Chevrolet reveals Z06 GT3.R Corvette for 2024 competition
Chevrolet today debuted the new Corvette Z06 GT3.R racecar, a year before it makes its competition debut at the 2024 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Making its public debut at Daytona International Speedway ahead of Saturday’s Rolex 24, the Corvette Z06 GT3.R is Chevrolet’s first racecar that fully meets FIA technical regulations for GT3 cars.
➡️ Where will we see the Z06 GT3.R Corvette in 2024 ?
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 toward 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 Rolex 24 At Daytona to open next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“The Corvette Z06 GT3.R breaks new ground for Chevrolet and the Corvette Racing program,” said Mark Stielow, director, GM Motorsports Engineering Competition. “This customer-focused racecar leverages learnings from throughout Corvette Racing’s lengthy and successful history, plus the expertise of our Corvette production design, engineering and powertrain teams.”
Track and street
The Z06 GT3.R is a landmark racing vehicle for Chevrolet. Based on the highly acclaimed mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Z06 supercar, this new race car takes the level of technology transfer between racing and production to a new level with more shared components and features than ever before.
“Corvette Racing has been an important influence on the design of Corvette production cars for 25 years,” said Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer, Corvette. “Corvette production and racing teams worked together closely in development to maximize the benefits of a mid-engine design, sharing lessons learned that set both programs up for all-out performance on the track.”
The Z06 GT3.R begins its life as an aluminum chassis frame from Chevrolet’s Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. The frame provides a lightweight yet strong and durable underpinning for both Z06 and Z06 GT3.R. Once in Michigan at Pratt Miller, a purpose-built steel roll cage is welded onto a base plate, which is secured to the chassis.
A double-wishbone suspension at the front and rear promotes a higher level of adjustability and fitment of racing-specific tire sizes. This is the same front and rear suspension configuration as on the Z06 production vehicle.
The motorsports engineering team added race springs and dampers, competition-specific rotors, calipers and pads. The Z06 GT3.R rides on 18-inch front and rear wheels — the same as on the C8.R.
Advanced aerodynamic strategies also link the road-going Corvette and its GT3 counterpart. Motorsports engineers worked with the GM Design Studio to develop an aero package specific to the Z06 GT3.R to optimize levels of downforce, stability, drag reduction and cooling.
The goal was to design a GT3-spec Corvette that is suitable across different tire specifications, balance-of-performance settings and other customer preferences while not sacrificing performance or drivability on a variety of tracks and racing surfaces.
In order to enhance performance of the Z06 and Z06 GT3.R, each uses similar carbon fiber splitters which provide optimal downforce at the front of the vehicles. On the underside of the Z06 GT3.R, a new and purpose-designed carbon fiber diffuser routes air from the front the car toward the rear in order to create an optimal level of overall car stability.
The underbody aerodynamic devices work together in complimenting the functionality of a new-for-2024 wing that aids in airflow at the rear of the Z06 GT3.R and the creation of downforce for enhanced cornering ability.
Aggressive and efficient ducting will move air to cool internal components. Intakes at the front of the Z06 GT3.R draw in air to cool the front brakes. A single, large opening on the hood — a new design philosophy from the C8.R — extracts out air after it moves over the radiator.
From the top of the windshield to the rear of the car, the surface elements of the Z06 stayed intact for the Z06 GT3.R, accentuating the tie between production and racing. Most notable are side air ducts behind the doors — directly inspired by Z06 production road car — that help to cool the engine, transaxle and rear brakes.
The Corvette Z06 GT3.R will feature a 5.5-liter, flat-plane crankshaft DOHC V-8 engine derived from the production Z06. This engine 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 for the GT3.R originates from the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, the same line on which all production Corvette Z06 engines are built.
The 5.5-liter powerplant shares more than 70 percent 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,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance and Racing Propulsion Team. “There were valuable lessons learned during the C5-R through C7.R programs that aided in the development of our V-8 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.”
Chevrolet and Pratt Miller have worked together to incorporate a number of features into the GT3.R, building on safety construction from the C8.R. The Z06 GT3 features a side-impact crash structure between the driver’s side door and roll cage. Pioneered in the C7.R, the box features an outer casing of carbon fiber and Kevlar, and is filled with an aluminum honeycomb construction.
The GT3 Corvette’s integrated steel roll cage is slightly modified from the current racing Corvette to provide easier ingress and egress.
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