Chevrolet officially presented the new Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car 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.
The new 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. The model is a landmark racing vehicle for Chevrolet and it takes the level of technology transfer between racing and production to a new level with more shared components and features than ever before.
The new Z06 GT3.R features the design and development of a collaboration between GM’s Competition Motorsports Engineering division and Pratt Miller Engineering. The model will be available for multiple championships in North America and around the world with a high level of parts and technical support available for its customers.
The Z06 GT3.R began its life as an aluminium chassis frame from Chevrolet’s Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky, the frame provides a lightweight, strong and durable underpinning for both Z06 and Z06 GT3.R and a purpose-built steel roll cage is welded onto a base plate once the car is delivered in Michigan at Pratt Miller.
The model has been equipped with a double-wishbone suspension at the front and rear to promote a higher level of adjustability and fitment of racing-specific tire sizes. The motorsports engineering team also included race springs and dampers, competition-specific rotors, callipers and pads to further improve the ride quality. The Z06 GT3.R has been fitted with a set of 18-inch front and rear wheels similar to the ones on the C8.R.
Motorsports engineers worked with the GM Design Studio to develop an aero package specific to the Z06 GT3.R. The aero package optimises levels of downforce, stability, drag reduction as well as cooling. Every Z06 and Z06 GT3.R uses similar carbon fibre splitters to improve the performance. Additionally, the carbon fibre splitters provide optimal downforce at the front of the vehicles whereas the new carbon fibre diffuser.
The surface elements of the Z06 stayed intact for the Z06 GT3.R from the top of the windshield to the rear of the car, the most notable element includes the side air ducts fitted behind the doors which are inspired by Z06 production road cars. The air ducts help to cool the engine, transaxle and rear brakes.
The Corvette Z06 GT3.R will be powered by a 5.5 litre flat-plane crankshaft DOHC V8 engine derived from the production Z06. This engine began on-track development with the initial testing of the C8.R in 2019 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.
In addition, the engine shares more than 70 percent of its parts with the production Z06 engine, this includes the crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder heads, fuel injectors, coils, gaskets and a variety of other sensors. The GT3 Corvette’s integrated steel roll cage is slightly modified from the current racing Corvette to provide easier ingress and egress.
Z06 GT3.R has been revealed after a two-year testing program. Virtual simulation began in early 2021, the first on-track test of the Z06 GT3.R took place in September 2022 and the models are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2023.
For 2024, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing will continue targeting key sports car racing championships with North American and global entries.