2008 SEMA Show: Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2008

GM North America revealed the new Camaro GS Racecar Concept which it hopes will move the brand further into the 21st century. This particular concept car was inspired by the unique blue-and-yellow Camaro used by Mark Donohue during the Trans Am road racing series.

Donohue was one of the most incredible racers of the particular series, driving all the way to the championship with the #6 1969 model. In order to come up with a tribute to the iconic Donohue model, Riley Technologies worked in partnership with the High Performance Vehicle Operations of GM to recreate both the feel and look of this historical race car.

The result is a car that can more than keep up with the more modern pony car competitors. However the new Camaro is not limited to being a concept car but also serves as the prototype of the Grand Am Koni Challenge GS.

Based in North Carolina, Riley Technologies has been responsible for many of the race cars, in addition to the GS Concept, that have been in competition during the 2009 Grand-Am season. According to Ed Peper, vice-president of GM’s North American operations, the new Camaro is aimed at both the young customers and those who are young of heart.

The Camaro is able to more than complement the amazing driving experience with its world-class design, Peper adds. When this concept car was revealed during SEMA, it highlighted the different features while enticing the imagination of many car enthusiasts.

In order to be certified as a race car fit to compete in the series, the Camaro GS has, among many others, reinforced drivetrain and chassis, and a race-ready suspension. The car has in fact managed to achieve a record number of hours on a racetrack when Riley Technologies was still working on improving the dial-in the powertrain and chassis.

The exterior highlights of the Camaro GS include fenders, doors, hood, and trunk lid made with carbon fiber. The whole body is in white and is seam-welded. At the rear portion, we see the 3-inch exhaust system that has Coast Fab mufflers.

Inside, the Camaro GS has a LS3 V-8 engine that also has solid engine mounts and is paired with the close-ratio gearing Tremec 6060 six-speed manual transmission. Its engine oil cooler has been upgraded as well and the C& R radiator is made from aluminum.

Finally, upgrades were also done on the differential coolers and transmission. GM is proud of the fact that when it was initially exhibited at SEMA, the Camaro GS was recently used on the track showing everything from the brake dust and grime in order to highlight its performance.

Obviously, this is a car that did not spend all its time just sitting inside a workshop. While it may not have a perfect sheet metal, it is more than proud to show all the marks due to competition and treats them as a badge of honor.

Similar to the '69 Camaro used by Donohue, the new Camaro GS also displays the deep blue color scheme with yellow highlights. The interior and the racing wheels come in yellow as well.

Press Release

Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept

Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept was inspired by one of the most iconic cars of the legendary Trans Am road racing series was the distinctive blue-and-yellow Camaro of Mark Donohue. He was a dominant racer in the series and drove his #6 1969 model to the series championship that year.

With the assistance of GM's High Performance Vehicle Operations, North Carolina-based Riley Technologies re-created the look and feel of that standout racecar with a tribute that looks, sounds and drives like it's ready to do battle with its contemporary pony car competitors. In fact, the heritage-inspired racer is more than concept. It is an early prototype for the Grand Am Koni Challenge GS racing class. Racecars like the Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept are offered and manufactured by Riley Technologies for the 2009 Grand-Am season.

The Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept features the race-ready suspension, reinforced chassis and drivetrain conform to the specifications required of racecars certified for the series. In fact, this racecar has already logged many hours on the racetrack as Riley team members worked to dial-in the chassis and powertrain. Additional features include:

  • Seam-welded production Chevrolet Camaro body-in-white
  • Carbon fiber hood, trunk lid, doors and fenders
  • Production LS3 V-8 engine (used with solid engine mounts)
  • Tremec 6060 six-speed manual transmission with close-ratio gearing
  • Three-inch exhaust system with Coast Fab mufflers
  • C&R racing aluminum radiator
  • Upgraded engine oil cooler
  • Transmission and differential coolers

The Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept is shown at SEMA just as it was last driven off the track, with the grime, brake dust and body imperfections commensurate with a day's worth of racing. Indeed, it isn't a car that spent hundreds of hours in a body shop in a quest of sheet metal perfection. It displays the bruises of competition and wears them as badges of honor.

Like Donohue's '69 Camaro racecar, the Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept wears a deep blue paint scheme that is accented with yellow graphics, a yellow-painted interior and yellow racing wheels.

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