On Thursday, we were invited by Chevrolet to Petit Le Mans to hear about the new mid-engine Corvette C8.R racecar that was revealed earlier this month alongside the 2020 Corvette Stingray convertible at Kennedy Space Center. The new race car will take to the track for its first race at the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Speaking at the press event was GM Director of Racing Mark Kent, Corvette Chief Engineer Ed Piatek and Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner.
The clean-sheet redesign allows the new Corvette racecar to take advantage of everything learned over the last 20 years of racing. Working together with the Corvette production team’s engineers, the new Corvette C8.R and the 2020 Corvette Stingray represent the fullest embodiment of “cascade engineering” with both cars becoming exponentially better than the previous generation.
One of the most impressive aspects of the C8.R is the way that it was developed side by side with its production counterparts. In fact, the C8.R represents the closest linkage we have ever had between the track and the showroom of any Corvette we have ever raced in IMSA GTLM competition.” – Mark Kent, Director of Racing, GM
The technology transfer between the C8 and C8.R is unlike ever before, with the new mid-engine race car featuring the highest percentage of production car parts utilized with nearly 100 parts carried over, 80% of which are structural.
Under the rear hatch is the 5.5L naturally-aspirated V8 engine (which is the max displacement allowed for GTLM and Le Mans) that produces 500-horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. Although not mentioned in the presentation but learned in discussions afterward is the fact the engine will indeed be a DOHC with a flat-plane crankshaft that provides a much different sound than what racing fans will be used to.
Here’s the video featuring the full “C8.R Backgrounder” presentation to the closed-door press event at Petit Le Mans.
It’s an exitcing time for Corvette owners as the C8 and C8.R are about to kick-off the next chapter in the Corvette story. We very much appreciate the opportunity from Chevrolet to bring you this information as well as these photos of the Corvette C8.R from Petit Le Mans:
Photos and Video by Keith Cornett