Corvette Racing will turn its two-car IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program into a two-pronged assault next season with the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and drivers Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor moving to the series’ new GTD Pro class while the sister No. 4 car and line-up of Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy head to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE Pro category.
“I’m super excited to be coming back to IMSA,” Taylor said. “Obviously going to a new class with more cars and more competition will be exciting. There is a lot to learn for us at Corvette Racing to help with the transition, but the team has so much experience over the years in GT racing that I’m confident we can adapt well.
“We’ve done some testing behind the scenes already with the car to understand where we are and what we need to work on. So far, so good. It’ll be great to be back with Antonio and Nicky. We’ve had two great years in a row, and hopefully we can make it three in IMSA.”
All of the drivers from Corvette Racing’s 2021 roster have been retained, with Nicky Catsburg joining in for IMSA’s endurance events and Alexander Sims locked in for the WEC. Both entries will come together and reform Corvette’s double entry for June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“This is the most ambitious schedule that Corvette Racing has faced in its nearly 25 years of competition,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. VP of performance and motorsports. “It will be an honor to race in both the IMSA and WEC series at some of the best tracks in the world.”
The No. 3 C8.R GTLM chassis will undergo two significant technical changes as it heads to GTD Pro.
“The GTD Pro Corvette C8.R will look similar to the GTLM trim,” the manufacturer said. “A revised wing profile will mean a slightly different level of downforce at the rear of the Corvette. The C8.R will run on customer Michelin tires, per GTD regulations.
“Under the skin, the GTD Pro Corvette will retain the same 5.5-liter, flat-plane V8 with a slightly decreased power output over the GTLM rules package. An anti-lock braking system (ABS), tested by Corvette Racing at Belle Isle’s race in June, also will be featured on the IMSA C8.R along with other driver aids that are mandated by the class regulations.”
In the WEC, the No. 4 C8.R will compete under the same GTLM/GTE regulations since the mid-engine machine debuted in 2020.
“I last competed for a full season in the FIA WEC in 2017, so I know what the championship is all about,” Tandy said. “I’m especially looking forward to taking this Corvette to tracks and events where we haven’t raced the car before. Obviously I’ve been involved in the full IMSA season and Le Mans this year, but to run the C8.R in six- and eight-hour events that WEC runs is something still a little unknown to us at Corvette Racing. Yes, it’s a step into the unknown, but it’s a new challenge and those are always exciting.
“I definitely will miss my friends, the fans and familiar faces in the IMSA paddock but at the same time I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces that I’ve known throughout the years in the WEC paddock. On top of that, this is a world championship and that is something that is really important for Corvette, Chevrolet and our team. Going for a world championship is something that not many people compete for, so I’m looking forward to what comes ahead.”
As RACER revealed on Wednesday, a new Corvette C8 GT3 model will be developed and sold starting in 2024. Badged as the Corvette Z06 GT3.R, the car will serve as something customers can purchase and race and, if desired, give the Corvette Racing factory team a long runway to continue competing in IMSA’s GT3-based GTD Pro class and in the WEC, where a move from GTLM/GTE regulations to GT3 is anticipated.
“It’s an exciting time for Corvette — first with the reveal of the production Z06 and now confirming the Corvette Z06 GT3.R for customer racers,” said Mark Stielow, Chevrolet’s director of motorsports competition engineering. “The availability of the Z06 GT3.R will allow customer race teams the opportunity to campaign a Corvette that has benefited from Corvette Racing’s rich history.”
The upcoming Corvette Z06 GT3.R will utilize a 5.5-liter LT6 V8 and should sound nearly identical to the C8.Rs, thanks to the use of a flat-plane crankshaft. Pricing for the Z06 GT3.R will be announced at a later date.