Chevrolet officially unveiled the new Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car at Daytona International Speedway ahead of Saturday’s Rolex 24. The Corvette Z06 GT3.R is Chevrolet’s first racing car to fully comply with the FIA’s technical regulations for GT3 cars.
The new Corvette Z06 GT3.R will make its debut as part of the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO category at the 2024 Rolex 24 At Daytona. A landmark race car for Chevrolet, the model takes technology transfer between racing and production to a new level with more common components and features than ever before.
The new Z06 GT3.R features the design and development of a collaboration between GM’s Competition Motorsports Engineering Division and Pratt Miller Engineering. The model will be available for multiple championships in North America and around the world with a high level of parts and technical support for its customers.
The Z06 GT3.R began life as an aluminum chassis frame from Chevrolet’s Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. The frame provides a light, strong and durable underpinning for both the Z06 and Z06 GT3.R, and a custom steel roll cage is welded to a base plate once the car is delivered to Pratt Miller in Michigan.
The model has been fitted with double wishbone suspension front and rear to encourage greater adjustability and accommodate race specific tire sizes. The motorsport engineering team have also fitted race springs and dampers, competition specific rotors, calipers and pads to further improve ride quality. The Z06 GT3.R was fitted with a set of 18-inch front and rear wheels similar to those on the C8.R.
Motorsport engineers worked with GM Design Studio to develop an aero package specifically for the Z06 GT3.R. The aero package optimizes downforce, stability, drag reduction and cooling. Each Z06 and Z06 GT3.R uses similar carbon fiber splitters to improve performance. In addition, the carbon fiber splitters ensure optimal downforce at the front of the vehicle, while the new carbon fiber diffuser ensures optimal downforce.
The surface elements of the Z06 remained intact for the Z06 GT3.R from the top of the windshield to the rear of the car, the most notable element being the side air ducts, fitted behind the doors and inspired by the Z06 series road cars. The air ducts help cool the engine, transmission and rear brakes.
The Corvette Z06 GT3.R is powered by a 5.5-liter DOHC flat-plane V8 engine derived from the production Z06. The development of this engine on the track began with the first tests of the C8.R in 2019 before its use in the production Z06. The LT6 engine for the GT3.R comes from the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, the same line on which all Corvette Z06 production engines are built.
In addition, the engine shares more than 70 percent of its parts with the Z06 production engine, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder heads, injectors, coils, gaskets and a host of other sensors. The GT3 Corvette’s integrated steel roll cage is slightly modified from the current racing Corvette to allow for easier entry and exit.
Z06 GT3.R was unveiled after a two-year testing program. Virtual simulation started in early 2021, the first track test of the Z06 GT3.R took place in September 2022 and the models are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2023.
For 2024, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing will continue to target major sports car racing championships with North American and global competitors.