The ACO Just Blew Up Corvette Racing’s Future Le Mans Racing Plans

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The ACO Just Blew Up Corvette Racing's Future Le Mans Racing Plans

Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing


One of the reasons why General Motors has been unable to clearly define the future racing plans for both Cadillac and Corvette Racing was because the organizers of Le Mans hadn’t yet offered up their vision of what sports car racing would look like in 2024 and beyond.

On Friday, the ACO did just that with the announcement that the next generation GT class will be based on the GT3 specifications. However, in an effort to keep a team’s operating costs as low as possible, the ACO is looking to “prevent” factory-backed teams from “officially” participating in the new class.

Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission said one way to do that is by enforcing the driver classifications to ensure a mix of professional and amateur drivers in the new GT class.

Sportscar365 specifically asked ACO President Pierre Fillon about how a team like Corvette Racing could participate in Le Mans in 2024 and he replied, “You have to ask the question to Corvette. They can come with amateur drivers and private teams.”

Fillon says the ACO hasn’t yet determined if there will be more than one GT racing class or two, as is currently the case with GTE-Pro and GTE-Am, but he reiterated that the objective is to contain costs, saying “Today GTE is very costly, and it is something we don’t want” when the new class begins racing in 2024. Fillon adds, “We will have the final decision at the end of this year.”

We believe that GM was set to announce Cadillac’s participation in the new LMDh class on Friday, but stepped back from making it official following the ACO press conference. Currently, Toyota, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, BMW, Acura, and Peugeot have all announced plans to go racing in the new LMDh prototype class.

While Le Mans has always been the signature event for Corvette Racing, IMSA president John Doonan says IMSA’s new GTD Pro class will still offer a place for manufactures to participate in GT racing.

“We felt like it was absolutely the right time to make the transition to GT3 specifications. With GTD Pro, we still believe there’s a place for manufacturer programs, works teams if you will, in GT. That’s what we believe is right for the industry.

The ACO’s decision not only puts Corvette Racing’s future Le Mans plans in doubt, but it could cause GM to rethink its plans for a GT3 program for IMSA as well. While a move to the LMDh has most likely been discussed behind closed doors, most Corvette Racing fans we’ve talked with are not very enthusiastic about such a change.


Source:
Sportscar365.com

Related:
Klauser: GM is Waiting for Clarity from ACO on Future of GTE Pro Class for WEC, Le Mans
RUMOR: Corvette Racing’s New GT3-Spec C8.R Expected in 2024
GM Still Working Out Details for 2023’s Corvette Racing Program

 



17 COMMENTS

  1. Typical ACO a-holes…

    Talking out both sides of their mouth as is tradition. One day, they speak of a new era of ACO-IMSA cooperation, then in typical elitist fashion, they drop the floor out. Because of their token Hypercars.

    Honestly, I get that LeMans is the big event, but GM better not pull the plug on the entire Corvette program over this; they race here way more than they do over there, and sorry, when I see a Caddy on the road or in the showroom, never once do I ever think of their DPi…

    Laura, my dear, if you value GM’s fan and customer base, keep Corvette Racing alive!

  2. Who has any interest in watching amateurs racing at Le Mans? This is a new level of stupidity even for the ACO. And who the heck put a guy who sells overpriced watches in charge? Follow the money, I guess.

  3. If the teams can’t be factory backed teams, doesn’t this also put the squeeze on the Ferrari and Porsche teams?

  4. Amateur drivers and privateer teams will never offer the same high quality racing that factory teams with pro driver lineups can offer. Yeah I get that the ACO wants to keep costs low, but it doesn’t make since when that degrades the quality of racing at Le Mans. Corvette will always have a factory team with pro drivers. That’s how they were made and that’s how they should stay. If Corvette Racing has to take a brake frame Le Mans for a couple of years while they wait on the ACO to get their heads out of their asses, so be it! No one wants to see Corvette as an LMDH and the ACO won’t kill the most successful and respected racing team in the United States! If Corvette isn’t allowed to race at Le Mans, Le Mans and it’s fans will not be the same.

  5. This is typical euro-snob high school antics. After all they are so jealous of what we have in America (assuming we can hold on to it, but that’s a story for another time).  This has nothing to do with pro vs am drivers.  It has to do with control over a racing series. Throw in for good measure a bit of retribution for GM producing the C8 for a fraction of the euro equivalents. How dare they!

    Don’t fall for this bs GM.  I just finished watching the 24HRSoLM.  Prototypes/hypercars were interesting but none of them had anything to do with a manufacturer other than the emblems on the car.  The real interest for sportscar fans are the racing versions of cars that they can buy; driven by pro drivers who can take the cars to their limits, something we mortals could never do except in our dreams.  The amateur driven cars are fun to watch but in the end it’s still rich guys and their toys.

    So Laura, let Corvette Racing be Corvette Racing. No need to let the euros dictate what it will or won’t be. Just go racing with IMSA and any other sanctioning body that wants to come along for the ride.  You have the leverage of the US market. The European sports car manufacturers can’t ignore it.

    In the end, the ACO tantrum will go the way of the IRL tantrum.  In the meantime maybe Penske can help with a 24 Hours of Indy. 

  6. Corvette can and should take its ball and go home – to the USA. Part of the reason GM even bothers with Lemans is to sell to the international crowd. With the C8 and likely with the new Caddies, there won’t be any need to market the cars because they market themselves. I’d tell the French what they can do with their silly race and concentrate on being competitive at IMSA tracks in the US. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ferrari and Porsche take the same stance.

  7. Ya what else is new, I agree Corvette Racing should give the ACO and FIA the double middle finger and just stay here. Always has to be some group of A-holes raining on everyone’s parade. I think with the awesome debut of the new C8, probably worried about the C8R’s running away with it all. Jack asses.

  8. Corvette Rules! The French once again drools?
    I agree Penske and others need to reorganize a new international race series.

  9. “The support of Corvette owners and fans from around the world has been incredible,” Campbell added. “This race result is dedicated to our customers and supporters.”

    I am a Corvette fan since 14 June 2014 at Le Mans. I don’t care in which class they drive. As long as they are “in”.

    Racing is very political nowadays. If you are in power (ACO) you can develop any weird class. Including BOP rules, which are good if not misused.

  10. I stopped watching F1 about the same time Viper, Saleen and Corvette were Rumbling together in GT1/GTS. More relevant and exciting. Dodge, and Saleen pulled out and Prodrive stepped in with Ferrari. The latter did not want to support so Prodrive ask Aston Martin and those Battles MADE History Here and over the Pond. Both cars were Front engine and Rear Drive but different technology ender the hood. SO Sad that Ferrari not to join GT1 as Factory team because they had turn key Car to do so. When GT1 died i knew it was the beginning of the end.
    How ironic that Ford, Porsche, Ferrari, and Chevrolet Offer 600hp cars recently for the street and no GT1 class. BMW M division and Merc AMG have no excuses for not showing up for top tier GT racing… ACO who?

  11. The whole hypercar thing is a french setup to have french Renault or Peugeot winning LM in the future.

  12. The French & European motor sport associations are not to be trusted. They will find a way to stab American Racing series in the back and do all they can to kill racing in America. I say to HELL with them. IMSA should go its own way, we don’t need LeMans.

  13. If I had my druthers, I’d turn the 12 Hours of Sebring and turn it into the 24 Hours of Sebring and make it the crown jewel of American Endurance Racing Championships.

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