If you’re a fan of the r/actlikeyoubelong SubReddit, you’ll love this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans. Jimmy Johnson, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller are piloting a next-gen NASCAR Chevy Camaro in this year’s race, and the differences between it and the Le Mans hypercars running next to it are stunning.
Though it looks entirely out of place — in the best way possible — the Camaro put up some impressive times in testing, grabbing faster times than several cars. The car puts down 670 horsepower in this format, and it got a number of aerodynamic upgrades in preparation for the race. Le Mans hypercars tend to be much lower, longer, and even wider than the NASCAR format, but the Camaro looks like a giant compared to the others.
There’s no shortage of footage of the car on track next to its lower, sleeker rivals. In true American fashion, the Chevy is the loudest car on the circuit by a considerable margin, drowning out the screams of the high-tech cars it so handily outpaced. How will the team do in the actual race? If testing is any indication, the Chevy will be faster than most of the field in the LMGTE Am class, but it’s notably slower than the LMP2 cars. That said, the team is an invitational entry, so the car isn’t competing for an actual win.
Interestingly, the team rocked up to the pre-race pit stop challenge and won with a time of 10.364 seconds. More impressively, the mechanics had to use a manual floor jack to lift the car, which the prototype and other cars do not require. The time shows the effort and practice that goes into pit stop training for top NASCAR teams, and it's made even sweeter because of the jack.
While it’s true that there’s little at stake with the NASCAR entry, it’s a great way to get more Americans interested in this type of racing. Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Toyota are on track battling with Ferrari, Porsche, and Aston Martin, depending on the class, so there’s no shortage of familiar names for viewers to latch onto. We may never see the car actually compete at Le Mans, but the spectacle is plenty of a reward for now.
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