F Features

Chevrolet unveils Corvette C7.R race car


Hot on the heels of the 2015 Z06 launch, Chevrolet waited no time to unveil it's new C7.R race car, set for competition in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship (TUSCC), the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Developed jointly with the Z06, the C7.R represents the closest relationship a Corvette racer has ever had with its road-going sibling. Along with shared engine technologies, the C7.R utilizes the same chassis architecture and aerodynamic developments.

Late last year, the company stated the aerodynamic package on the Z06 road car was so advanced, that rather than creating downforce for the C7.R, the aerodynamic team actually had to create slip.

2014-Chevrolet-CorvetteC7R-174“We worked concurrently with the race team developing the aerodynamic packages for the Z06 and the C7.R,” said Juechter. “We even used the same modeling software to test both cars, enabling us to share data and windtunnel test results. As a result, the aerodynamics of the production Z06 produce the most downforce of any production car GM has ever tested, and we are closing in on the aero performance of a dedicated race car.”

The car also utilizes similar aero strategies from the Stingray and previous C6.R, including a forward-tilted radiator, hood and quarter panel vents, and rear transmission and differential cooling intakes.

On the construction front, for the first time, the chassis for the C7.R will be built in-house at the same Bowling Green, Kentucky plant as the production Z06. Using advanced techniques including laser welding and a GM-patented aluminum spot-welding process, the C7.R chassis is also 40 per cent stronger than the C6.R.

2014-Chevrolet-CorvetteC7R-173 2014-Chevrolet-CorvetteC7R-176 2014-Chevrolet-CorvetteC7R-177

“In the first lap in the C7.R, the drivers felt the increase in chassis stiffness,” said Mark Kent, director of Racing for Chevrolet. “The drivers instantly noticed that the C7.R handling was better over changing surface features and rough track segments. This is important as our drivers don’t always stay on the smooth pavement, and are constantly driving over curbing at corner apexes.”

As per GT regulations, the C7.R will use the same 5.5 L powertrain as last year's C6.R, pushing at least 491 hp and 485 lb-ft of torque. 

The C7.R will make its racing debut at the TUSCC season opener on January 25 at the 52nd Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, where it looks to defend its 2013 ALMS GT title in the newly-formed GTLM category.

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