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sport / / NASCAR Stock Car Looks Ridiculous, Goes Fast at Le Mans

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NASCAR Stock Car Looks Ridiculous, Goes Fast at Le Mans


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 by: a425couple - Mon, 5 Jun 2023 15:12 UTC

NASCAR Stock Car Looks Ridiculous, Goes Fast at Le Mans
The Hendrick Motorsports-run NASCAR Garage56 program is off to an
excellent start. The team's Camaro stock car also looks comically out of
place on track.

le mans 24 hour race practice day 1

This year's hotly anticipated 24 Hours of Le Mans will be remembered for
two things. At the front, four new factory entries debuting in the same
season mean that the hundredth anniversary race promises its most
competitive field ever. Just behind them, though, is the other thing
that makes this year's race special: the Automobile Club l'Ouest let
NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports bring a modified version of one of
their Camaro stock cars to run the whole race.

This entry, the latest in the Garage56 program that has previously given
this race a Deltawing and a Nissan that is for legal purposes explicitly
not to be called a Deltawing, is exactly what you are thinking. That is
a stock car, built to the Next Gen specs raced on a weekly basis in
NASCAR since last year, with modifications necessary for it to run
competitive laps and survive 24 hours at the Circuit de la Sarthe. It is
no surprise that the resulting car looks and sounds ferocious, but you
may be surprised to learn just how fast it actually is.

After months of installing and testing major upgrades, the Garage56
Camaro is more than just quick enough to keep up with the GT2-spec cars
running in GTE-Am. Through one day of testing, the car's quickest time
of 3:53.761 is more than two seconds faster than any time set by a car
built to the race's standard GT regulations.

Although testing times are not necessarily representative of final race
pace, that specific number is so far ahead of the GTE-Am field that it
actually lands on something significant. In a lap with traffic not run
for the fastest possible number, the Camaro put down a time quick enough
for fourth in GTE-Am during last year's practice-qualifying sessions.
Project a typical increase in pace over a race weekend onto the team
and, suddenly, the Camaro should be fighting to outqualify every GT car
in the race.

As the car is unclassified, beating all of the GT cars will not
represent an actual victory of any sort. It is a very impressive
bragging right, though, and one GM, NASCAR, and Hendrick Motorsports are
surely squarely aiming to achieve.

No matter how fast the car actually is, though, the most memorable thing
about the Garage56 stock car is how it looks on track next to the rest
of the 24 Hours of Le Mans grid. Next to a GT car, it is brutish and
simple. Next to a top-level prototype like the Ferrari 499 P, it appears
to be from a different world entirely. On Saturday, we get to see how a
NASCAR team's full effort to field the best possible car at Le Mans
squares up against both in 24 hours at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

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Conversation10 Comments

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2 hours ago

I think it just plain dumb, give the GTE cars less restriction and they
would be 2 seconds a lap faster. Those cars are all running heavily
restricted motors so just what does this mean? What is the significance
of a one off car that is not legal in any series running an essentially
unrestricted mo...

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sport / / NASCAR Stock Car Looks Ridiculous, Goes Fast at Le Mans


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