2024 Corvette Z06 GT3.R, NASCAR ‘Garage 56’ Le Mans racer, takes to the track

A trio of Chevrolet racers were recently caught testing at Sebring International Raceway in a video posted to YouTube by Corvette Blogger.

In the video, the #3 Corvette C8.R, which finished third in the 2022 IMSA GTD Pro Championship, shares the track with the new 2024 Corvette Z06 GT3.R. Also featured: the NASCAR Cup Series Camaro, the Hendrick Motorsports prepared for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car

Based on the C8 Corvette Z06 road car, the Z06 GT3.R will replace the C8.R in IMSA competition starting with the Rolex 24 at Daytona 2024 and will be available for customer teams. The change is the result of a rule reshuffle by IMSA to address waning interest in the GTLM class for which the C8.R was designed. IMSA is now using the globally popular GT3 class as the basis for its top-of-the-line series-based racing cars, forcing Chevy to switch to the GT3.R.

The Z06 GT3.R is expected to use a version of the flat-plane, naturally aspirated LT6 5.5-litre V8 engine from the Z06 road car, which also shares many similarities with the C8.R engine and in general will be closer to the roadworthy Corvette than the C8.R, which was designed for the more permissive GTLM rules.

The other new racer featured in the video is the NASCAR Le Mans racer from Hendrick Motorsports. Essentially a modified version of the next-gen race car introduced for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, it is slated to compete at Le Mans in 2023 on the special “Garage 56” course. Reserved for a car that doesn’t follow standard Le Mans rules at the head of the normal field of 55 cars, it has historically been used as a technology showcase, with cars like the Nissan ZEOD RC Hybrid racing as Garage 56 entries .

Hendrick hasn’t announced a driver line-up, but Jimmie Johnson, who has won a record-breaking seven championships with the team, has postponed his retirement, saying racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a possibility. Johnson, who joined IndyCar from NASCAR after the 2020 season, announced his retirement from full-time racing in September, but said in November he would be returning to NASCAR for 2023 as a driver and limited owner of Petty GMS.