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C8 Corvette gains its racing stripes

By Trent Giunco, 03 Oct 2019 News

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

Chevrolet takes the wraps off its LM GTE-fighting Corvette

There are good-looking race cars, and then there’s this, the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. It is an aggro, competition-ready monster. Chevy’s locked and loaded weapon is equipped to take on the GTLM (GT Le Mans) class in America and the GTE category globally.

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

Chevrolet’s on-track knowhow dates back more than 60 years and the C8.R draws on that heritage, but with a new mid-engine twist. GM can now fight its fellow combatants by placing its V8 behind the driver as it takes on key rivals like Ford and its GT.

The circuit version of the C8 Corvette was a surprise addition to the unveiling of the drop-top version of the production car at the Kennedy Space Centre. While not to the same extent as something like the Ford GT, the race and road cars are said to share a technology transfer between the two.

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

Chevrolet US vice-president of Performance and Motorsport, Jim Campbell, said that the C8.R is a collaboration between GM Design, Propulsion, Engineering and the Corvette Racing team. “The C8.R is much more than just a race-tuned version of the 2020 Corvette Stingray,” Campbell said.

Read: GM is working on the most powerful engine in Holden’s history“The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.”

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

Sportscar365 is reporting that the C8.R, originally touted as being powered by a twin-turbo V8, is likely to be harnessing a 5.5-litre flat-plane crank V8 – although this is yet to be confirmed by GM.

While in the recent past racing Corvettes have worn a yellow hue, the number 4 C8.R is cloaked in a predominantly silver livery. This is said to be inspired by iconic Corvette concepts like the 1973 Aerovette and the 1959 Corvette Stingray racer.

The number 3 car carries the more traditional livery with silver accents breaking up the predominately yellow design, which taps into the lineage of Corvette in the GTLM racing category.

Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

The C8.R will make its racing debut at Daytona for the 2020 Rolex 24 and is expected to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season. It will also have to fall under strict BoP restrictions and it will likely find its way into the LM GTE class for the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hour.

Read next: Chevrolet Corvette C8 could race at Bathurst

A lower-spec GT3 version (less power but more downforce) of the Corvette has also been speculated, which means we could see a racing ’Vette at the Bathurst 12 Hour in the future.