Corvette Racing Goes Global – IMSA, FIA WEC in 2022

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Corvette Racing Goes Global - IMSA, FIA WEC in 2022

For 2024, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car debuts with a customer racing the focus.

In long overdue marketing and racing efforts that are good for motorsports, Corvette Racing said today it will contest multiple endurance racing championships during its 2022 racing program. Chevrolet also confirmed that it will build and sell the Corvette Z06 GT3.R* race cars to customers beginning for the 2024 racing season.

Corvette’s production-based race team is preparing for full-season championship challenges in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Corvette Racing will field one Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in each series. A two-car effort is planned for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All six Corvette factory drivers from 2021 will return for the new season. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg will run in IMSA. Tommy Milner, Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims race in WEC. (C’est Bien – Corvette Racing off to Le Mans 24 Hour)

IMSA: New Class, New Competitors

Following the final race of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category at this weekend’s +Petit Le Mans in Atlanta, Corvette Racing will shift to the new-for-2022 GT Daytona (GTD) PRO category. Garcia and Taylor – who will repeat as GTLM Drivers champions – are contesting the full 10-race championship in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. Catsburg will rejoin the Garcia/Taylor duo for the Rolex 24 At Daytona (where they won the 2021 GTLM class), Sebring and Petit Le Mans. (IMSA – Two Porsche 911s, Trailed by Corvette on Podium at Virginia International in GTLM. GTD Won by Mercedes AMG)

The GTD-PRO Corvette C8.R will look similar to the GTLM. A revised wing profile will mean a slightly different level of downforce at the rear of the Corvette. The C8.R will run on customer Michelin tires that are required by GTD regulations.

The GTD-PRO Corvette will retain the same 5.5-liter, flat-plane V8 with a slightly decreased power output compared to the GTLM rules. An anti-lock braking system (ABS), tested by Corvette Racing at Belle Isle’s race in June, also will be on the IMSA C8.R along with other driver aids that are mandated by the class regulations. Chevrolet has won 13 Manufacturers Championships (14 with the start of Saturday’s Petit Le Mans+) in IMSA since 2001.

FIA WEC: Going for a World Championship?

The presence of Corvette Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship means Chevrolet will fight for the GT Manufacturers World Championship along with another IMSA Manufacturers title in 2022. Milner and Tandy will take on the six-round global championship with the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which will continue in the GTE Pro category against similar factory entries.

Milner and Tandy’s season will begin with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on March 18 as the FIA WEC returns to its doubleheader weekend with IMSA, which runs the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the following day. A handful of new circuits for Corvette Racing – Monza, Fuji and Bahrain – are on the WEC calendar for 2022, plus a return to Spa-Francorchamps. The focal point, as is the case each season, is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing aims to gain invitations for two Corvette C8.Rs as the program goes for a ninth class-victory since 2001. Sims will reunite with Milner and Tandy at Le Mans, with the Garcia/Taylor/Catsburg trio eyeing a Le Mans return, as well. (Toyota First Hypercar Winner at Le Mans in Fourth Straight Victory. Ferrari First then Corvette, Porsche in GTE Pro)

*Corvette GT3 program

For 2024, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car debuts with a customer racing the focus. The GT3.R will link the production Z06 and racing for Chevrolet’s (and GM’s? Pace Cadillac#) flagship performance vehicle. Starting with the mid-engine Corvette Z06, the Z06 GT3.R will share the same aluminum chassis, a production engine modified for use in the race car, and similar aerodynamic enhancements. They have the same silhouette and similar dimensions.

The Z06 GT3.R is powered by a 5.5-liter, DOHC LT6 V8 engine with the same flat-plane crankshaft architecture that powers the Corvette C8.R. Claimed to be “a real-world rolling laboratory,” the C8.R laid the groundwork for powertrain and aero strategies that Chevrolet hopes will make the Corvette Z06 GT3.R a strong competitor in the world of privateer racing. For the first time, Chevrolet is offering a turn-key, customer-focused racing Corvette for competition in a wide variety of GT3 championships.

“The availability of the Z06 GT3.R will allow customer race teams the opportunity to campaign a Corvette that has benefited from Corvette Racing’s rich history,” said Mark Stielow, Chevrolet Director of Motorsports Competition Engineering. The Corvette Z06 GT3.R fits the criteria for GT3 sports car racing, which means the Z06 GT3.R will allow wealthy privateers to compete in both endurance and sprint races across multiple series. Additional details such as pricing and support package options will be confirmed at a later date. More information is available at Chevrolet Motorsports.

+Petit Le Mans this upcoming weekend will decide the manufacturer, team and driver titles in every class of the WeatherTech Championship. There are numerous championship scenarios in Daytona Prototype international (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) as the 2021 IMSA season closes.

#Cadillac DPi-V.R racing history, 2021: Whelen Engineering Cadillac posts wins at Long Beach, Road America, and the WeatherTech 240 at The Glen. Chip Ganassi Racing won their first race with Cadillac at the Detroit Grand Prix. The Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R won the Sebring 12 hours. In the season opener Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Ally Cadillac team placed second with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson who struggled in the class for the season.

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3 Responses to Corvette Racing Goes Global – IMSA, FIA WEC in 2022

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