Corvette Racing will not debut a new GTLM car in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and instead will run its C7.Rs for a sixth season, RACER has learned.
Team sources tell RACER there’s no launch date for the GTLM derivative of the mid-engined, turbo-powered C8, (which has been pictured out testing), or the road car.
The car which Corvette is running at Shanghai this weekend, in a one-off appearance in the FIA WEC, is chassis No.004, which won the IMSA title in 2016 and was last seen in public at the 2017 Roar Before the Rolex 24.
It’s notable that Corvette brought this car back into service for the race in China, as the team is understood to be close to confirming a single-car entry to the WEC’s 1,000-mile race at Sebring on the weekend of IMSA’s 12-hour event. For that effort, the team would need a third C7.R to run alongside its pair of full-season IMSA chassis.
Beyond the racing in Florida, the C7.Rs will then be taken to the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours (entries permitting).
Rules state that in both the WEC and IMSA, a team cannot change car mid-season. Corvette will, therefore, wait until at least 2020 to debut a new car, the brand aiming to wait specifically until the road car has been launched.
The C7.R will be used until then in IMSA, and for any further one-off WEC appearances under consideration.