For the first time in its 24-year history, Corvette Racing will contest multiple endurance racing championships during its 2022 racing program, the manufacturer-backed outfit announced.
Corvette’s production-based race team is set for full-season championship challenges in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. Corvette Racing will field one Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in each series with a two-car effort planned for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
All six Corvette Racing drivers from 2021 will return for the new season. Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg make up the attack in IMSA while Tommy Milner, Nick Tandy and Alexander Sims contest the WEC.
“This is the most ambitious schedule that Corvette Racing has faced in its nearly 25 years of competition,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, 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.”
Chevrolet also confirmed that it will build and sell the Corvette Z06 GT3.R race cars to customers beginning for the 2024 racing season.
Following the final race of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) category at this weekend’s Petit Le Mans, Corvette Racing will shift to the new-for-2022 GT Daytona (GTD) PRO category.
Garcia and Taylor – who are on the verge of repeating as GTLM Drivers champions – are contesting the full 10-race championship in the No. 3 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
The GTD-PRO Corvette C8.R will look similar to the GTLM trim. 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 V-8 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.
The presence of Corvette Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship means Chevrolet will fight for the GT Manufacturers World Championship along with another IMSA Manufacturers title in 2022.
Milner and Tandy will take on the six-round global championship with the No. 64 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which will continue in the GTE Pro category against similar factory entries.
Milner and Tandy’s season will begin with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on March 18 as the FIA WEC returns to its doubleheader weekend with IMSA, which runs the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the following day.
A handful of new circuits for Corvette Racing – Monza, Fuji and Bahrain – await on the WEC calendar for 2022, plus a return to Spa-Francorchamps. The focal point, as is the case each season, is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For 2024, Corvette Racing will debut the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R customer racecar.
The Corvette Z06 GT3.R will be the closely related to the production Z06, the company said. The Z06 GT3.R will share the same aluminum chassis, a production engine modified for use in the racecar and similar aerodynamic features. The Z06 GT3.R will be powered by a 5.5-liter, DOHC LT6 V8 engine with the same flat-plane crankshaft architecture that powers the Corvette C8.R.
It will be the first time Chevrolet offers a turnkey, customer-focused racing Corvette for competition in GT3 championships, the company said.
“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 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 Corvette Z06 GT3.R fits the criteria for GT3 sports car racing, which continues to grow exponentially year over year. The introduction of the Z06 GT3.R will mean privateers can compete in both endurance and sprint races across multiple series.
Additional details such as pricing and support package options will be confirmed at a later date.
Corvette Racing closes its 2021 season with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans on Saturday, Nov. 13.