Lola Corvette Sport Prototype ex 24 Hours Le Mans 1990
The Only one with the V8 10,5 Liters 950 CV Engine and the Only one who did 24 Hours Le Mans
Prior to 1984, Chevrolet naturally aspirated V8s and Buick turbocharged V6s were popular engines in the GTP class for privateer teams. However General Motors (GM) saw the opportunity to enter the IMSA GT Championship for themselves in the 1984 season in competing against Jaguar, Porsche, Nissan, and Mazda, but more importantly to expand and explore the limits of the V8 and V6 engine programs.
General Motors' Chevrolet Corvette C4 race engineering team developed the car partnering with Lola Cars International, who had previous experience building cars for Mazda, to build their own chassis dubbed the Corvette GTP. Following testing on an older Lola T600 equipped with a Chevrolet V8, an all new car was built, identified as the T710. The first chassis was delivered to General Motors in 1984 and outfitted with a 3.4-litre turbocharged V6 built by Ryan Falconer, a destroked version of the 4.3-liter Chevrolet V6. A second chassis, known as T711 used a Chevrolet Corvette C4-derived 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 developing 800 hp, and was campaigned by Lee Racing.
The cars featured bodywork similar to a Chevrolet Corvette C4 at the front, with a long pontoon-style tail featuring Corvette tail lights. Large side intakes would feed the radiators while the V6 turbocharged chassis had a snorkel built into the top of the fender to feed the turbocharger. Body evolution over the next few years included a change to the side intake and exploring a short tail layout and dual element rear wing.
Following the successful first full season for the Corvette GTP in 1985, GM added two new chassis for 1986. Termed T86/10, the new cars featured evolved bodywork but remained essentially unchanged for the start of the season. The biggest difference was chassis HU01 sported a naturally aspirated V8, while chassis HU02 maintained the V6 power, but received a new shorter tail section.
In 1987 two more chassis were added to the GM racing team fleet. The first, designated T86/12, used an active suspension system that would allow the car to alter its suspension stiffness during the race. The second chassis was a 1987-specification T87/10 which retained the turbocharged V6 power plant, but also ran both a Chevrolet Corvette race-spec V8.
Following the abandonment of the project at the end of 1988 by General Motors, Peerless Racing purchased a new Corvette GTP from the factory, and it was campaigned in a partial season effort in 1989. After that season the decision was made to take Peerless' car into international racing, entering the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car was used as a platform for 'Eagle Performance Engines' in an attempt to use a 10.2-liter 4 cam, 32 valve V8 Big Block Chevrolet to take on large manufacturers at Le Mans. The car was slightly modified to the point that Eagle chose to rename it the Eagle 700. Beyond the modifications necessary to house the large V8 engine internally, the car remained the same as it was run in IMSA series, including a short-tail design that GM had been developing for 1989. Hu8811-01 has been returned to its original state as was raced by Peerless Racing in the IMSA Series in Bud livery but the monster Eagle engine remains with the car as part of its racing and Corvette history.