As part of a joint effort between NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Automobile Club de l’Ouest, IMSA and Goodyear, the modified Next-Gen-based Camaro ZL1 will take part in this year's centenary Le Mans 24 event.

Last week, 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button was announced as one of the drivers of the Garage 56 entry alongside NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson and sportscar ace Mike Rockenfeller.

Button got to test the car this week at Daytona for the first time, with overall times from the outing reported to compare to those at the top of the GTD class from last weekend's IMSA Sportscar Championship season-opening 24 Hour race at the same venue.

Garage 56's project manage Chad Knaus says it's hard to know where the car will sit in the competitive order due to the unknown of Balance of Performance rules.

However, he is aiming for the car to be somewhere between the pace of a GTE car and a GT3 racer - even if that task remains great at this stage.

"It’s a bit of a moving target," said Knaus of where he’d like the pace of the car to fit within the competitive order at Le Mans.

Garage56 Testing

Photo by: James Gilbert / Getty Images

"We’re not too versed in the BoP side of life, so we don’t have a movement on that, we’re about getting ultimate performance out of the car, so that’s really going to end [in the overall competitive order] with where the BoP ends up.

"If we can get ourselves where we’re just a pinch below the GTE car and a little faster than what a GT3 car would be, that’s where we wanna be.

"If we can get there, great. But we’ve got a lot of work to do."

One of the novelties of this car is the fact it will have to use headlights, something its NASCAR Cup Series counterpart the machine is based on does not.

That set-up was tested at Daytona during Button's test of the car.

Commenting on his outing after 20 laps, Button told "For me, it’s getting used to the position in the car.

"Obviously, there is body roll, it feels like it oversteers, but it’s not oversteering; it’s actually just the car itself taking a seat.

"So the car runs like in the Cup Series, it runs very low at the rear, so on the banking, it’s like sitting on the ground. So it’s a lot to learn, but it’s a race car. And I can work with a race car."

The car will be tested again at the end of February at Sebring, where it is hoped it will be able to attempt an 18-24-hour endurance run for the first time.

2023-02-02T14:57:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd