Corvette opens the door to the world

Corvette Racing has slightly opened its doors to the rest of the world.

The American sportscar team has been an (almost) ever present at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since Year 2000, but had to miss out on the 2020 edition due to the COVID-19 situation.

The team has confirmed today that they will enter the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps on 1 May, with Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin behind the wheel. They should have raced at Portimao in Portugal early April, but that race was pushed back to June instead. With the date change for the Le Mans race, being moved into August, it opens the possibility for the team to run at the 8 Hours of Portimao, plus the 6 Hours of Monza too, if they wish to do so – but the team hasn’t confirmed that.

But they have confirmed the drivers for the year’s Le Mans, with no surprises, since Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nick Tandy will pilot car #63, while Alexander Sims, Nicky Catsburg and Tommy Milner will be onboard #64. The two sets of drivers raced together at Daytona in January, and will continue to do so for the rest of the endurance rounds in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, including the 12 Hours of Sebring this coming weekend. The team are the defending champions in GTLM, and started the 2021 by grabbing a 1-2 at Daytona, and thereby the lead in the championship too.

They have opened the door slightly to more FIA WEC races in the future. They won’t promise to do a full FIA WEC season in 2022 and beyond, but will run selected races. But they very much aim for Le Mans in the coming years as well.

Corvette Racing #3
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Michael L. Levitt

The IMSA series are moving away from GTLM/GTE regulations after 2021, with the category being replaced by GTD/GT3 cars. Corvette doesn’t have any of those under their own awning, even though Callaway Competition are running a C7.R GT3 in Germany in the ADAC GT Masters. Nobody has made a C8.R GT3 yet, so it’s a bit unclear, if the current GTLM car can be converted to GT3, or if they need to build brand new cars, for a completely different set of regulations. Corvette states that they are keeping a close eye on the development of the regulations, and they are talking with the organizers in the USA.

The new LMDh is out there in the future, and the question is, if Cadillac will continue with a new car, or if the Corvette name will be chosen for such a programme. General Motors haven’t confirmed participation in LMDh yet, but everybody expects the big auto manufacturer to remain active in the top category in American sportscar racing, just like they were with Daytona Prototype as Corvette, and the current DPi models with Cadillac branding. LMDh are allowed to participate at Le Mans from 2022 onwards, which has made Audi, Porsche and Acura commit to the new formula.

The 12 hours at Sebring International Raceway will run this Saturday 20 March.

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