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Here’s the New Blackdog Racing 2017 GT4.R Camaro

Camaro GT4.R’s First Race: The Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R debuts at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race

Walt Thurn Mar 14, 2017
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On February 9, 2017, Chevrolet announced the introduction of the purpose-built Camaro GT4.R designed and built to meet the FIA GT4 regulations. The new race car is based on the ZL1 Camaro. We caught up with this new race car in the pits at the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) race in St. Petersburg, Florida. Blackdog Racing brought two of them to the track where they will be driven by Tony Gaples and Lawson Aschenbach. The Camaros will compete in the GTS class in PWC. The Camaro is fabricated by Pratt & Miller Engineering and diverges from the normal production car in several ways. The new racer is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine. This engine normally produces 460 hp but will be restricted to a yet-to-be-announced lower number, due to pending Balance of Performance (BOP) adjustments. An Xtrac sequential transmission and limited-slip differential put the power to the ground.

The GT4.R comes with adjustable traction control, adjustable Ohlins Racing coilover dampers and adjustable ABS braking system. The Camaro body is festooned with aero enhancements, including an adjustable rear wing, front splitter, and dive planes. The nose panel, hood, doors, and trunk are made of lightweight carbon fiber to reduce weight. The interior has been stripped of all of its production comfort features. It now includes a FIA-approved rollcage, floor mounted pedals, fire suppression system, removable steering wheel fitted with multiple driver aids, and digital driver’s display.

The GT4 category was first developed by the SRO (Stephane Ratel Organization) in 2009 and approved by the FIA. GT4 race cars must be available for purchase for a fixed amount set by the FIA. The original price for a 2009 GT4 race car, including the Callaway Corvette, was 160,000 Euros ($170,000). In 2009, five special GT4 LS3-powered C6 Corvette coupes were built by Callaway Competition in Leingarten, Germany. They dominated the series for several years. These Corvettes are now too old to compete in GT4. The category currently features a diverse range of competitors including Aston Martin, Porsche, McLaren 570S Ginetta G55, Mustangs, and the new Camaro.

Let’s hope this new Camaro kicks butt!

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The GT4.R retains the look of the standard ZL1 or the 1LE option Camaros. The large rear wing and extra aero enhancements are clues that this is no ordinary Camaro.

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Ready for its public debut, the GT4.R Camaro is ready to be unloaded from its transporter in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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The lightweight carbon-fiber doors with integrated Lexan side windows are easily removable from the race car to make working on the interior easier for the crew.

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The carbon-fiber nose panel is fitted with lightweight aero parts to increase downforce.

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The carbon-fiber hood carries a sticker with the GM part number (PN 23483328). Wonder how much it costs to add to your Camaro?

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The nose of this Camaro is very imposing. The large grille opening keeps the engine cool and the splitter keeps it planted on the ground.

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Each Camaro GT4.R is fitted with this name on the hoodscoop.

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The LT1 is not fitted with a supercharger. The large airbox includes a restrictor to reduce the engine horsepower.

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A large dry-sump oil tank is fitted to the front of the engine that is designed to keep plenty of oil in the crankcase of the high revving LT1 engine.

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With the exception of the large rear wing and Lexan rear window, the rear body panels look like production pieces.

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The carbon-fiber wing is mounted to aluminum struts that are attached to the carbon-fiber trunk.

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ZL1 brakes are fitted to the rear suspension on the GT4.R Camaro.

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Up front, hefty Brembo brakes help slow the beast. The red air jacks are included in the GT4 package to help speed pit stops in endurance races.

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The interior is stripped of all sound deadening and carpet. Tilton gas, brake, and clutch pedals are securely mounted onto the floor. The steering wheel is filled with driver information assists. The digital display provides rpm, gear selection, and engine information.

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Here is the view the driver sees when he is competing on the racetrack

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The FIA-approved rollcage is tied into the unibody chassis at many points to provide strength and safety on the GT4.R Camaro.

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