Chevrolet is going all 1970s on us, and will be bringing a Camaro NASCAR to the 100th running of the 24 hours of LeMans next year, but it will have to make some changes before it gets there.
According to NBC, the Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR driver lineup at Le Mans could feature a few certified legends, including former NASCAR heroes Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. The two have said that they would like to “play around on the simulator” before committing, however. In addition to the NASCAR drivers, the team would also feature an active driver in the sports car scene, but that could be a tough choice.
“Rick Hendrick told me a few weeks ago, ‘I’ve got a lot of new friends. Everyone is calling me to try to drive this car.’ Which is awesome.” said IMSA president John Doonan.
Doonan also said that the few drivers have already been out practicing in the vehicle, albeit virtually, using Chevrolet’s DIL (Driver in the Loop) simulator in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area.
The vehicle still needs to be approved for the race which is more than six months away. In order to get the car to meet the regulations for the endurance race, it might not even resemble a NASCAR so much anymore, according to Hendrick.
“The (NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro) is going to be so highly modified,” Doonan said. “It’s not going to be a car that can enter a Cup race. It’s going to have headlights and taillights. It’s going to be set up for endurance racing. We have, however, invited Ford and Toyota to be part of any testing such that we maintain some transparency and that type of thing. It’s the right thing to do.”
Actual on-track testing of the vehicle will begin in a few months and will take place at tracks that also host endurance racing, these include Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway, and Daytona International Speedway, among others.
The test vehicle will be built by Action Express, known for building the DPi-winning Cadillac in 2021. The test car will be the basis for Hendrick Motorsports to build off of.
Rick Hendrick’s team was specifically chosen to run the Garage 56 entry at LeMans because of its track record as the winningest stock-car team in history, with a record 14 championships, 282 victories, and more than 75,000 laps led.
The NASCAR Chevrolet Camaro will be the third racing entry representing General Motors at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. The pair of C8.R race cars from Corvette Racing are also expected, as is the brand-new Cadillac Racing WEC Hypercar.