HomeNews and EventsGarage 56 tests NASCAR Camaro for 24 Hours of Le Mans

Garage 56 tests NASCAR Camaro for 24 Hours of Le Mans

The Hendrick Motorsports-built Camaro is being developed for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans

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NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports running a Camaro at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans just may be a distinct possibility. The Hendrick Motorsports-built Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 test car recently made its debut at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), and the likelihood of a loud, V8-powered stock car running the 8.5-mile mile course in France next summer is starting to become a reality. The Garage 56 project is a collaboration with NASCAR, Chevrolet, IMSA, Goodyear and Hendrick Motorsports.

garage 56, Garage 56 tests NASCAR Camaro for 24 Hours of Le Mans, ClassicCars.com Journal
Hendrick Motorsports-built Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Virginia International Raceway

The Garage 56 slot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a single-entry for cars that promote technological innovation without taking a spot from any vehicles in the starting grid. It’s been 46 years since NASCAR ran at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but neither entry finished the 1976 race.

Sports car driver Mike Rockenfeller drove the concept car at the two-day test at VIR. Rockenfeller has a 24 Hours of Le Mans win under his belt, 2010, and has driven a pair of NASCAR races on road courses. The two-day test at VIR was the second time the project had track time, with the initial test taking place in August at Road Atlanta in a concept car developed by Action Express Racing. Rockenfeller was also the test driver at Road Atlanta.

garage 56, Garage 56 tests NASCAR Camaro for 24 Hours of Le Mans, ClassicCars.com Journal
Mike Rockenfeller and Chad Knaus

“Every car is different,” Rockenfeller says. “I think it helps to have this experience and to know what you want to develop because I think that’s why we are here. We have some freedom on this program, and we have certain goals. Obviously, there are different ways in achieving that. We know that we need to find performance. We know that we need to make the Cup car faster.”

Like many new endeavors, the Garage 56 project has gremlins to fix, and the entry has not received an official invitation to partake in the endurance race.

garage 56, Garage 56 tests NASCAR Camaro for 24 Hours of Le Mans, ClassicCars.com Journal
Hendrick Motorsports-built Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Virginia International Raceway

“No, it’s definitely an infant,” says Chad Knaus, Hendrick Motorsports VP of Competition, in a NASCAR.com post. “So we’re still trying to get it to go and honestly, the way it ran today, I’m actually pleased with the performance of the car. We’ve just got to start to work out some of the bugs.”

David P. Castro
David P. Castro
David P. Castro is one of our lead writers. The Santa Rosa, California native is an experienced automotive and motorsports writer with a passion for American muscle cars. He is a credentialed automotive, NASCAR, and IndyCar reporter that graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno. A devoted F1 and NASCAR fan, he currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, Siberian Husky, Mini Cooper, and 1977 Chevrolet C10.

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