To help promote the Nex Gen Racecar,NASCAR is planning a return to Le Mans for the World Famous 24 Hour Race held in France. It will be the first time for a NASCAR entry in close to 50 years. Hendrick Motorsport will enter a specially modified ZL1 Chevrolet Camaro in a specific class spot reserved for “Innovative” automobiles called Garage 56, which was introduced in 2012. It was designed to test and showcase new technologies and creativity without impacting the integrity of the differing classes in the starting field.
The first Garage 56 entry was the infamous Delta Wing and since then a number of cars with various alternative engine systems have run through this entry slot. The ACO that organizes and oversees the classic event says, “It will continue to work with NASCAR and the Partners as they work towards their 2023 Garage 56 Entry Project”.
This entry will highlight NASCAR’s most significant presence at Le Mans since 1976, when two stockers were entered under brokerage by NASCAR founder Bill France, to celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States spirit on a world stage. The two cars entered were a Dodge Charger, owned and driven by Hershel McGriff and a Ford Torino owned by Junie Dunleavy and driven by Richard Brooks and Dick Hutcherson.
Well know Technical Director and crewchief, Chad Knaus, will head up the program for HENDRICK/NASCAR, however no official driver lineup had been released, but lots of speculation on drivers include Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliot and even Jeff Gordon. I suspect we will not know for quite sometime who will be the drivers, and I would think that the Team would like at least 1, if not 2 drivers who have run Le Mans previously, maybe one of the C8R/C7R Corvette Team Drivers that have done so well over the past decade at the 24 Hour Classic.
This will be another very interesting Race Program to follow over the next year as it comes together….
Thanks again for stopping by, and as always………..TACH IT UP….!!!
(Photo and Rendering from Hendricks/NASCAR Press Release 2022)