Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
The Chevrolet Corvette is a true American legend with one of the longest name plates in production. Since 1953, the Corvette has been America’s and the world’s top selling sports car with over a 1.5 million units sold. Of course, during all those years, Corvette was raced extensively and globally, winning numerous races and events.
The latest racing incarnation of this sports car, called the Corvette C7.R, was introduced last year. After the C5-R and the very successful C6.R, the seventh generation has the very difficult task of achieving more than its predecessors. However, by the looks of it, it is already on its way of doing so. Soon after its presentation, the C7.R won a lot of races in America and was ranked high in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. With its signature yellow paint job and ‘Jake the Skull’ logo, the Corvette C7.R is promising even better results.
Advanced design and materials but old engine
Just as was the case with the previous models, the famous Pratt & Miller racing outfit was in charge for the development of this model as well. The basis of C7.R is the road going version of Corvette C7 but not the base model. The C7.R is based on the Corvette C7 Z06’s performance version which is a hardcore sports car with 620bhp and sublime performances. However, the racing car has been constructed with lighter materials, the engine has been moved towards the center of the car with a special safety equipment and aerodynamics package. The basic Corvette layout is very good with an intelligent and lightweight chassis, torque tubes and a transaxle gearbox in the rear for perfect weight distribution. However, the most interesting thing about this model is undoubtedly the engine. Because the various class specifications, the GTE, GTLM, GT3 and GT4 cars have engine restrictors in order to make performance of different cars on the same level, the Corvette team was faced with an interesting question.
Corvette C7 has an old engine
This dilemma was whether to develop a totally new power unit or to use the old one, because whichever engine C7.R would have, it would always have around 500 bhp because of the engine restrictors. Pratt & Miller decided to use the old engine with a 5.5-liter, naturally-aspirated dry-sump V-8, along with its six-speed sequential transmission and a slightly modified differential. It was a good choice since the old engine is a very dependable and proven unit. The paradox is that the road going Z06 has more power than the race car but that is the reality of today’s racing rules.
Corvette scores a class win at 2015 Le Mans
The new C7.R has been the fastest at the official 24 Hours of Le Mans test day in 2015 and it comes as no surprise that Chevrolet has won GTLM class in 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans race after a perfect performance by the yellow Corvette C7.R.