NASCAR Garage 56 entry completes final test before Le Mans debut

The Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will make its Le Mans debut in June

The Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will make its Le Mans debut in June as the Garage 56 entry. Photo: Chris Graythen, Getty Images

NASCAR’s Garage 56 project has completed its final test outing ahead of making its Le Mans debut in June.

The entry is a partnership between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet, and Goodyear, with an all-star line-up at the wheel.

The car is to be driven in the centenary edition of the race by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button, former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller, and three-time IMSA Sportscar champion Jordan Taylor.

Stan Sport is the only way to watch every round of the WEC. Click here for all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand.

The quartet put the car through its paces, and the backup, on Monday and Tuesday at Sebring International Raceway.

“I feel really good about it,” said Johnson ahead of his maiden Le Mans outing, which this year takes place on June 10-11.

“We’ve put in many hours, a lot of work, a lot of collaboration and I feel like we’re in a really good spot.

“This has been a great test this week, really just working on the small details. We’re really in a good place.”

Chevy will be a head turner

Rockenfeller echoed Johnson’s words. He said: “As a driver or engineer, you always like to have more time and do more stuff and prepare better.

“Luckily there is a fixed date, or we would continue to test for another three years. That’s normal in racing.

“I think we are feeling quite good, to be honest. I am quite confident we are prepared.

“We have to go to Le Mans and it’s a different place, different track and see what challenges we will face there in terms of set-up with the car or issues we may face that we didn’t here. Then you have to react.”

NASCAR CEO Jim France has no doubt the car, that will run in the ‘Innovative Car’ class, and will be the only car in that field, will attract a lot of attention.

“A lot of European fans are familiar with our IMSA cars and when a NASCAR car shows up there it’s going to be unique for a lot of European fans to actually see one up close and personal,” he said.

“And of course, we’ve got a fantastic driver line-up.”

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]