NASCAR engineers who successfully transformed a Next Gen Cup Series Chevrolet Camaro for competition as the Garage 56 entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans have been honored for their efforts. NASCAR was named winner of the 2023 Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist of the Year award, presented last week at the Race Tech World Motorsport Symposium awards dinner in London.
The award, which is judged by a panel of worldwide industry experts, recognizes outstanding technical achievement in motorsports. Other finalists included Formula One champion Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
NASCAR Vice President of Vehicle Performance Dr. Eric Jacuzzi and NASCAR Vice President of Vehicle Design Brandon Thomas accepted the award on behalf of NASCAR. The pair were on-site hosting a panel discussion on the development of the NASCAR Next Gen Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The Garage 56 project was an all-star collaboration that joined NASCAR and IMSA with Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear– the winningest team, manufacturer and tire in the sport’s 75-year history. The effort exceeded expectations, with the car running near the top of the GT field for more than 20 hours until a drive line issue sidelined the team for more than an hour. Overall, the car – which was piloted by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button and two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller – was running at the finish, completed 285 laps on the 8.4-mile circuit and finished 39th in the 62-car field.
The Dino Toso Racecar Aerodynamicist of the Year was first awarded at the inaugural World Motorsport Symposium in 2005. The award’s namesake won the first two awards as chief aerodynamicist at Renault F1 during the team’s championships in 2005-06. Toso passed away after a battle with cancer in 2008 at the age of 39.
The World Motorsport Symposium is an annual international motorsport cabinet meeting that leads the conversation in advancing motorsport and automotive technology.
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