2019 Goodbyes: Corvette C7.R

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The C6.R and its successes was always going to be tough act to follow, but Corvette managed to produce another world-beating car in the C7.R, which debuted back in 2014 and is set to be replaced by the C8.R next year.

The C7.R looks to be the last of Corvette’s front-engined, rumbling V8-powered race cars, as the C8.R features a wildly different engine note (due to a flat crank) and is a mid-engined racer. It will be remembered fondly by those inside the programme and its huge fanbase.

During its six seasons, the C7.R won 17 races in 73 events across IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Its 16 wins in IMSA is the second-most of any car in the WeatherTech Championship to date, its 17th victory came at Le Mans. The C7.R also helped Chevrolet and Corvette Racing claim consecutive GTLM Manufacturer Championships (2016-17), and Driver and Team Championships (2016-18).

With the C7.R, Corvette Racing scored victories at Le Mans, Daytona (twice) and Sebring (three times). It came achingly close to a second Le Mans win in 2017 too, after it was involved in that memorable grandstand finish up against Aston Martin Racing’s #97 Vantage that went on to win.

The C7.R was based on the road-going Corvette C7 Z06. It made several advances in technology from the sixth-generation Corvette. For the first time, the aluminium frame for both road car and racecar were both produced in-house at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The addition of direct fuel injection to the Corvette Z06 enabled the technology to return to a Corvette race car for the first time since the end of the GT1 era in 2009.

Like the GTE-spec C6 that came before it, the C7.R was rarely raced in customer hands. The only team to run the C7.R beyond Corvette Racing was Larbre Competition, which didn’t score any race wins during its 2015 FIA WEC campaign, and other brief spells. Larbre’s art livery for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours though was certainly memorable.

Notable achievements

2014 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship 4 x GTLM wins

2015 IMSA United SportsCar Championship 2 x GTLM wins (including Rolex 24 & Sebring 12 Hours)

2015 IMSA United SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 Hours GTLM win

2015 IMSA United SportsCar Championship Sebring 12 Hours GTLm win

2015 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro win

2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 4 x GTLM wins (including Rolex 24 & Sebring 12 Hours) and Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ titles

2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 GTLM win

2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sebring 12 Hours GTLM win

2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 4 x GTLM class wins (including Sebring 12 Hours) and Manufacturers’, Drivers’ and Teams’ titles

2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sebring 12 Hours GTLM win

2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 1 x GTLM class win and GTLM Teams’ and Drivers’ class titles

Other notable customer teams and liveries

2017 Le Mans 24 Hours Larbre Art Car

2018 FIA World Endurance Championship Shanghai Redline livery