2016 Corvette C7.R Adds Aero, Safety Features for Endurance Racing Season

Evolution of Chevrolet Corvette racer that won the 2015 Triple Crown

DETROIT – Chevrolet and Corvette Racing have introduced an evolution of the highly successful Chevrolet Corvette C7.R race car for the 2016 endurance racing season. The goal for the team remains the same – winning both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A new round of technical regulations for 2016 by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the governing body for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, allows manufacturers additional freedom in the design of GTE cars. Those include cars in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans and GT Le Mans (GTLM) in IMSA’s top-level sports car championship.

The aim of the new rules is to enhance the performance of top-level GT cars while making them safer – an area where Corvette Racing has been endurance racing’s leader.

Most notable in the updated racing Corvette is an FIA-mandated roof hatch that allows safety workers to insert an extraction device into the cockpit in order to secure a driver’s head, neck and spine in the event of an injury. An improved racing seat also includes more pronounced side restraints and meets higher structural performance requirements.

Corvette Racing has been a trendsetter in the area of driver safety for a number of years. Head restraints have been part of the driver cell in years past, and the team developed a side-impact structure to help dissipate the force of a collision. The primary chassis structure from the Corvette Z06 production car also is a fundamental component of the crash system.

New rules allow for a significant increase in aerodynamic performance for the 2016-spec Corvette C7.R. A new, larger splitter and a large, 3-D diffuser with tunnels underneath create more downforce while improving efficiency. The rear wing is located 15 centimeters farther rearward on the 2016 Corvette C7.R, and there are larger and more efficient rocker skirts present, as well.

The powertrain on the Corvette C7.R is unchanged with a 5.5-liter V-8 Chevrolet small block powering the race car. The Corvette C7.R will use E20 fuel during the IMSA season and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Since the team’s first race in the 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Corvette Racing has recorded more than 360 race starts around the globe with 101 victories worldwide – including three wins in 2015 to claim endurance racing’s Triple Crown – along with 10 team and manufacturer championships in the American Le Mans Series and eight victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.