Watch The Garage 56 Le Mans Camaro Rip Around VIR With Jordan Taylor At The Wheel

Dashcam view of the Garage 56 NASCAR Camaro

Screenshot: Car and Driver/YouTube

There were a lot of incredible race cars running around tracks in 2023, from new Le Mans prototypes like Ferrari’s winning 499P to hybrid WRC monsters and the second year of Formula 1’s redesigned cars. But one race car captured the world’s attention more than anything else: the NASCAR-based Garage 56 Chevy Camaro that competed at Le Mans. Hendrick Motorsports wasn’t satisfied with just racing at the famed French circuit, so it brought the Camaro to Car And Driver’s yearly Lightning Lap competition at Virginia International Raceway.

In case you’re not familiar, the Garage 56 Camaro is basically a next-gen NASCAR with some aerodynamic modifications that made it suitable for endurance racing, and despite a transaxle failure, it was able to complete 285 laps of Le Mans and finish after the full 24 hours. At Lightning Lap it was piloted by Jordan Taylor, a longtime IMSA racer who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, placed first in multiple championships and has a delightful alter-ego named Rodney Sandstorm.

Jordan Taylor on Driving the NASCAR Garage 56 Camaro at Lightning Lap

Taylor’s 2:26.7 lap time didn’t quite nab the overall record — that crown was taken by Subaru’s Airslayer gymkhana car with a time of 2:25.6 — its average speed of 158.5 mph was over 20 mph faster than any street car C/D has lapped, and almost 6 mph faster than the Subie. The Camaro’s time is also nearly ten seconds quicker than C/D’s street-car record, a lap of 2:34.9 set by a McLaren Senna in 2019.

As part of the Lightning Lap coverage Taylor sat down with C/D to talk about his experience driving the car at VIR, which you can watch in the video above that includes footage of the lap both with and without his commentary. He gives some great insight into how much fun the car was to drive and why it was able to go so freakin’ fast. Taylor says Lighting Lap might be one of the latest competitive things the Garage 56 car ever does, which is a damn shame, but at least we’ll always have this video.

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