Corvette Racing will field two C7.R race cars, unveiled at the Detroit motor show, in the 2014 series.
The debut race for the cars will be the Rolex 24 at Daytona (Florida) at the end of this month. Corvette Racing also expects to once again compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Chevrolet started its modern sports car racing history in 1999 with the Corvette C5-R. The C5-R and subsequent C6.R produced 90 victories and 10 manufacturers' championships around the world for General Motors.
The merger of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in for 2014 brings a new name to racing in North America, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Chevrolet once again partners with Michigan-based race shop Pratt & Miller for campaigning the C7.R.
The outgoing C6.R was developed from the C6 street car. The C7.R was engineered from the beginning alongside the C7 Z06 road car, a dramatic help in making both cars better at each role that they serve.
For the first time, the aluminium frame for both the street car and the race car will be built at Corvette's Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant. Chevy claims the C7.R’s frame is 40 per cent stiffer compared to the C6.R.
Corvette Racing’s crew chief Dan Binks, when asked what changes on the C7.R will be key to the car’s success in 2014, said: “The stiffer frame and the direct-injection (DI) engine.
“The DI improves both fuel economy and low-end power.” Binks also higlighted the advancements in aero balance front to rear and reiterated how important it was to develop the C7.R alongside the new Z06 road car.
The 5.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 in the C7.R develops just under 500bhp, due to regulations and the required intake restrictors. Weight is said to be 1245kg. Power is routed through an Xtrac 6-speed gearbox with a viscous coupling limited-slip differential.
When pressed regarding lap times versus the Corvette C6.R, Binks just said, “We’re good.”