With the fate of the GT Le Mans class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship up in the air, one thing seems to be certain for Corvette Racing.
“The future of GT racing is obviously critical to Corvette,” team manager Ben Johnson told sportscar365.com. “We’re committed to it and find a lot of value in professional-level GT racing [being] part of the Corvette product.”
Porsche has announced it’s leaving the GT Le Mans class after the 2020 season, a move that could leave only Corvette Racing and BMW competing in 2021.
Some have suggested creating a new class within IMSA with Corvette competing in the slightly slower GT3 cars that currently make up the series’ GT Daytona class.
“As far as changing it, it’s a relatively large task to make sure you’re changing the car, if we were to do that, to the GT3 rulebook,” Johnson said. “It’s not something simple that can be done in a relatively short amount of time. To change a car from GTE to GT3 is not as simple as changing homologation stickers, unfortunately. There’s quite a bit of work to make sure you’re meeting all of the technical regulations for the GT3 program.”
Johnson says Corvette Racing will be working with IMSA, the ACO, and FIA to determine the future of GT racing.
“The roadmap and plan is not formalized to that point yet,” he said. “There’s quite a few discussions that need to happen to understand what the future of GT racing looks like. Is it a continuation of GTE? Is there some level of convergence?”
The priority for Corvette Racing, he said, is to ensure that Corvette is showcased “at the highest level, be that in IMSA and in the WEC and Le Mans.”
Johnson said factory efforts that display the car and demonstrates its potential will be required. “That’s what Corvette has been built on, the track-to-road connection of the car and vice-versa,” he said. “That’s the main priority, is to continue that level of connection between the production car and race car.”
As for the possibility of running cars with two different specs, if IMSA and WEC wind up with different class structures, Johnson said it would have to “make sense” for Corvette.
“It all depends on what the differences are,” he said, pointing out the current bodywork differences between sprint and Le Mans [for GTE].
“If something like that were to take place, it needs to be something that’s achievable and something that doesn’t completely change the car,” Johnson said, “or else you would be in a situation where you’d have a GTE car and a GT3 car.”
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