The new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R will make its debut this Saturday, January 25th at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway in the Grand Sport production class but unlike many of the cars that compete in the world of “production” endurance racing, the new Camaro Z/28.R is actually very much like the road car. Looking at the Stevenson Racing Camaro above, there aren’t many physical attributes of the Z/28.R that you wont find on the street legal Camaro Z/28 – which isn’t a huge shock considering that the production Z/28 turned in the best lap time ever for American muscle cars. Realistically, if not for the Stevenson Racing livery, the Z/28.R shown above would look just like the road car.
"The original Camaro Z/28 was designed for racing and became an iconic performance car through its hard-fought victories," said Mark Kent, director of racing for Chevrolet. "A new chapter in racing begins this week, as the new Camaro Z/28 makes its competition debut in one of the most hotly contested series in motorsports."
The problem with many production based race cars is that they really don’t look all that much like the road-going version but that isnt true with the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R. Take for example the new Chevrolet Corvette C7R – it is obviously based on the new C7 Z06 but the body has been significantly modified for racing purposes. On the other hand, the Camaro Z/28.R looks nearly identical to the production Camaro. While the interior of the Camaro Z/28.R is obviously modified for hardcore racing action with a single race seat, an elaborate safety cage and the necessary electronics, the exterior is nearly identical to the production 2014 Z/28. The Z/28.R race car shares the extended front splitter, the heat extractor in the hood, the rear spoiler with a wickerbill design and the deep reaching rocker panels with wheel house extensions and tire deflectors. The Z/28.R also features the underbody belly pan that improves air flow under the car at high speed. The only real differences between the exterior of the Z/28 and the Z/28.R are the reinforced composite windshield, the red tow hook and the lightweight race wheels.
"Apart from series-mandated equipment and the specialized suspension components needed for endurance racing, the Z/28.R is as close to a production-spec race car as you'll find," said Kent.
The heart of the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R is the same 7.0L LS7 V8 that powers the production Z/28 with the same helical-gear limited-slip rear differential helping to put that power to the rear wheels. The Z/28.R does feature a unique race ready suspension that would be too stiff for street use and a different braking setup that features steel rotors rather than the carbon ceramic stoppers on the production Z/28.
Two teams will field the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R this Saturday at Daytona International Raceway including the Stevenson Racing car shown above and CKS Autosport. The new Z/28.R effectively replaces the successful Camaro GS.R race car that has won 6 races over the past few seasons in the Continental SportsCar Series Grand Sport class along with a second place finish in the 2013 championship.
"The new Camaro Z/28.R is a significant advancement from the GS.R that won multiple races in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge the last three years," said Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet program manager for the Continental Tire series. "We expect the new engine package, suspension components and aerodynamic improvements to help our teams to further successes in the 2014 GS class. The GS class is full of great competitors, and we believe the performance level of the new Z/28.R will provide us the opportunity to contend for a championship."
We have included a gallery of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 road car for reference. Click any of the thumbnails above to compare the street legal Z/28 to the race car shown here.