As the C7.R Corvettes prepare to do battle for the last time, GM held a technical presentation today at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for invited media, to reveal details of the new C8.R race car. Mark Kent, director of racing for General Motors, hosted the event, introducing first Ed Piatek, chief engineer of the Corvette C8.R and then Tommy Milner one of the number 4 Corvette C8.R drivers.
The car was officially unveiled by Tommy Milner and fellow driver, Oliver Gavin.
The big news everyone has been waiting to hear has to do with the engine, which is a direct-injected, 5.5-liter V8 that produces 500bhp and 480lb/ft of torque. The big news is the new race car will be running a V8 with a flat-plane crank, the first Corvette to ever race with the high-revving crank variant. Behind the engine, the gearbox is an all-new design, Xtrac, sequential six-speed. Gear shifting is activated with paddles behind the steering wheel, just as with the previous two generations of Corvette race cars. The C8.R will continue to run on Michelin tires and is stopped by Alcon brakes.
The car shares more than 80-percent with the road car, and the chassis are all built at Corvette Assembly in Bowling Green. Speaking to Gary Pratt during the presentation confirmed — apart from changes to the front crossmember and inner wheel arches — most of the rest of the car uses the stock road-car chassis. The wider wheels and tires needed for racing — and the re-use of the front trunk space to locate the radiator — helped free up space for the spotlights under the headlights, which are both made by the same company that builds the road car lights.
A graphic was also revealed on the TV presentation, showing both of the designs for the number 3 and 4 C8.R cars. Everyone in attendance seemed to prefer the number-3 car design. The first race for the new C8.R will be the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, held on the weekend of January 26-27, 2020. That is the first race of the 2020 IMSA Weathertech Series and is when we will get to see the newest innovation of Corvette performance in action against the competition. We can’t wait!