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  • One of the most successful GTS/GT1 cars in endurance racing history, with victories in the American Le Mans Series championship, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

  • GM and Pratt & Miller took their first 24 Hours of Le Mans podium with C5-R #002

  • C5-R #002 competed in the most prestigious endurance races: 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona in 1999 and 2000, 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000.

  • Preserved in the Pratt & Miller showroom and GM Heritage Centre after Le Mans 2000: 100% original

  • Restored and entered in the 2022 Le Mans Classic

  • Eligible for the most prestigious historic events Dubaï GP Revival, Daytona Classic, Sebring Classic, Monterey, Masters Endurance Legends, Endurance Racing Legends and Le Mans Classic









Chassis number







V8 6,980 LITERS


570 HP. @ 5 4000 RPM




1140 KG









The Corvette C5-R in competition and the birth of Corvette Racing

Corvette Racing was officially created by General Motors in 1996, to set up a factory team dedicated to GT racing. Herb Fishel, then Director of GM Racing, founded Corvette Racing under the direction of Doug Fehan. Fehan, who had previously been in charge of the Oldsmobile Aurora IMSA GTO programme, took over the management of the new team and joined forces with Pratt & Miller.

Gary Pratt and Jim Miller met with Doug Fehan, whose intentions were clear: he wanted to race the C5 Corvette, which had just been added to the range, and was counting on Pratt & Miller to check whether the car could be competitive, put it through its paces with comprehensive testing, define a target championship and then take charge of the competition programme. GM asked for full support, which led to an agreement that would last more than 20 years. 

The birth of Corvette Racing and the launch of the C5-R project marked a real turning point: never before had GM been so involved in a competition project. Previously, when Corvettes were entered in races, it was in a discreet way, almost as if the manufacturer was trying to distance itself from the efforts made... in case of failure! The story of Zora Arkus-Duntov, who created the legendary 1957 SS and 1963 Grand Sport, is a case in point. But with this new project, GM has made a nod to the past. The name C5-R is an extension of the names of the models developed by Briggs Cunningham, who in the 1950s entered his own creations, notably the Cunningham C4-R, which won the 1953 12 Hours of Sebring. 

This time, GM management gave the go-ahead. The first tests - in 1997 and 1998 - were confidential. A handful of engineers, mechanics and technicians took to the American racetracks to test a modified production C5. GM was moving slowly, and did not want to be noticed. The production 1997 C5 Corvette, modified to create a first racing version, covered more than 4,000 miles in the hands of test drivers, mainly Ron Fellows and Chris Kneifel. The first test model was the C5R-001. It was followed by the C5-R #002 chassis now on sale. Both were produced in 1998. The first two of a total of 11 C5-R Corvettes built.

A road-going C5 adapted to competition

The regulations at the time required the GT to be developed from a production chassis, and the engine also had to be derived from a current production model. Initially, GM wanted to retain as many production components as possible. Making the race car as similar as possible to the road car would help promote the model. Initially, even the suspension arms were standard parts. "We knew that certain parts were not suitable for racing, but gradually we developed components. Thanks to this, we were then able to transfer these improvements to the production car, so that they could be homologated on the race car", reads Dailysportscar. A real link between the two worlds, which has become rare today. 

"When you start with an excellent road car, you get an excellent racing car". It was Doug Fehan who said this, obviously about the C5. At a time when the drifts of GT1 were appearing (with the 1998 Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes CLK-GTR and other Toyota GT-One that were prototypes in disguise), Corvette Racing took the regulations to the letter in its philosophy, and transformed a genuine GT into a racing beast. A GTS according to the categorisation of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) at the time.

In the end, having been developed by Pratt & Miller, the C5-Rs shared only the main basic structural elements with the road cars. The cockpit is closed behind the driver, with no rear windows. A large diffuser and spoiler were added at the rear, while a splitter and vents were fitted to the bonnet. The bonnet was modified during the 1999 season to replace the small air vents with a large open space allowing air to escape more freely from the grille. The headlamps were also replaced by fixed units, instead of retractable headlamps.

The C5-Rs initially used a 6.0-litre V8 engine based on the road car's LS1. This was replaced by a larger 7.0-litre engine a few months later during the 1999 season, and subsequently became the engine used in all C5-Rs produced. 

The racing Corvette was based on the C5, but had a longer wheelbase, wider tracks and a carbon-fibre composite body. Working closely with GM Motorsports engineers, Pratt & Miller conducted wind tunnel tests on a 40% scale model of the production Corvette to develop the bodywork, which had to be capable of keeping the car on the ground at 300 km/h. Pratt & Miller was able to call on Ken Brown, who had worked on the chassis and suspension of the production Corvette, to develop the suspension components and chassis configuration for the race car, while engine development was handled by GM Motorsports' engine department, with Katech Engine Development assembling the C5-R engines. Using the production LS1 block as a starting point, power was increased to almost double that of the production engine, at around 600bhp.

Anecdotally, at the time, there was no requirement in the regulations to take into account the temperature on board the cars. The teams had to do their best to ensure that the driving conditions were bearable. At Corvette, the subject was not really studied. However, for the endurance races, an interior windscreen wiper was installed so that the windscreen could be cleaned from both sides!

1999 and 2000, two impressive first seasons

In January 1999, the first two C5-R chassis made their debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Pratt & Miller entered the No. 2 car, while Riley & Scott took charge of the second chassis (#C5-R #002 offered for sale), bearing the No. 4. Pratt & Miller was a small company at the time, and could not handle the simultaneous entry of the two chassis.

One of the cars led the race for 22 hours and finally finished third in GT2 (18th overall), with an air filtration problem that led to the erosion of some piston rings. The Corvette was already on its way to victory. 

On the occasion of the Sebring 12 Hours, GM asked ACO officials to inspect the car to see what modifications might be necessary for it to be authorised to race at Le Mans. The discussions went on for months, with a series of very important modifications demanded! It wasn't until 2000 that the 'Vette would get the green light for Le Mans. 

The cars took part in some races in the first season of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 1999 (Sears Point, Petit Le Mans, Laguna Seca and Las Vegas). Corvette Racing entered one or two cars, depending on the event. This was the first season of preparation, with the aim of building up power in the face of competition from the Porsche 911 GT2s and the terrible Dodge Viper GTS-Rs.

In 1999, no Corvette took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Well, they did, but not in the race; General Motors supplied road-going models as pace cars! The models present in the Sarthe were equipped with a custom exhaust system, special wheels, unique paintwork and roof-mounted safety lights. But the rest were genuine 1999 production Corvette C5s, with the 5.7-litre

LS2 V8 under the bonnet and a five-speed transmission


The first overall victory for a C5-R could have come at the 2000 Daytona 24 Hours, when the N°3 Corvette finished second overall and second in the GTO class behind the N°91 Oreca Dodge Viper. At the finish line, the gap was just 30 seconds, and had nothing to do with on-track performance. It was the much longer pitstops than those made by the French team that were responsible for this defeat. 

Corvette Racing took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 2000. Both cars finished the race and came third in the GTS class for the car we are offering for sale, and fourth for chassis C5-R #001. For the race, the V8 had a lower compression ratio than in the US to suit the fuel used in France. 

With podium finishes at Le Mans and class wins in the ALMS in 2000, followed by a GTS win at Le Mans in 2001 - the first for a Corvette - the C5-R launched the modern history of Corvettes at Le Mans. 

The C5-R remained competitive until 2004, with its last official appearance at Laguna Seca. C5-Rs competed in 55 races, winning 31 of them with 50 podiums in the American Le Mans Series including a scratch victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 4 podiums at the 24 Hours of Le Mans including 3 GTS Class victories.

C5-R #002, the first C5-R to finish on the podium at Le Mans in 2000

Chassis #002 took part in six races in 1999 and 2000 - all with Andy Pilgrim at the wheel - and gave GM and Pratt & Miller their first podium finish at Le Mans, marking the start of a long series. By finishing third in the GTS class and 10th overall, the crew of Andy Pilgrim, Franck Fréon and Kelly Collins put the Corvette on the map. The Corvette C5-R #002 is very important from a historical point of view. It took part in 6 races, mainly in the most prestigious endurance races: the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1999 and 2000, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000.

C5-R #002, a star on show around the world

At the end of this legendary race, where it won a podium finish, C5-R was invited to the Goodwood Revival and exhibited as it had finished the 24 Hours. It was then exhibited at the Tokyo Motorshow and the North American International Auto Show. For the next eleven years, C5-R #002 was exhibited either at Pratt & Miller or at the GM Heritage Center. 

Back on track at Monterey and Le Mans Classic

After lengthy negotiations with GM, Chad Raynal acquired this rare C5-R in 2013. Restored to its original condition, the Le Mans Corvette took part in the Corvette Celebration at Sonoma Raceway in 2013. It took part on several occasions in the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Laguna Seca.

In 2017, it was then acquired by its current owner and imported to France. After a successful test at Paul Ricard, it was entered at the 2022 Le Mans Classic where it performed remarkably well in the expert hands of its owner, achieving lap times of just over 4 minutes. In March 2023, it was invited to the GT1 retrospective at the Goodwood Members' Meeting. 

C5-R #002 is particularly well preserved and 100% original. The success of this GTS/GT1 in competition is largely due to its design, which makes it a reliable and easy to drive car, qualities that are highly appreciated in historic racing.

Ascott Collection is proud to offer for sale this Corvette C5-R #002, which will enable its future driver to compete at the top of the world's most prestigious historic races. It is also a rare GTS/GT1 that deserves to feature in the finest collections in the world.

Racing history

10/01/1999 - Daytona test - Sharp / Pilgrim / Heinricy - 18th (n°4)

31/01/1999 - 24 Hours of Daytona - Sharp / Pilgrim / Heinricy 46th (n°4)

20/03/1999 - 12 Hours of Sebring - Sharp / Pilgrim / Heinricy - 38th (n°4)

18/09/1999 - Petit Le Mans - Sharp / Pilgrim / Collins - 13th (n°4)

08/01/2000 - Daytona test - Collins / Pilgrim / Fréon - 14th (n°4)

06/02/2000 - 24 Hours of Daytona - Collins / Pilgrim / Fréon - 24th (n°4)

18/03/2000 - 12 Hours of Sebring - Collins / Pilgrim / Fréon - 16th (n°4)

30/04/2000 - Preliminary Le Mans - Collins / Pilgrim / Fréon - 28th (n°64)

18/06/2000 - 24 Hours of Le Mans - Collins / Pilgrim / Fréon - 10th - 3rd in GTS Class (n°64)

Photo credit 24 H of Le Mans: John Brooks / Vidéo crédit: Vincent Micheron





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