Chevrolet Corvette C7.R #64 – Spark

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R #64
Pilots: O. Gavin, T. Milner, J. Taylor
Team: Corvette Racing-GM
Race: 17th overall (1st in LMGTE-Pro class) at Le Mans in 2015
Spark - S4662 (resin)

Published 09/10/21

Ever since the C5-R, Pratt & Miller builds, maintains and runs Chevrolet’s Corvette racing program. For the C7.R, the arrangement would not be different. Produced from 2014 to 2019, the new Corvette C7.R replaced the previous C6.R. Based on the C7 generation of the Corvette, the C7.R was a grand-tourer built for endurance racing. Compared to the previous C6.R, the new car had a chassis 40% stronger and a plethora of aerodynamic improvements. With that, it gained increased cooling and aerodynamic downforce. The power plant was a 5493 cm³ 90º V8 with SOHC and 16 valves, the same engine used in the C6.R. However, now it counted on direct fuel injection, improving throttle response and fuel efficiency.  Coupled to an X-Trac 6-speed semi-automatic gearbox, it delivers 490 hp. Interestingly, due to race regulations, that is less than the power output of a street-legal C7 Z06.

Corvette Racing posted a short film on the 2015 Le Mans race here.

Chassis #C7RGT-001 came out of the Pratt & Miller assembly line in 2014. It’s race debut was that same year at the 6 Hours of Austin, finishing in 24th. In early 2015 it raced at Daytona and Sebring; however, results were far from good. Nevertheless, in June, at the 24 Heures du Mans, the situation changed. Corvette Racing arrived at La Sarthe with two cars, C7.R #64 (#C7RGT-001) and #63 (#C7RGT-003). In spite of their enthusiasm, problems started before the race began. Car #63 crashed during qualifying on Friday and would not start on Saturday. With that, for the first time the Corvette team would start a Le Mans race with only one car. Yet, handled by the expert trio of Gavin, Milner and Taylor, C7.R #64 came in first place in the LMGTE-Pro class. Furthermore, this was Oliver Gavin’s fifth class win at La Sarthe, always in a Corvette. 

I have a soft spot for these big yellow V8 beasts.

Though 2015 was not the last Le Mans for the C7.R, it was the last class win for a Corvette. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no Corvettes on the grid in 2020. Yet, the new C8.R was at La Sarthe last month (second place in class!). That being so, with luck I will have more Vette winners to display here. Until then, I’m really happy with this C7.R #64. As expected, Spark delivers a heckuva model, with great detail level. The only problem with it is that it is hard to find. I’m starting to think that Spark is now limiting their production run, because even current models are not easy buys. If that is really the case, collectors like me will suffer to get new models 😫.

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