Corvette Racing has increased speculation around their participation in the World Endurance Championship, after the American team confirmed its participation in the new opening round of the 2021 series at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Chevrolet will field one solo GTE Pro class Corvette C8.R at Spa on 1 May, with Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia at the wheel as part of the brands preparations for a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours later this year, having previously entered the same two drivers for the round at Portimão which has now been set back from April to June.
Whilst announcing their entry into the Spa-Francorchamps race, Chevrolet stated that “future racing opportunities [are] under consideration for the Corvette C8.R” after the car will be legislated out of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for next year due to its mid-engined status.
The GTE-based GT Le Mans class will be replaced in North America by a new GT Daytona Pro division for GT3 machinery in 2022, with Chevrolet particularly acknowledging the fact that the C8.R is eligible to compete against other manufacturers in WEC.
“The current GTE regulations allow for the Corvette C8.R to continue competing against other manufacturers in the WEC. In addition to its 2021 European races, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing looks forward to continuing in future years at Le Mans and in select WEC rounds.”
The statement from Chevrolet comes at a time when the future of the GTE category is ‘up in the air’ with Aston Martin withdrawing from the category, to focus on their return to Formula 1. However, WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest did make a commitment to the GTE category, until at least the end of the 2022 season last summer, but this was prior to the withdrawal of the Aston factory squad from the WEC.
The American brand will continue to explore its expansion into the GT3 category with the Corvette platform, whilst still developing developments in the new GTD Pro Category in IMSA. Whilst working on regulations continues, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing leadership will remain in touch with those in charge.
“Chevrolet also continues to explore expansion into GT3 with the Corvette platform, for 2022, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing continue to monitor developments in the new GTD Pro category of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. While work on technical and sporting regulations continues, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing leadership remains engaged with the sanctioning body.”
Competing at the round in Spa will provide the team with a refresh on the rules that are in place and all of the unique strategy calls that come with racing in WEC, with pit-stops and safety car procedures being the biggest difference between WEC races and IMSA.
“Competing at Spa will provide the Corvette Racing team a bit of a refresher on specific rules and strategy methods that are unique to FIA WEC races, Pitstop operations and safety car procedures are among the biggest differences in IMSA and WEC competitions.”