While Porsche was bowing out in victorious fashion, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring had already been a big day for Chevrolet in the class, as it claimed the GT Le Mans manufacturers championship just by starting its pair of Corvette C8.Rs. This is Chevrolet’s 13th manufacturers title in IMSA GT competition since 2001 and concludes the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s inaugural season.
Corvette Racing drivers Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and the No. 3 Corvette Racing team clinched the GTLM drivers and team championships two weeks ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“The first season for the Corvette C8.R has shattered all of our expectations,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “The success of the Corvette Racing team wouldn’t be possible without the close link between the crew and the Corvette engineering team. It has been great to watch these two teams work closely together to learn from each other. I can’t wait to see what next season brings.”
The mid-engine C8.R and 2020 Corvette Stingray were developed simultaneously, and the race car and production vehicle share more technology and parts than any previous-generation Corvette. When initial Corvette C8.R design and development work began more than five years ago, Corvette Racing engineers worked closely alongside Corvette production personnel. Within the last 18 months, track testing began with a heavy emphasis on wind tunnel and simulation testing.
Chevrolet swept the three full-season GTLM titles for the third time in five years. This is only the second time that a first-year Corvette race car has won an IMSA championship. In 2005, Corvette C6.R won American Le Mans Series championship during its first season.
Corvette Racing captured six victories leading into Sebring. Garcia and Taylor gave the Corvette C8.R its first victory at Daytona International Speedway in July, Corvette Racing’s 100th IMSA win. Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the next race in the No. 4 Corvette C8.R with Garcia and Taylor in second – the first 1-2 finish for the C8.R.
In addition, the Corvette C8.R has claimed seven pole positions and posted fastest GTLM race lap at five events.