Close-up of the Callaway SuperNatural Corvette from the 1994 and 1995 24 Hours (video)
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Close-up of the Callaway SuperNatural Corvette from the 1994 and 1995 24 Hours (video)

Reeves Callaway had always dreamed of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his own Corvette. Via Callaway, his racing car development company founded in 1977 in Connecticut, he decided to bring the American marque to Le Mans to enter the GT2 class in 1994. The endeavor lasted two years.

To make it happen, Reeves Callaway utilized the base of a Corvette C4 LT1 he would modify (by installing a 6.2-liter V8 Chevrolet engine, among other things) to fashion into a true racing car for entry in the GT2 class. In 1994, a Callaway SuperNatural Corvette was on the starting grid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans sporting the #51 and driven by Frank Jelinski, Boris Said and Michel Maisonneuve. Unfortunately, the 001 chassis entered by Callaway Sport failed to make it to the finish line and was forced to retire after 142 laps when it ran out of fuel.

The following year the same chassis was entered, and to stack the cards in favor of the American marque, two other cars were developed by British outfit Agusta Racing Team. Behind the wheel of the Callaway Competition car was Franck Jelinski, present at the previous edition, along with Enrico Bertaggia and Johnny Unser. The car, the same version seen in this video (#73), impressed by finishing ninth overall, second in the GT2 class. As for the two cars entered by Agusta Racing Team, the #75 (003 chassis) driven by Robin Donovan, Eugene O'Brien and Rocky Agusta finished third in the GT2 class. The result allowed Reeves Callaway to see two of his cars on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans! The last car (#76, 002 chassis) driven by Thorkild Thyrring, Almo Coppelli and Patrick Bourdais did not finish as the result of an incident.

The factory car's participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ended there, but Agusta Racing Team pushed on with the Callaway Corvette in 1996 (the 002 chassis driven by Patrick Camus, Rocky Agusta and Almo Coppelli ending in a retirement due to a clutch problem) and in 1997 (the 003 chassis driven by Almo Coppelli, Ricardo Agusta and Eric Graham also ending in a retirement) without success.

Video: YouTube - corvettemuseum