Watch the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R lap Road Atlanta

Watch the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R lap Road Atlanta”

"It was crucial for us to develop the modern race vehicle alongside the production automobile so that each commodity could properly take benefit of the new architecture", said Corvette Chief Engineer Ed Piatek.

In these videos, it's clear that this new eight-cylinder sounds significantly different than the road vehicle and revs up much faster thanks to that flat-plane crank.

As with the recent front-engine C7.R race vehicle (which closes its racing career here the IMSA Weathertech 10 Hour Petit LeMans), the growth of the C8.R racer was crucial to the development of the production criterion.

If that's the big news, here's the bigger news: Chevy confirmed with Roadshow this is a flat-plane crank V8 with dual-overhead cams.

Though GM would not confirm the engine for coming production cars, it is a radical withdrawal from Corvette's prior small-block V-8s. @CorvetteRacing C8.R at Michelin Raceway @RoadAtlanta! Chevy hopes the switch makes it more competitive, and since the old auto won a few championships with the engine in front, the competition should be concerned. Because the Stingray is essentially a convertible, it made it easier to develop the race vehicle simultaneously, as much of the body stiffness comes from the tunnel in the center of the body. For the race vehicle, the frunk houses a radiator in the middle of the storage compartment, and the space where the radiator would normally go was instead used to package ultra-bright headlights to race at night.

Aerodynamics are hugely important and engineers were testing 3-D-printed prototype parts in the wind tunnel early in the development. The C8.R was created to develop more downforce and has a large rear wing and rear diffuser.

Homologation regulations call for a GT Le Mans race car's engine to come from a series production engine. The vehicle has aggressively flared bodywork and rides on 18-inch wheels running Michelin Pilot Sport GT competition tires.

In the meantime, the C8.R will debut in the 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. It will be the third decade of competition for Corvette Racing.

While we'll have to wait until January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona to see how the C8 R performs on track, Petit Le Mans patrons will get a first look at the race vehicle this weekend.

When the racecar series goes on sale, it will be available in two colors: yellow (an homage to the 1973 Chevrolet Aerovette Concept) and silver (a nod to the 1959 Corvette Stingray). It is also possible that the Corvette Z06 will be the one to benefit from the stronger engine. The No. 3 auto is traditional Corvette yellow with silver accents.

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