We are starting to learn more details about Corvette Racing’s first foray to China later this year where they will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 6-hour race in Shanghai.
The team will be fielding a single car in the GTE-Pro class, bringing the number of manufacturers in the class to six. The Corvette C7.R will be specially outfitted in Chevrolet’s “Redline” livery to promote the launch of the Redline special editions that went on sale last November.
Corvette Racing’s team manager Ben Johnson recently spoke with SportsCar365.com and talked about the “daunting” logistical challenges ahead.
For the race in China, the team will set up a unique driver’s line-up for the race, as well as picking crew members from both teams to ensure they have all their bases covered for the trip.
The Six-Hour race in Shanghai is scheduled for November 18th, and while that seems like a long way off, due to FIA scheduling deadlines, the team must have its entry to the race “full organized” this month.
And then there are the logistics of shipping the crew’s tools, parts, and equipment to Shanghai. Johnson says the majority will be sea freighted to China with the shipment leaving the US prior to the end of the WeatherTech Championship in October. Following Petit Le Mans, the C7.R will be sent to Shanghai by air freight. There was no mention if the team is planning on bringing a backup chassis as well.
Johnson says the team is also leaning on GM China for support in the country and is also looking internally in Pratt and Miller for Chinese citizens who understand the lay of the land. “The big step right now from a team operational side is making sure that we get there in a way that we can be competitive.”
“We want to make sure that anyone that has a specific knowledge base on the car is there. We’re taking more crew than we normally would, just to make sure that we’re covered.”
Outside of the team’s annual Le Mans campaigns, this will be the second time that the American team has competed in WEC event. The first was the six hours of COTA back in 2014. If the rumors are true, Corvette Racing might also field a single-car entry in the new 1,000-mile WEC race that will take place in Sebring, Florida next March. That race takes place the day before the annual 12 Hours of Sebring.