The Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that NASCAR plans to race as the Garage 56 entry in the 100th year of the Le Mans 24 Hours has been unveiled. Sporting a new livery inspired by Goodyear’s role in combining the technologies of NASCAR and Le Mans, the Garage 56 race car is expected to be approved for entry by l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest in the next few weeks.
Garage 56 is reserved as a single-entry class for innovative technology, enabling Le Mans organizers to showcase creativity by letting a forward-thinking project compete alongside a diverse grid of prototype and GT cars.
For 2023, Goodyear has collaborated with NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet to develop the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ahead of the race on June 10-11, subject to entry confirmation. The race car is mostly unchanged from the vehicle that competes within the NASCAR Cup Series. One change, however, is the addition of Goodyear Eagle tires, which have been developed specifically for use during the infamous endurance race.
“From the beginning of this project, it was important to us that the car we bring to Le Mans is a true NASCAR stock car,” said Jim France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “While there have been some adjustments to allow the car to compete in a 24-hour endurance race, fans in Le Mans will be treated to the full NASCAR experience.”
On-track testing of the vehicle started in August 2022 at the Road Atlanta circuit in the USA with two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Mike Rockenfeller behind the wheel. He will be joined by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button at the 100th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Combined, the test car and its previous iteration have racked up 5,800km of testing at six race circuits in the USA: Road Atlanta, Virginia International Raceway, Goodyear Proving Grounds, Carolina Motorsports Park, Sebring International Raceway and Daytona International Speedway.