Privateer Corvette C7.R Rumbles Around Monza
Labre Competition’s Corvette prepares for Le Mans around the Italian track of Monza.
Ever wonder what happens to Corvette Racing’s annual pair of Le Mans cars? Typically, Pratt & Miller, who run the Chevy-backed program, sell at least one car annually to customers. Some of their old GT2-class C6s still turn up in assorted GT races. However, this C7.R bombing around Monza recently in the European Le Mans Series raced with Corvette Racing in 2016. In 2017, French race team Larbre Competition will campaign it in the ELMS and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The ground-trembling Corvettes have been popular staples at Le Mans since 2000. The deep rumbles of the assorted LS-based engines sound like no other engine at the fabled French race. The C7.R, both the one run by Larbre and the 2017 Corvette Racing version, run a 5.5-liter version of the LS that makes around 500 horsepower. Those numbers might seem strange with street-car ‘Vettes making more than 600 hp, but to keep competition on parity, the Le Mans organizers cap displacement at 5.5 liters with an aim for 500 horsepower.
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Larbre have raced at Le Mans for most of the last quarter-century. Since 2011, they’ve raced second-hand Corvettes in the GTE-Am class. They won the class at Le Mans with C6.Rs in ‘11 and ‘12. This year, the Larbre C7.R will be the only Corvette at Le Mans out of 16 cars in the GTE-Am class.
Italian videographer 19Bozzy92 catches a lot of great cars running around the Monza Circuit in Italy. Typically, these videos include some of the best race car audio you’ll hear, so crank up the vid above. Bozzy turned up for the European Le Mans Series at Monza, and spliced together these clips of the Larbre Competition C7.R. The car finished a disappointing 6th in class, however drivers Fernando Rees, Romain Brandela, and Christian Philippon were mostly preparing for Le Mans in June.