The core of the C6.R remains out and
out ZR1, including the aluminum
frame and chassis structure
and a de-stroked LS7 V8.
steel units are swapped in. Lightweight
composite body panels are used in every
possible area, helping the C6.R to step
lightly on the scales at 2,745lbs, more
than 600lbs less than a stock ZR1. A
limited number of aerodynamic aids are
allowed, with the splitter and rear wing
serving as the most noticeable outward
departures from the production model.
Safety modifications comprise a healthy
chunk of time and resources when building
a C6.R, and as Fehan reveals in one of his
classic stories, although Corvette’s rivals
go through the same steel safety cage
design and installation process, those
unibody cars struggle to match the
C6.R for stiffness and lightness.
“Here’s where we have one huge
advantage, and it goes back to when we
originally homologated the very first
Corvette racecar,” Fehan beams. “The ACO
came over and looked at the frame on the
car. Keep in mind, they haven’t built a car
in Europe on a frame in probably 60 years.
“They looked at it, looked at me and said,
‘Is this a truck? Is this is a truck frame?’
I said, ‘Yeah. Parallel ladder frame just like
in a truck.’ They said, ‘This is a Corvette?’
I said, ‘Yeah, yes it is.’ They didn’t believe it
at first. Thought we were stuck in the past...
“Well, think about it. First, they’re
hydro-formed rails. In highly technical
terms, ‘Dude, we’ve got a tubeframe
chassis!’ All aluminum, superlight. We’ve