Throughout the years, Corvette has been chosen to be several pace cars. But no opportunities were as big as this one...

It was only a matter of time. One of the world's greatest sports car taking part in the world's greatest endurance race. On June 17, 2000, the C5-R Corvette took on the world at the Le Mans and surprised more than a few skeptics with an impressive finish (third and fourth in class).

Corvette has gone this way before. In 1960, a production-based Corvette completed this 24-hour test of automotive endurance.

The Corvette gave us a lot to work with right out of the box. So when the Corvette C5-R first attacked Le Mans' Mulsanne Corner, it did so with many of the same parts found in the production car. And with its already aerodynamic styling, rigid body structure and tremendous suspension geometry, the Corvette was destined to be a race car.

Our search for an engine led us right to our production car's LS1 power plant. Of course, modifications had to be made. So, we took the aluminum small block from the production car and increased it from 250 to a whopping 620 horsepower. The fact that we could do this says a lot about the inherent goodness of the LS1.

This racing Vette turned a lot heads on the way to Le Mans. In January 1999, after 4,000 miles of testing, the C5-R was entered in the grueling Rolex 24 At Daytona. The C5-R not only completed the race, but gave the rest of the pack a run for its money. By its second season, the C5-R had made it to the podium several times. Then came Le Mans 2000, the "granddaddy" of all endurance racers. A podium finish in class confirmed what we'd all suspected: the C5-R Corvette is one of the world's great race cars.

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