The NASCAR Garage 56 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is ready to make its competition debut, and will take to the famous Le Mans circuit next weekend after months of preparation. Currently, the No. 24 NASCAR Camaro is set to go through thorough prerace inspection at the Place de la République to ensure that it is ready to hit the track on June 4th, 2023.
The NASCAR Garage 56 project, along with the other 61 entries into this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, is subject to “administrative and technical checks,” otherwise known as “Scrutineering.” The inspection not only serves to ensure that all vehicles comply with the sanctioning body’s guidelines, but also to show off the tech-forward race cars before they do battle.
The Garage 56 Camaro has been in France since May 18th, 2023, and will be formally inspected on June 2nd before making the journey from Avenue Charles de Gaulle to the Wilbur Wright tunnel in Le Mans. The endurance stock car, which is fielded by Hendrick Motorsports (HMS), is the only race car entered in the “Innovative Car” class, which means that it is simply an exhibition entry and will not accrue points.
Driving duties will be split between Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Le Mans champion Mike Rockenfeller and Formula One champion Jensen Button for the endurance race.
“It’s hard to believe it’s almost here, we’ve been preparing for so long,” Johnson, who will also race in this weekend’s Charlotte 600 in the No. 84 Chevy Camaro, said in a press release. “I’m excited to get there and to take in absolutely every second of this incredible opportunity. I’ve been a part of many really amazing things in my career. This is going to be on to be one of the top-five.”
IMSA President, John Doonan, said that he is excited for the NASCAR Next Gen Chevy Camaro to show what it can do in an endurance setting.
“For me, I’m a big historian of the sport and to look back at what [NASCAR founder] Jim’s [France] dad had a vision of trying to align – NASCAR was coming on strong in the south and he wasn’t satisfied yet, he felt it deserved more international notoriety,” Doonan said. “He did that [with a Le Mans entry] in 1976 and then to recreate it now, you have a passionate fan group over there that I think will appreciate NASCAR, the sound, the pit stops all of that.”
He added, “And I think we have a group of passionate NASCAR fans here that may now look at IMSA and the international sports car property a little differently and be able to root on their NASCAR entry.”