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It Mimics Everything Else In The Field

Corvette Racing C8.R IMSA GTLM GTD Pro GTE GT3
Image via Corvette Racing.

If you look at the front of my house, you’ll see a steel pole that’s hoisting a valiant Corvette Racing flag with the Jake skull and large “C7.R” lettering that was purchased when I went to Le Mans in 2015. The year when Jan Magnussen binned the No. 63 car during qualifying after suffering a mechanical failure, leaving the sole American team with just the No. 64 car piloted by Ollie G., Rodney Sandstorm’s alter ego, and somebody I beat in an autocross once.

Like in the movies, the team overcame incredible attrition and adversity to win the GTLM class. As an American attending his inaugural Le Mans across the pond, this was one of the biggest memories of the trip. And there were incredible memories. Actually, the only thing more notable than the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R winning the class was the sound it made.

Unadulterated, unmistakable, unrelenting American pushrod V8 thunder. And it’s gone now.

With the debut of the Corvette Racing C8.R and its mid-engine formula with an entirely new motor rocketing the unproven race car around the road course, endurance racing fans are going to have a harder time distinguishing the new DOHC V8 powerplant from the rest of the field. In fact, I’ll say it, it sounds undistinguished, and utterly lacking in character.

It doesn’t have the revs of the Ferrari, or the piercing pitch of the Porsche. Nor does it have the turbofan whoosh of the (otherwise even worse sounding) Ford GT. It completely denies the pedigree of the American thunderbolt that was under the hood of the Corvette C7.R.

Is this good for racing? Good for the fans? Should we just take our lumps and move on, happy with the fact that we still at least get eight cylinders? Will the progress of motorsport eventually lead to its demise?

Anyway. At the end of the day, I get it. General Motors is, after all, working on a new flat-plane DOHC V8 engine family that will find itself in the C8 Chevrolet Corvette, and it needs to be vetted rigorously. And the C8.R is likely to decimate the field when it races for the first time at the 24 Hours of Daytona at the end of the month. You’ll just have a hard time remembering what it sounds like.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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