Save for a pair of Ford GTs, FIA's GT3 racing class is largely dominated by European vehicles, including the Aston Martin DBRS9, Audi R8 LMS, BMW Z4 GT3, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 GT3, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, and the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Interestingly, a purpose-built Chevrolet Camaro racer may inject some American personality into the race series next year.
Sareni United, the creators of the Chevy Camaro GT, was founded by Reiter Engineering for the sole purpose of fielding a Camaro in GT3 racing. Reiter owner Hans Reiter was inspired to build a Camaro GT3 car during a trip to the U.S. in 2010, the same year the production Camaro debuted. “I was immediately fascinated by the design,” Reiter said. “The Camaro is a real man’s car, a muscle car, it is designed to be on a racetrack.”
Backing up the “man car” image is the Camaro GT’s 7.9-liter V-8 built by Katech in the U.S. If Katech sounds familiar, it should -- the powertrain specialist has built engines for race-spec Cadillac CTS-Vs and Chevrolet Corvette C6Rs in the past. In the case of the Camaro, the 7.9-liter monstrosity provides up to 650 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels through a Holinger-sourced sequential manual transmission.
As part of the transformation, the Camaro GT is also stripped of its interior, given added roll cage, a Reiter-designed racing suspension and a Teves Racing anti-lock braking system. All the under-body modifications are in addition to the new front splitter and massive rear wing. Sareni reports that its GT3-ready Camaro will weigh in around 2855 lbs, which is about1000 lbs less than a stock Camaro SS. Interestingly, we can't help but notice an iPad integrated into the dashboard -- a fanciful touch, or an affordable means of telemetrics?
Sareni also wanted to build a car that was cheap to own and cheap to run. While hardly cheap at 195,000 euros (around $254,700), compared to its competitors, the Camaro GT is a bargain. Sareni also says replacement parts will be readily available and that it’s willing to provide race track support if the customer wants it. The Sareni Chevrolet Camaro GT has began its FIA homologation process in of October of 2010, and already has its first customer -- YACO Racing -- who will field it in the ADAC GT Masters series in Germany this year. Sareni aims to build 20 Camaro GTs annually.