Callaway Competition USA will field a pair of its GT3-spec homologated Corvette C7 GT3-Rs in the full Pirelli World Challenge season in 2018, to be campaigned as a factory effort. Designed and manufactured by Callaway Competition, the C7 GT3-R claimed championship honors in the ADAC GT Masters series this year in Europe, and is now available for North American competition.
“Joining the Pirelli World Challenge has been a long term objective for Callaway Competition,” said company founder Reeves Callaway. “Now the field is a roll-call of the most capable sports cars from every country. To do well here, you must beat the best in the world. What better way to showcase our iconic American car?”
“For several years fans have asked when they would see the Callaway Corvette GT3 run in the Pirelli World Challenge,” said Greg Gill, President and CEO of Pirelli World Challenge. “The wait is over and we are very pleased to announce the arrival of the Callaway Corvette GT3 for the 2018 season.”
The company says its factory effort will be for 2018 only. For 2019 and beyond, the manufacturer will withdraw its factory entries and instead offer full support to its customer racing efforts across North American sports car racing.
“For 2018, we will run a Callaway factory team to give us the best chance of continuing the championship record the Corvette has achieved in international competition,” said Callaway. “For 2019, we will not race against our customers, but provide high-quality support to them in the tradition of other manufacturer customer racing support programs.”
The team plans to announce both full season drivers at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis on Dec. 7.
Reeves Callaway founded Callaway Cars in 1977, utilizing his passion for enhancing the power of OE engines. In 1982, Callaway built his first factory, and in 1985, General Motors enlisted the operation to create the twin turbo versions of the Corvette. In the decades to follow, Callaway and his efforts have been instrumental to the advancement of sports car racing, developing specialist models for manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Range Rover and Mazda.
Following an agreement with GM, Callaway was authorized to design build and homologate the GT3 version of the C7 Corvette. Callaway Competition GmbH has established a strong racing record, including the 2017 ADAC GT Masters championship.
Following Cadillac Racing’s withdrawal of its own factory program from the Pirelli World Challenge series at the conclusion of the 2017 season, the Corvette GT3 effort was aimed at North American competition. The series was selected for the debut due to its SprintX format closely matching the GT Masters format of two drivers splitting the duties for a one hour race.
“We’re incredibly proud to bring the Corvette C7 GT3-R to competition on American soil,” concluded Callaway. “It is going to be a very competitive season, and we are looking forward to getting started.”