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Old 17 Mar 2022, 19:20 (Ref:4102958)   #1
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NASCAR returns to Circuit de la Sarthe...



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Hendrick Motorsports to pursue Garage 56 entry at Le Mans in 2023
SEBRING, Fla. Nearly half a century after Bill France Sr. first took stock cars to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports have announced their intention to compete in the 2023 event as the special Garage 56 entry.

The entry will be a modified version of the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race car and is a collaboration of NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, IMSA, and Goodyear. Further details, including technical elements of the car and the team’s driver lineup, will be announced at a later date.

A press conference about the effort was held this afternoon to at Sebring International Raceway in advance of the Twelve Hours of Sebring sports car endurance race.

“From the early days of NASCAR, it was important to my father that we played a visible role in international motor sports, and there is no bigger stage than the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Jim France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “In partnering with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, we have the winningest team, manufacturer and tire in NASCAR history. We look forward to showcasing the technology in the Next Gen car and putting forward a competitive entry in the historic race.”

Hendrick Motorsports is the all-time leader in NASCAR Cup Series championships, points-paying victories and laps led. The team is coming off its second consecutive title and has won two of the four races in 2022.

Seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus will serve as its Garage 56 program manager.

“Participating in one of the truly iconic events in auto racing and representing NASCAR and Chevrolet on the world stage is a privilege,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Jim deserves tremendous credit for having the vision for the project, and we thank him for trusting our organization with the responsibility. Even though Garage 56 is a ‘class of one,’ we are competitors and have every intention of putting a bold product on the racetrack for the fans at Le Mans. It’s a humbling opportunity – one that will present an exciting challenge over the next 15 months – but our team is ready.”

“NASCAR is going back to Le Mans! Chevrolet is looking forward to being a key partner with NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports and Goodyear in this historic Garage 56 effort,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance and Motorsports. “While many know us as the winningest manufacturer in NASCAR, we also have had great success with our Corvette Racing program at Le Mans, with eight class wins in 21 starts since 2000. At Chevrolet, we love to compete, and we can’t wait to get started on this program.”

“Goodyear has proudly produced tires for NASCAR for more than 60 years, and we look forward to taking our innovation to the next level at the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of Global Race Tires. “In addition to Goodyear’s presence at Le Mans on the LMP2 class vehicles, being involved in this historic race as part of the Garage 56 entry is yet another demonstration of our commitment to advancing racing tire technology.”

Bill France first brought stock cars to Le Mans on June 12, 1976, after reaching a deal with the event’s organizers. Two NASCAR race cars competed in a newly-created Grand International class.

“Garage 56 is a special opportunity at Le Mans since this race has been a leader in technological process for the auto industry over its nearly century long existence,” said Pierre Fillon, president of l'Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “When the ACO receives an application for a Garage 56 program, we begin by talking with designers, team partners, and suppliers in order to set performance parameters such that the program can be successful for everyone involved. We will continue to work with NASCAR and all their partners as they work toward their proposed 2023 Garage 56 project.”

Garage 56 was introduced in 2012 as a special single-entry class reserved for innovative cars. It allows for the testing of new technologies and fostering of creativity and innovation without taking away the spot of a car from the traditional starting grid.
Source: http://www.hendrickmotorsports.com/n...e-mans-in-2023
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Old 17 Mar 2022, 19:23 (Ref:4102962)   #2
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Moving chicanes in real chicanes?
I would rather see them in the Nürburgring 24 hours.
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Old 17 Mar 2022, 19:37 (Ref:4102965)   #3
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in french but 3 videos and nices photos


https://www.blog-moteur.com/47389/jo...s-du-mans.html
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Old 17 Mar 2022, 20:30 (Ref:4102974)   #4
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Interesting but is it really Garage 56 material? And do they have an entry agreement with ACO or just hopeful? I get they're adding the hybrid system to the car, or at least planning to, but something that's equal to the LMDh model isn't really advancing anything is it?
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Old 17 Mar 2022, 20:46 (Ref:4102981)   #5
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No way they did this announcement if it wasn't agreed. I'd far rather see G56 used for something like this than a barely modified P2. G56 should bring actual intrigue and add to the show, IMO. I think we've seen "G56 material" is anything the ACO want it to be. Or, whoever is actually interested in doing something.

With all the variety has been stripped out of ACO rules racing, I think this should be applauded.
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Old 17 Mar 2022, 23:31 (Ref:4103009)   #6
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No way they did this announcement if it wasn't agreed. I'd far rather see G56 used for something like this than a barely modified P2. G56 should bring actual intrigue and add to the show, IMO. I think we've seen "G56 material" is anything the ACO want it to be. Or, whoever is actually interested in doing something.

With all the variety has been stripped out of ACO rules racing, I think this should be applauded.
Rock On!

Given that ACDelco is owned by GM, and developed systems for the successful Corvette programs, including the reverse facing video feed that they made bullet-proof by pounding it around in the Corvettes, and which has become standard tech for other race cars and also a lot of new production vehicles from all the world's manufacturers, I think there is some sort of reason to believe some inovative things will be in this Camero, making it an acceptable and justified G56 candidate.

Given the support behind this project, it is exciting news.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 00:38 (Ref:4103019)   #7
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No way they did this announcement if it wasn't agreed. I'd far rather see G56 used for something like this than a barely modified P2. G56 should bring actual intrigue and add to the show, IMO. I think we've seen "G56 material" is anything the ACO want it to be. Or, whoever is actually interested in doing something.

With all the variety has been stripped out of ACO rules racing, I think this should be applauded.
I agree relative some of the proposed G56 cars it's better and would actually be there. The hand control car was worthy but nothing that new and they acquitted themselves well. The Ace and Gary cars were meh, at least DW lasted a bit and there was emotion to get it going again, Nissan well less said about Nissan at LM the better. Multiple cars were announced to turn in to vapor

I do wonder if they will use the spec hybrid or go all out with a future Corvette hybrid system and smaller/lighter V8 in the car. That would be interesting but would it really be a Cup car then? The last gen Cup car lapped MUCH slower than GTD at similar tracks. At Road America the lap record for Cup is listed as 2:14.089 for Byron, GTD 2:06.991 for Hawksworth in Lexus, GTE 2:02.281 for Tandy. Street car record was 2:04.877 at a Gridlife event according to the track so that's interesting but guessing "street car" used loosely. It's half the distance and high speed so decent comparison and some speed to make up there.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 02:58 (Ref:4103028)   #8
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Interesting but is it really Garage 56 material? And do they have an entry agreement with ACO or just hopeful? I get they're adding the hybrid system to the car, or at least planning to, but something that's equal to the LMDh model isn't really advancing anything is it?
I agree. Bit odd.

But I like it. Maybe the ACO learn something. Maybe it’s that I went to Daytona yesterday, but I'm fine.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 04:27 (Ref:4103034)   #9
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I do wonder if they will use the spec hybrid or go all out with a future Corvette hybrid system and smaller/lighter V8 in the car. That would be interesting but would it really be a Cup car then?
There was talk of Nascar going hybrid (I don't follow it anymore, but headlines will be on some broad motorsport news webpages. Also, Nascar is losing fan base (probably still?), partly because they shifted from tracks with personality and variety and went to a bunch of cookie cutter/boring tracks. That is I think they have expanded their road course venues, to try to lure back or grab attention of potential new fans (also, they don't have driver personalities like Petty, Yarborough, Allison, Pearson anymore. Those guys wouldn't fit the current corporate hack drivers they have now. But, anyway).

Nascar is marketing, their IMSA arm is too. GM is marketing, but also having to go innovative to continue on a world stage and home market. ACO is marketing too, and their race needs to be 'tech' to remain relavent on the guy on the street. Hendrick is marketing, his dealer network moves a lot of GM product. His mega successful racing side is a powerhouse in Nascar, and don't forget he was chosen for the Corvette GTP IMSA program, which was GM. It was not overly successful, but I don't think that was on the Hendrick side, more the GM parts bin being used to go against the likes of Porsche and the 962.

These Cup cars are unibody based, or a bespoke tube chassis-I know they are using a survival cell driver's compartment, like DTM, but DTM cars also are a monocoqe type carbon chassis (or my memory, knowledge, whatever is up a horse's a**).

Given the players, they would not have made the announcement if they had not modeled 'something' that will fit-in and not face plant. They can't afford the effect that failure would have marketing wise. Having to push hard in tech development enhances their IP and includes staff. This is going to be ala space program advancing to a moon landing, and will be approached that way.

Given the people, companies and the vehicle, it is going to pull a lot of attention of Nascar fans to that big race in France. Nascar (Bill France) did that in 1976 by pushing for a few 'Cup' cars to be allowed to race in Daytona 24 and at LeMans that year. He was looking to garner Nascar interest in Europe. He reciprocated by allowing the ACO GTP class to have an adventure at Daytona, that would later morph into IMSA GTP, and in Europe Group C.

That 1976 foray to LeMans can be looked at as a Garage 56 in ways. Marketing wise, certainly not tech wise.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 06:57 (Ref:4103039)   #10
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I do hope these new NASCARs make a good noise - would be a good reminder of my early days at Le Mans in the '90s when there were plenty of American V8s on the grid.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 07:19 (Ref:4103042)   #11
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950-1070kg quick prototypes running fast corners like indianapolis and porsche sector vs >1500kg bulky car cruising slow in the same corners... what could ever go wrong?
A nascar car running along prototypes and gt at le mans looks more like a forza motorsport/gran turismo special stage than else.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 09:01 (Ref:4103051)   #12
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Jumping ahead a bit - but with the marketing hat on, I'm quite interested as to who could end up driving this.

The Cup schedule is so relentless. Taking this year as an example, you've got races on both the Test Day and LM24 race weekends. So you'd imagine any full time Cup drivers are non starters. Surely you'd want a name driver or two to add to the whole thing. I'm just gonna come out and say it - could we get Jeff Gordon at Le Mans, in a Nascar?
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 09:28 (Ref:4103061)   #13
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I eat my hat, if Jimmie and Jeff won´t be driving this thing.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 11:29 (Ref:4103077)   #14
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This should be mega. Only concern I have is how much slower the car will be and if this will pose a safety issue by having much faster cars approaching difficult parts of the track and being caught in multiple traffic - see deltawing in 2012
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 13:05 (Ref:4103087)   #15
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No way they did this announcement if it wasn't agreed. I'd far rather see G56 used for something like this than a barely modified P2. G56 should bring actual intrigue and add to the show, IMO. I think we've seen "G56 material" is anything the ACO want it to be. Or, whoever is actually interested in doing something.

With all the variety has been stripped out of ACO rules racing, I think this should be applauded.
To me, G56 has been transformed into a spot for cars not within the current rules. Could be something with new tech, or could be a stock car.

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Jumping ahead a bit - but with the marketing hat on, I'm quite interested as to who could end up driving this.

The Cup schedule is so relentless. Taking this year as an example, you've got races on both the Test Day and LM24 race weekends. So you'd imagine any full time Cup drivers are non starters. Surely you'd want a name driver or two to add to the whole thing. I'm just gonna come out and say it - could we get Jeff Gordon at Le Mans, in a Nascar?
I was thinking Nascar would love to have a current driver in there, for the publicity of its own series if nothing else. Maybe the schedule next year will have some gaps?

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I eat my hat, if Jimmie and Jeff won´t be driving this thing.
I was thinking Jimmy with the prototype driving he has been doing the last couple of seasons. Would they go with a car for retired drivers only though? Nascar is probably more about drivers than cars, so I bet they try to get at least one current driver in there.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 14:43 (Ref:4103098)   #16
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I eat my hat, if Jimmie and Jeff won´t be driving this thing.
I wouldn't be too sure there, Jeff hasn't been in a car in a while and only drove the minimums the last couple times. Jimmie MAYBE but it depends on where Aly or Carvana want to spend their money.

More likely you'll see AXR drivers who don't have a LM ride in the car as they will be developing it
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 14:57 (Ref:4103101)   #17
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I was thinking Jimmy with the prototype driving he has been doing the last couple of seasons. Would they go with a car for retired drivers only though? Nascar is probably more about drivers than cars, so I bet they try to get at least one current driver in there.

Chase Elliot. Most popular driver in the last seasons and very good on road courses.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 14:57 (Ref:4103102)   #18
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This should be mega. Only concern I have is how much slower the car will be and if this will pose a safety issue by having much faster cars approaching difficult parts of the track and being caught in multiple traffic - see deltawing in 2012
At Road America the last Gen Cup cars were 12 seconds slower than GTE Corvette. Now some of that is the tires, Michelin confidential vs Goodyear stock car tires. Add in better tire development, new car likely being better road course, somewhat open rule book to develop the car further and sportscar guys developing it I would guess much of that gap will be narrowed. BUT 12 seconds at Road America is 24 seconds straight up track length wise. 2:02 for GTE leads to a 3:47 at LM so not a straight up 2:1 based on track length so maybe likely 4:05-4:15 with some development to improve the time
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 14:59 (Ref:4103103)   #19
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Chase Elliot. Most popular driver in the last seasons and very good on road courses.
Remember the Cup series runs nearly every weekend and he's not leaving points on the table and Cup ain't taking a break for him to go overseas. he would have to skip at least 2 races, maybe 3
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 15:01 (Ref:4103105)   #20
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Remember the Cup series runs nearly every weekend and he's not leaving points on the table and Cup ain't taking a break for him to go overseas. he would have to skip at least 2 races, maybe 3
NASCAR will find a solution about that. They bring that car to Le Mans and they want to have their star in that car. NASCAR is creative and will be creative.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 16:00 (Ref:4103117)   #21
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Oh wow!

They will need some really sticky Goodyear/Dunlop tyres to be minimally competitive.

Nascar had off weekends for the Olympics. Sure they can have a week off for Le Mans.

I think that Nascar will select current drivers, rather than veterans like Jimmie Johnson.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 16:10 (Ref:4103119)   #22
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This is going to be amazing.
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 16:15 (Ref:4103121)   #23
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Unless NASCAR finangles the schedule to have the test day weekend and LM race weekend not conflict with Cup races, HMS are gonna need drivers for this thing.


I can see promo value for a good NASCAR Euro series driver getting contracted. I can def. see Jeff Gordon doing it, since he's a GM/HMS ambassador and Jeff has had an ambition to do Le Mans once his full time racing career ended.


And, could it be something if GM and Hendrick and IMSA could con Ron Fellows or Johnny O'Connell out of driving retirement? GM racing legends in road racing, LM veterans, etc?
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 18:52 (Ref:4103147)   #24
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How many hours does a nascar engine typically go through before rebuilds? I have no clue, but this makes me think they may end up with an entirely un-nascar powertrain for the hybrid option. Possibly the unit that will be used in the new Caddy lmdh?
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 19:46 (Ref:4103166)   #25
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Originally Posted by joeb View Post
How many hours does a nascar engine typically go through before rebuilds? I have no clue, but this makes me think they may end up with an entirely un-nascar powertrain for the hybrid option. Possibly the unit that will be used in the new Caddy lmdh?

I barely followed nascar in my life but if actual nascar cars are still sticking to those caveman pushrod 5.8L V8, as far I know, teams used to have fresh engines at each race, unless if a engine was still healthy after a race in poor demanding short ovals like bristol.
Of course is quite unlikely that kind of engine could last 24 hours if set to revving up to >9000rpm all the time as they normally do.
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