Corvette Racing is looking at some new dates on the calendar following the announcement earlier this week that the 24 Hours of Le Mans was being pushed back from its usual June running to August 21-22nd.
The Le Mans schedule change by race organizer Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) was made to ensure that spectators could attend the French Classic amid the ongoing COVID pandemic. It’s the second consecutive year that the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been moved from its traditional June dates. Last year’s race ran in September without fans, and organizers are hoping the additional 10-week span will allow more fans to attend the race.
“Holding the 24 Hours of Le Mans behind closed doors for the second year running would be unthinkable. We are therefore doing all we can to avoid that happening and to give competitors a clear view of the whole season,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon. He added, “We are working very hard to put on a safe event, with all the necessary health precautions in place. This year’s race promises to be another thriller as the new Hypercar class makes its debut.”
After last season’s schedule change, Corvette Racing was forced to withdraw its entries due to logistics and COVID travel restrictions. It was the first time in 20 consecutive years without the Corvettes at Le Mans.
The ACO’s date change for Le Mans wasn’t without consequences. IMSA’s 2021 schedule previously had a GT-only race at Virginia International Raceway on August 20-22, the same weekend as the new Le Mans dates. IMSA quickly updated its calendar with two race date changes to be able to accommodate the teams and drivers who plan to participate at Le Mans.
The race at VIR has now been rescheduled for October 9th while the season’s final race at Petit Le Mans will run on November 13th.
IMSA President John Doonan looks at the bright side of the schedule change. “Holding our season finale in November proved successful last year in Sebring, and we have every reason to believe we can be successful again this November at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta,” said Doonan. “As always, we are grateful to all of our stakeholders – and particularly our promoter and television partners – for their flexibility and understanding as we maneuver through these changes.”
Corvette Racing will be participating in at least one WEC race this year leading up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team has confirmed a single entry at Portimao in April with drivers Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin. It’s rumored that the WEC’s May race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium could also be in the works.
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