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GT3 Corvette Z06 unveiled for customer teams in 2024

Chevrolet has revealed the new Corvette Z06 GT3.R a year before it makes its competition debut at the 2024 Daytona 24 Hours.

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Making its public debut at Daytona International Speedway ahead of Saturday’s Daytona 24 Hours, the Corvette Z06 GT3.R is Chevrolet’s first car that fully meets FIA technical regulations for GT3 cars.

The C8.Rs run last season and this season are GTLM/GTE Pro cars converted to GT3 standard for IMSA and WEC competition following the deletion of those two categories.

Design and development of the mid-engine Z06 GT3.R is a collaboration between GM’s Competition Motorsports Engineering and Pratt Miller Engineering.

With an eye specifically on customer racing, the Z06 GT3.R will be eligible for multiple championships in North America and around the world with a high level of parts and technical support available for its customers.

The Corvette Z06 GT3.R will race for the first time as part of the GT Daytona (GTD) Pro category at the 2024 Daytona 24 Hours which is the season opener of next year’s IMSA SportsCar Championship.

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Photo by: Chevrolet Racing

“The Corvette Z06 GT3.R breaks new ground for Chevrolet and the Corvette Racing programme,” said Mark Stielow, GM Motorsports Engineering Competition director. “This customer-focused car leverages learnings from throughout Corvette Racing’s lengthy and successful history, plus the expertise of our Corvette production design, engineering and powertrain teams.”

“Corvette Racing has been an important influence on the design of Corvette production cars for 25 years,” Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer, added. “Corvette production and racing teams worked together closely in development to maximise the benefits of a mid-engine design, sharing lessons learned that set both programs up for all-out performance on the track.”

The Corvette Z06 GT3.R will feature a 5.5-litre, flat-plane crankshaft DOHC V-8 engine which began on-track development in 2019 with the initial testing of the C8.R, ahead of its use in the production Z06. The LT6 engine shares more than 70% of its parts with the production Z06 engine, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder heads, fuel injectors, coils, gaskets and a variety of other sensors.

“Racing continues to play a key role in the development of our production engines,” Russ O’Blenes, Performance and Racing Propulsion Team director said.

“There were valuable lessons learned during the C5-R through C7.R programs that aided in the development of our V8 engines for production and racing — many dealing with efficiency, materials and light-weighting. The flow of information from Corvette Racing to production engineering and back has helped us build race and street car engines that are fast, reliable and efficient.”

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Photo by: Chevrolet Racing

Virtual simulation through Chevrolet’s Driver in the Loop simulator began in early 2021 while the first on-track test of the Z06 GT3.R took place in September 2022, so the Z06 GT3.R will have had a full year of on-track development by the time it reaches customers in the third quarter of 2023.

The Corvette Racing programme has scored 122 race victories including 113 in IMSA competition in its 25 years of existence. Those wins have led to 14 manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships and 15 team titles.

The current mid-engine C8.R – the predecessor of the Z06 GT3.R – has won 15 times around the world since its on-track debut in 2020 and dominated the final two years of the IMSA GTLM category in 2020-21.

Chevrolet and Corvette Racing is establishing a complete customer support programme that will be available to teams running the Z06 GT3.R. According to the press release from Chevrolet, “an at-track parts truck will be a fixture at North American race events starting in 2024 with expansion to overseas support ramping up in the first two years of the Z06 GT3.R programme.

“Corvette Racing will carry full spares packages of bodywork and internal components for its customer teams in supported championships. On the technical side, engineers will assist teams with items such as pre-race documentation, including chassis set-up and data sharing plus post-event documentation, data analysis, and relative comparisons.

“Full engineering, race strategy and other items also are incremental support options for Corvette Z06 GT3.R customer teams… Corvette Racing and GM Motorsports engineers will be available for remote engineering and operations support.”

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Corvette Z06 GT3.R

Photo by: Chevrolet Racing

For 2024, the IMSA SportsCar Championship will see “up to four Corvette Z06 GT3.R entries with a mix of GTD PRO and GTD teams” while two Corvette chassis will be bound for WEC in hopes of a double entry.

Chevrolet Motorsports will also be evaluating opportunities to be represented in SRO Motorsports including SRO America and the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

Specific team announcements including drivers will be announced at a later date.

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