Corvette Racing has withdrawn its new mid-engine C8.Rs from September’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The decision follows a similar one from the Porsche GT Team, Corvette’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans rivals, which confirmed its exit from the French endurance racing classic last week. RACER has also learned the ACO, organizers of the Le Mans event, were notified of the team’s change of plans weeks ago.
Both withdrawals come in reaction to the impact made by the coronavirus. With numerous furloughs and layoffs affecting the domestic and international auto industry, the calls to cut expensive international marketing campaigns like those involving trips to Le Mans fits the need to reduce expenditures.
“Corvette Racing has a long history of competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so our decision to not participate in this historic race this year was not an easy one,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President – Performance and Motorsports.
“Several factors played into our decision, including current conditions and the rescheduled timing. We’re proud Corvette Racing has been invited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the past 20 years and regret that we won’t be participating this year. We hope we have the opportunity to race at Le Mans again.”
The pride of General Motors’ racing endeavors made its factory debut at Le Mans in 1999 and completed 20 consecutive visits to compete at the 24-hour race, earning eight class victories, with the most recent captured in 2015 with Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Jordan Taylor.
Like the Porsche GTLM team, Corvette Racing is expected to focus the remainder of its season on IMSA, which completed Round 1 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January before the championship was paused due to the outbreak of COVID-19.