Tim's Forza History Class
1982 Le Mans GTO CamaroTweet
Since Thai chose this week’s banner theme as Le Mans, I thought I’d share a story of some good old boys who took a Camaro Stock car to France to beat up on the European endurance racers.
In 1982, the Stratagraph Inc. Chevrolet Camaro did just that, beating everything except a Porsche 924 Turbo. NASCAR driver Billy Hagan and IMSA and SCCA driver Gene Felton piloted the 358 c.i. V8 powered Camaro to a second place finish in the GTO class, seventeenth overall. Not a bad race for the only all American team to compete in 1982. The car was sponsored by Jean Charles Chevrolet, a dealership in Paris, and by Stratagraph Inc, an oilfield services company owned by Billy Hagan.
The car was built by Tex Racing Enterprises’ Tex Powell a legendary stock car builder. Although it didn’t bring home the checkered flag at Le Mans, the Camaro is still a rather unique piece of auto racing history. In addition to its runner-up finish at Le Mans, the car also won the inaugural Miami GTO Grand Prix in February of 1983. Felton and Hagan then teamed up with, another NASCAR legend, Terry Labonte to take class wins at the 1984 Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 hours of Sebring.
I recreated the Le Mans paint job, but unfortunately Forza does not give us the ability to recreate the massive fender flares that give the real car such an aggressive and muscular look. The real car is worth the Google search. The car has been fully restored and occasionally makes appearances at vintage races around the US.