The Chevrolet Corvette C6.R is a serious piece of kit: it’s raced–and won–at Le Mans and other iconic races. Every iteration of the famous Corvette nameplate – including the C6.R – was recently inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame.
In 1956, General Motors ordered four Chevrolet Corvettes to race at the 12 Hours of Sebring race, issuing the orders just 34 days before the race. Just over one month of feverish–and dramatic–engineering later, four cars lined up on the starting grid. Problems with axles, transmissions, and fluid leaks sidelined three of the four, but one car finished all twelve hours, limping to the finish. With that, a legend was born.
In the 56 years since, 231 Chevrolet Corvettes have taken to the starting grid at Sebring International Raceway. 24 of those have gone on to take category or class wins.
For its 56th year at Sebring, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing brought a new version of the C6.R race car, which was widened this year to conform to new American Le Mans Series regulations. While the C6.R racer draws heavily on the C6-generation2012 Corvette road car, the racer is wider by nearly five inches, lower by nearly three inches, and lighter by about 600 pounds. Thanks to ALMS regulations, it’s also less powerful: while the production-spec Corvette ZR1 has a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 making 638 horsepower, the C6.R is powered by a 5.5-liter small block V-8 making 491 horsepower and 485 pound feet of torque.
An eleventh-hour dogfight at this year’s 12-Hour Sebring race between BMW, Ferrari, and Chevrolet ended with BMW on top, but Chevy-backed Compuware C6.R Corvettes took both second and fourth place in the GT class. That same weekend the Corvette nameplate joined the likes of Audi and Michelin in the Sebring Hall of Fame’s manufacturer section. When asked about the decision to induct the car, Chevrolet marketing director for performance cars Russ Clark said in a release, “We are thrilled.”