Its high-revving powerplant is assembled at the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green where the Z06-specific LT6 is also made. Approximately 3.5 hours are needed from start to finish because the LT6 is assembled by hand.
Chevrolet says that 70-ish percent of components are shared between the LT6 and race-prepped engine. Shared parts include a variety of sensors, the gaskets and coils, fuel injectors, connecting rods, cylinder heads, and – of course – the flat-plane crankshaft that helps the Z06 rev like crazy.
Essentially an evolution of the C8.R, the Z06 GT3.R is the product of a collaboration between the Competition Motorsports Engineering division of General Motors and Pratt Miller Engineering. Once in Michigan at Pratt Miller’s facility, the aluminum chassis receives a very durable roll cage designed to protect the driver in the event of a crash.
A side-impact crash structure between the driver’s door and roll cage also needs to be mentioned, along with plenty of Kevlar and carbon fiber. The Z06 GT3.R has been tested in the simulator since early 2021, according to General Motors, while the first on-track test took place in September 2022.
Driven by success, Chevrolet’s new racecar uses lightweight 18s at every corner instead of the production model’s 20s and 21s. The rubber boots are supplied by Michelin, but rather than high-performance road tires, the Z06 GT3.R is rocking full-on slicks. The brakes are different as well. Rather than the optional carbon-ceramic Brembos of the Z06, the suits in Detroit decided on AP Racing for this application.
From the standpoint of aerodynamic trickery, there’s a lot to take in. Downforce is the name of the game on high-speed circuits, but cooling plays an important role as well. The ginormous opening in the hood, for example, is designed to extract air after it moves over the front-mounted radiator.
A racecar focused on customer teams, the Z06 GT3.R will make its competitional debut in January 2024 at the Daytona International Speedway. In addition to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Z06-based racing car will also compete in the GT World Challenge America, Intercontinental GT Challenge, and FIA WEC.
Privateer teams interested in the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R will have to pony up a whopping $735,000 right off the bat for one, making it the most expensive C8 – and Corvette for that matter – to date. According to Muscle Cars & Trucks, at least 20 units will be produced, representing the homologation minimum for the GT3 racing category.