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The Chevrolet Camaro isn’t dead yet. Well, the four-cylinder model is, but the monster muscle car featured in the above video from LeMansVidz on YouTube clearly doesn’t have a four-pot. That’s the sound of V8 power, and not just any V8 either. This is a modified next-gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race car with NASCAR influence, built by the folks at Chevy with Hendrick Motorsports, IMSA, Goodyear, and NASCAR. But what’s it doing at Le Mans?

Our racing colleagues at Motorsport.com remind us that this is the 2023 Garage 56 entry. Since 2012, Le Mans has extended an invitation for a 56th team to participate in the iconic endurance race, showcasing innovative machines with a nod to the future. Note that we didn’t say compete – the Garage 56 vehicle technically is in its own class and isn’t eligible to claim a trophy. But that’s not stopping the Camaro’s drivers from filling the French countryside with American V8 thunder.

Speaking of the drivers, there’s serious talent behind the wheel of this Chevrolet, covering multiple motorsport genres. Formula 1 champ Jenson Button and two-time Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller are on the team, and bringing proper NASCAR flavor to France is the third driver, seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. And though they can’t win the race, Garage 56 already claimed a victory in the Le Mans GTE pit stop challenge. The pit crew changed all four Goodyear tires in 10.364 seconds, and they did it using a manual jack.

But you didn’t click this article to learn about tire changes. You want to hear a 750-horsepower NASCAR V8 pounding through corners amid the LMH, LMP, and GTE cars on the track. The car is modeled after the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, but the engine is a Hendrick Motorsports 5.8-liter pushrod V8 with a crazy-high redline and a sound that’s wholly NASCAR. It tips the scales at approximately 2,900 pounds, and though that sounds beefy for Le Mans, it’s actually trimmed down compared to NASCAR spec. It also runs a sequential five-speed gearbox, and as the video shows, it’s tuned to turn left and right.

The 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off this weekend, and though the Garage 56 Camaro isn’t eligible to win, we suspect there will be many fans ready to cheer when it crosses the finish line. With the Camaro bowing out of showrooms at the end of this year, it would certainly be a nice way to close out the current generation’s eight-year run.

Read the full article here

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