Somewhere, high up in the sky, Zora Arkus Duntov is smiling. It’s been more than 60 years since the legendary Father of the Corvette started smuggling race-prepped Corvettes out of GM’s back doors, and finally his dream has become a reality: a mid-engined Corvette is going racing. Chevy’s first mid-engine GTLM race car, the Corvette C8.R, just made its debut alongside the 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray convertible at the Kennedy Space Center. The C8.R is expected to carry on the success built by Corvette Racing over the past 20 years.
That means it has some big shoes to fill.
Since returning to road racing in 1999, Corvette Racing has taken home 107 checkered flags, more than any other professional sports car racing team in North America. The trophy case includes 13 Team championships and 12 Driver and Manufacturer titles, along with the distinction of becoming the first sports car team to ever win the endurance racing triple crown with victories at the Rolex 24, the Twelve Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015.
“The C8.R is much more than just a race-tuned version of the 2020 Corvette Stingray. It’s a culmination of many years of testing and development between GM Design, Propulsion, Engineering and the Corvette Racing team,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.”
Along with the new mechanical philosophy look for the C8.R to sport a new paint scheme when it hits the track in earnest this coming January. The No. 4 C8.R will rock a new silver livery with yellow accents, inspired by the color of iconic Corvette concepts such as the 1973 Chevrolet Aerovette and the 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer. The No. 3 car which will feature Corvette Racing’s traditional yellow color scheme with silver accents that continues the lineage of the successful GTLM racing Corvettes of the past 20 years.