GM Still Working Out Details for 2023’s Corvette Racing Program

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GM Still Working Out Details for 2023's Corvette Racing Program

Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing


It’s complicated.

That might be the best way to describe General Motors’ involvement with Prototypes and GT3 racing starting in 2023.

“We’re still working through our plans,” GM Sportscar Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser told motorsport.com after the unveiling of the 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition. “We’re slowly gathering the information for what the options are and where. IMSA has today clarified GTD Pro vs GTD, and now it’s up to us to figure out what we’re going to do.”

The good news, according to Klauser, is that GM has been working “hand-in-hand with IMSA through all of this and they’ve paved the way for us to bring the cars into the series if that’s what makes sense, and then we can look at a future that includes the GT3 customer.”

Klauser says GM hopes to have a final answer “soon” about its involvement with Prototypes. “There’s been a lot of work in the background, a lot of people it needs to go through, a lot of people need to make handshake agreements before we can announce either way,” she says, “so that we can all be sure we’re on the same page. Unfortunately, we haven’t achieved that yet.”

Klauser declined to commit defining “soon” as possibly being as early as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, delayed in 2021 until Aug. 21-22, telling motorsport.com “there are a lot of rumors flying around … But I hesitate to commit because internally there was talk about a date when we might make an announcement, and that date has come and gone.”

She repeated earlier reports that GM is working on an agreement with IMSA that would allow Corvette Racing to compete in GTD Pro with IMSA-specified modifications in 2022. “But that’s a temporary offer,” Klauser points out, “and we would have to commit to a full GT3 program to follow. The year for that has not been determined, but we will not be able to run this car in GTD Pro indefinitely.”

IMSA realizes that the Corvette team “can’t just snap our fingers and have our current GTLM-spec C8.Rs converted to GT3 spec overnight,” Klauser says, calling the conversion “quite a big tear-up … almost like starting over. So they’re giving us a grace period, accommodating us so we don’t go dark while we prep a GT3-spec car.”

If GM finally does commit to a GT-3 Corvette, the company is still debating whether Corvette Racing would continue in its current format or whether GT3 Corvettes would just be sold to customer teams.

“That’s all part of the discussion, too,” Klauser says, “and that’s another reason why it’s been complicated. It’s not just figuring out 2022, but further down the road. Had we known that GTLM was going away and that GT3 was going to be the way forward for IMSA, we might not have made the same decisions we made for the C8.R. We might have gone straight to GT3 for 2020, but we didn’t know that when we were evolving the car.”

Specific GT3 rules aim to make sure manufacturers build more than two cars because IMSA wants it to be a customer platform, Klauser says.

“We’re extremely aware of those rules,” she says, “and we support that. It’s a strong platform, and it’s exciting that we’re studying it and most definitely see it as an option, whereas in the past there wasn’t much appetite to explore that.”


Source:
Motorsport.com

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Coming from the same individual who is on the record saying that “Corvette Racing isn’t going anywhere” back in January. It’s as if GM never had any intent to have customer C8.Rs, ever, but at least it seems like she is trying to put some pieces in place for such a program.

    Needless to say, looks like a GM LMDh program is off the table…

  2. GM hasn’t been a proponent of customer cars since….maybe 60s and 70s muscle cars, and that was small beans. I question whether they have the technical staff these days to support that kind of activity on any scale. GM offloaded a huge part of their technical staff during the recession/bankruptcy more than a decade or so. Since then depth of technical talent is questionable, and contracting has been widely used. Keeping a program or programs involving customer hand holding and development may be problematic. The current lean model lineup supported by a lean technical staff may have come home to roost, at least when it comes to new programs. So GM’s conundrum may be genuine.

  3. An answer to the customer car program would be the let Callaway Cars handle the design, development, building, sale and customer support of GT3 spec Corvette C8s. Callaway has extensive experience with GT3, and may already be developing a C8 GT3.
    Callaway has supported customer race cars with their racing program in the past.
    Love for Callaway to take the current GT3 C7 they have in inventory, enter it in IMSA GTD and kick ass. B-t-w, this particular Callaway GT3 C7 is for sale, at 1/3 the price a P&M C7.R recently sold for.

  4. I hope they fully commit to GTD Pro. That seems the best to me for car development that benefits the customers and having the professional drivers allows the most precise feedback.
    If IMSA wants customer cars out there too it should be easy enough for GM to do that.

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