The Big Red Camaro was one of the most anticipated vehicles entered in the 100th running of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. Sadly, that won’t be the case. After a serious fire engulfed the car at Buttonwillow Raceway during a test-and-tune in preparation for the event, the car was forced to withdraw.
Big Red, which wears 1969 Camaro Z/28 sheetmetal, was unveiled months prior, sporting original racing numbers and all over an Osborne-built stock car chassis and a 555 cubic-inch big block V8.
According to Hot Rod, driver R.J. Gottleib pulled the car off the Buttonwillow track for a minor repair with the cooling fans, but not long into a second stint, the car was ablaze.
The fire began under the engine, and quickly spread to the chassis. The damage is reportedly extensive, with much of the interior charred, along with the gorgeous red sheetmetal. Gottleib escaped with no injuries, and crews were able to extinguish the blaze. A setback that’s sure to keep the car down for a while.
However, Big Red is not out. Big Red’s Josh Oliver hopes the team will be able to return to racing before the end of the year, but in the meantime, the Camaro will be dissected to pinpoint where the fire started from exactly.