Corvette Racing’s Future in Limbo as Chevy Rules Out GT3-Spec Corvette for 2022

3921

Corvette Racing's Future in Limbo as Chevy Rules Out GT3-Spec Corvette for 2022

Photo Credits: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing


Chevrolet is feverishly working on a compromise scenario with IMSA officials to compete in the 2022 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, despite simply not having enough time to build a fully homologated GT3-spec Corvette by then.

“We’re working as fast as we can,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser told Sportscar365, “and we’re trying to get an answer.”

Chevy says it just can’t have a fully homologated GT3 car ready by next year and is hopeful that IMSA instead will allow a few modifications to its current GTE-spec C8.R car that debuted in 2020 so that it can compete in ’22 in the new GT Daytona Pro class, believed to accept only full FIA GT3-spec cars.

Corvette Racing


Those negotiations seek to uncover “what type of modifications could we make that would put us in the window with the other cars but is not a complete re-do, which we’re out of time for,” Klauser said. “The car launched last year so we’re trying to get some return on investment.”

She said it would be “really hard to take what we have today and make a couple of modifications” and move into full GT3 compliance, which requires producing at least 20 cars available to customers in the first two years of the homologation by the FIA.

“The platforms are different enough and the approach that was taken with our factory GTE car is very different as to how you would approach a customer GT3 car,” Klauser said. “A lot of the decisions that were made were perfect for the factory program, but they really don’t translate well for a customer program. We get to the point where we’re almost starting over. That’s why we can’t get it done in as quickly as a year. Most of these race programs take us two or three years to get them put together. A handful of months just wasn’t an option.”

Laura Wontrop Klauser

Photo Credit: IMSA


Klauser doesn’t expect to be allowed to compete indefinitely with any modifications that might be temporarily agreed to by IMSA but is hopeful that enough of a compromise can be reached to salvage the ’22 season in GTD Pro.

“We’re working with IMSA to understand – knowing that constraint – what could we do with them for the next year or so for racing so when we’re able to launch a proper GT3 car, we’re ready for that,” she said.

If Chevy winds up not being able to reach an agreement with IMSA, Klauser says Corvette Racing could always continue to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship instead.

“The good news is that as far as we know the GTE platform is still welcome in the WEC,” she said. “We have that as an option to play with.”

Corvette Racing C8.Rs


She considers WEC competition to be “the bare minimum” for the team next year but is hopeful that Corvette can “find a way to work with IMSA to be in both.”

But at the end of the day, any such compromise will have to make sense for both IMSA and Corvette, she admits.

“We’re not going to sign up for something we don’t understand or just sign up to sign up,” Klauser said. “We’ve put a lot of investment into this race car and the platform and into the team, and we want to make sure we get the best return on that investment in a place we know we’ll be competitive and we’ll be able to be in with a nice large field.”

According to Sportscar365, IMSA hopes to finalize GTD Pro regulations by May, so hopefully Corvette Racing will know in a few weeks exactly where it will be competing next year.


Source:
Sportscar365.com

Related:
Corvette Racing’s Laura Wontrop Klauser and the Future of GT Racing
Chevrolet Names Laura Klauser as First Sports Car Racing Program Manager
Is GM Actually Thinking About Dropping the Factory Corvette Racing Program?

 



19 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t blame Chevy for this approach. It makes sense to me. I hope Chevy and IMSA come to agreement. It’s in everyone’s interest to find a way.

  2. Well fam, we can’t say we didn’t see this coming.

    This woman was on record at Daytona saying that “Corvette Racing isn’t going anywhere”..at the time IMSA was looking into this GTE Pro deal. I highly doubt they will do a full time WEC program.

    So, what she is wishing to negotiate is to operate this car just long enough to say they got their RoI, then be done with it.

    Why they would not do customer GT3 cars is beyond me. Callaway would do them in a heartbeat. They’d likely get a good RoI with customer cars, but they want no part of it.

    I would have somewhat respected it if she just straight up said “We don’t do customer cars as a matter of course, and we are now all-in on electric, so this is our last year doing this. Sorry!”

    So who else saw the writing on the wall when Doug Fehan was canned?

    Would they have done this if Rick Hendrick, Roger Penske, Reeves Callaway or Chip Ganassi were operating Corvette Racing? That’s what I thought.

  3. A happy medium would have Callaway produce the customer cars, and even the factory cars to factory racing specs. You may be right about GM using the new regs as a way of an almost graceful exit from racing, at least for a time. If GM was really dedicated to racing, they would find a way.

  4. If its not NASCAR, GM doesnt really give much of a crap about racing as an art, only using it as a means to advertise & sell cars. NASCAR notwithstanding, the non-fan would not know that GM races in IndyCar, IMSA, NHRA, etc.

    Other manufacturers, like Ford, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Toyota et al? They race to win, straight up; if they happen to sell a car as a result, bonus!

    But Catbert is spot on. If they want to race, they’ll find a way. IMSA likely will lose fans if GM walks away. And GM will alienate fans if they bail.

  5. All they care about is the dollar, like most CEOs it is stock options and stock return for investors and board members. Stock buybacks with tax cuts, instead of workers

  6. Would be great if there was a circuit for GTLM cars only without the DPI and other GT “weird-oh” classes I only watch IMSA for the Corvette/Porsche/BMW competition because those are the 3 main competitors in that market. I mean who’s going to go out and buy a DPI car at the dealer down the street? And I know Cadillac is also a GM brand, but do the IMSA “Cadillac DPI” cars even slightly resemble a Cadillac? Too bad for the Corvette brand. I suspect this dust-up will be used to Barra’s advantage to pull the plug on Corvette Racing.

  7. This is all by design! GM is in bed with the government now, and they are essentially a lap dog for the current administration. They will go all electric and kill the racing program and alienate whatever supporters they have left! Mary Barra is responsible for all of this. This is what happens when you hire or promote someone based on gender or race and not merit. She is the most incompetent fool I have ever seen that is a CEO of a major company! I feel bad for Doug Fehan the most, he got screwed royally by the upper brass!

  8. As far as I know, Callaway in Germany is developing a Corvette C8 GT3.R. Callaway Competition Germany Rennwagenentwicklung has already used the Corvette C7 GT3.R as the winning car in the ADAC GT Master for years and has won the championship several times.
    So I think that GM is developing a Corvette C8 GT3.R with Callaway Germany or is already using it for the ADAC GT Masters 2021. GM will certainly build on this experience!

  9. Watching Corvettes racing is one of the things that make Corvette such a hot item. I have traveled to Le Mans, France and Silverstone, England just to watch them race. It was unbelievably exciting. They ROARED by when the other vehicles drove by. And listening to the people at those races always pointing out the Corvettes to one another was exciting even though I don’t speak much French I understood what they were enthused about.

  10. This is so stupid..Chevy has a dozen pro race shops that would be glad to develop or already have a car. Chevy needs to wake up….even a South Texas motor builder has three??? Oh I forgot Chevy has to answer to mama..GM and their profit on investment, hey we are not on stock market.

  11. Yes we need to get rid of fossil fuels and that means gasoline fuels. We were never meant to burn gasoline. Read the history of gasoline, gasoline was a by product of producing Kerosene which was the fuel of the day in the 1900s for lamps and early electrical power plants. And GM is not under the Biden group, GM is a tax cutting Nazi Republican follower.

  12. GM is just following the leader…Tesla which is 12 times bigger than little GM, GM is making parts in China and making cars and trucks in other countries and shipping them back to the USA. All to make more profits for the share holders. Oh and what did GM do with their 15% tax cut? Find out later??

  13. I hate to say it, but I’m afraid that after this year there will know longer be a factory team in sportscar racing. The only thing that Corvette fans can hope for is that some privateer will decide to run Corvettes in sportscar racing.

  14. Screx IMSA. GM is producing a sports car for a world audience including right hand drive. WEC, Lemans is where the world market is at. Have to spend less money on racing? Keep IMSA and dry rid of nascrap which nothing in common with a modern sedan.

  15. IMSA will compromise, hell they bent over backwards in allowing a non-hemologated Ford GT race. If IMSA doesn’t then f**k them.

  16. Bill, you are a clueless fool of epic portions! Mary Barra holding up a Biden/ Harris sign during the election doesn’t make GM a supporter of the Republican Party in anyway! And if any party is anything close to being like a Nazi it’s the Jewish hating Democrat Socialist Party!

Comments are closed.