NASCAR, Hendrick to associate on Le Mans entry

SEBRING, Fla. — NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports have partnered on an effort to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans subsequent 12 months with a modified model of its new Subsequent Gen automotive.

The collaborative effort introduced Thursday at Sebring Worldwide Raceway seeks the Storage 56 entry, which was created in 2012 as a particular single-entry class reserved for modern vehicles. The Storage 56 entry permits for the testing of recent applied sciences, creativity and innovation with out claiming a spot on the standard beginning grid.

NASCAR nonetheless wants an invite from l’Vehicle Membership de l’Ouest, the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, however it appeared a formality primarily based on the magnitude of Thursday’s announcement. Pierre Fillon, president of ACO, participated within the occasion alongside Jim France, chairman of each NASCAR and IMSA.

“Storage 56 is a particular alternative at Le Mans since this race has been a frontrunner in technological course of for the auto trade over its almost century lengthy existence,” Fillon stated. “When the ACO receives an software for a Storage 56 program, we start by speaking with designers, workforce companions, and suppliers in an effort to set efficiency parameters such that this system could be profitable for everybody concerned.

“We’ll proceed to work with NASCAR and all their companions as they work towards their proposed 2023 Storage 56 venture.”

NASCAR final participated at Le Mans, probably the most prestigious sports activities automotive race on this planet, in 1976 when collection founder Invoice France reduce a deal to carry two vehicles to the endurance race within the newly created Grand Worldwide class. Hershel McGriff each owned and drove the Dodge Charger that entered the race, whereas Junie Donlavey despatched a Ford Torino pushed by Richard Brooks and Dick Hutcherson.

The 2023 entry will probably be a modified model of the Subsequent Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 race automotive. NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, IMSA and Goodyear all labored on the venture, with technical components of the automotive and the workforce’s driver lineup anticipated at a later date.

The Subsequent Gen debuted this season as NASCAR’s latest Cup automotive.

“From the early days of NASCAR, it was essential to my father that we performed a visual position in worldwide motorsports, and there’s no greater stage than the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Jim France stated.

“In partnering with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, we’ve the winningest workforce, producer and tire in NASCAR historical past. We sit up for showcasing the know-how within the Subsequent Gen automotive and placing ahead a aggressive entry within the historic race.”

France in 2020 was a part of an announcement between IMSA and the ACO on new technical rules for the highest prototype class that makes IMSA’s prime class eligible to compete at Le Mans in 2023.

Hendrick Motorsports, in the meantime, final 12 months began a workforce that races the 4 endurance races on the IMSA schedule. Chad Knaus, winner of seven Cup championships and now Hendrick’s vp of competitors, would be the Storage 56 program supervisor.

“Collaborating in one of many really iconic occasions in auto racing and representing NASCAR and Chevrolet on the world stage is a privilege,” Rick Hendrick stated. “Jim deserves large credit score for having the imaginative and prescient for the venture, and we thank him for trusting our group with the duty.

“Despite the fact that Storage 56 is a ‘class of 1,’ we’re rivals and have each intention of placing a daring product on the racetrack for the followers at Le Mans. It is a humbling alternative — one that may current an thrilling problem over the following 15 months — however our workforce is prepared.”

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