Callaway Cars is known for taking Corvettes to the extreme, and soon it will be doing that on the track. While Chevy already campaigns Corvette C7.R racers in the IMSA and FIA sports-car series, Callaway will build a version specifically for the budding European FIA GT3 class.
That car, the Corvette C7.R GT3, debuted over the weekend at the Hockenheimring in Germany. It will debut next season, competing against a wide variety of production-based machinery, and this should make for some interesting racing.
While Callaway Cars is based in Old Lyme, Connecticut, the C7.R GT3 was built by its racing division, Callaway Competition, in Leingarten, Germany. Per GT3 rules, the car retains some of the features of a stock Corvette, but it only takes one look to realize that this isn’t an ordinary Stingray.
The car is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 producing 600 horsepower, which is channeled through a six-speed, paddle-shifted Xtrac sequential gearbox. It also gets some serious cosmetic work, with massive fender flares, a huge rear spoiler, and numerous aerodynamics-related modifications. The interior has also been completely gutted, with all of the usual luxuries replaced by a digital gauge display and a parade of switches.
The first C7.R GT3 will be raced by Callaway’s own in-house team. It will compete in “a variety of racing series worldwide,” Callaway says, although it’s unclear if it will ever appear stateside. Either way, the factory-backed Corvette C7.Rs will continue to fly the flag in the U.S. next year in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Those cars are built to FIA GTE specifications, a higher level than GT3. The latter class’ lower cost of entry has attracted a variety of manufacturers over the past few years, from Cadillac to Bentley to Lamborghini. That gives fans the opportunity to see cars that are at least somewhat similar to ones they can actually buy going head-to-head in competition.