Come on! Let’s take a HOT LAP around Le Mans in a C5-R Corvette!
After decades of “why can’t we have a factory Corvette racing team?” Chevrolet and GM finally got behind a racing Corvette in ‘97, the way they did with NASCAR Chevrolets. With the vastly superior C5 platform, Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller engineers took their time developing all aspects of the C5-R. The results were SPECTACULAR!
The C5-Rs raced for 5-1/2 seasons, with the half season being ‘99 with only 5 races entered and one 2nd place finish. For the 2000 season the team entered eight races, taking one 1st place win at the Texas Motor Speedway. But it was 2001 that the Corvette Racing team hit their stride. In the 10 races for the season, the two-car team took eight 1st place wins and six 2nd place wins, PLUS, they won their class at Le Mans. In international sports car racing, the saying is that if you win at Daytona, a lot of people will notice. But if you win at Le Mans, EVERYONE will know!
For 2002 the team entered 11 races and finished 1st place nine times and 2nd place eight times. For 2003 the team ran in 10 events, winning 1st place five times and 2nd place five times. The last year for the C5-R was the best. The 2004 Corvette Racing Team entered 10 events and TOTALLY dominated the series winning 1st place 10 times and 2nd place eight times!
So, to recap the totals, from 2000 to 2004 the team entered 49 races and took home 33 1st place wins and 30 2nd place wins. Plus, the team won 1st and 2nd in their class at Le Mans three times – in ‘01, ‘02, and ‘04.
For those of us that love and have been following Corvette racing for a long time, we always knew that given a chance, with proper backing, the Corvette could compete and WIN against ANYTHING on the planet! So, BRAVO to the Corvette Racing team! – Scott
PS – The paint scheme for the 2004 Commemorative Edition Corvette was based on the 2004 C5-R race car.
PSS – Check out our collection of C5-R racing Corvette art prints HERE.