generation Chevy Corvette Z06. At the core of the C7.R Corvette is a direct carry-over from its predecessor - the same 5.5 liter engine that was developed during the C6.R's successful tenure in both the American Le Mans series and at The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
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.
The Corvette C5-R was part of a plan by General Motors and their Chevrolet brand to create a factory team to participate in grand touring races not only in North America, but also elsewhere in the world, most notably at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. GM had previously been against approving factory support for Corvette racing programs, although the IMSA GT Championship's Corvette GTPs had seen some support until they ended competition in 1989.