Cadillac has announced that it will not continue to participate in the Pirelli World Challenge past 2017, meaning that the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R – a Corvette-based racer that’s been run in the ADAC GT Masters since 2016 – is at last free to participate in American racing series like the Pirelli World Challenge and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The competition-spec C7 from Callaway Cars was barred from participating due to the GT3 exclusivity agreement the company had to sign with GM as a condition for being allowed to homologate the car, reports Sportscar365.
“It was with the understanding we would sell those cars worldwide to race teams, in all markets except North America, until Cadillac sun-setted the [Pirelli World Challenge] program. That appears to have happened,” Callaway Cars founder Reeves Callaway told Sportscar365. “Now the door’s open for us to campaign the car in North America. We’re excited about it.”
Callaway Cars will offer its Corvette C7 GT3-R to customers for use in PWC or IMSA SportsCar next year, and should be able to support up to two teams. In the IMSA series, the Callaway Corvette would find itself running alongside GM’s own Corvette Racing C7.Rs. The two would not be direct competitors, however, as the C7.R races in the GT Le Mans class, where the Callaway C7 GT3-R would qualify for GT Daytona.
Reeves Callaway says that a Callaway Cars-led effort in either Pirelli World Challenge or IMSA SCC has been ruled out, and the company will let the customers decide where to campaign the cars. “Each has their perks,” he says. “The WeatherTech Championship is a great, super competitive field. The PWC side is a format that we’re very used to [in Europe] with one-hour races with driver changes. That would be an easy thing to step into.”
“Frankly it will depend on which teams step forward on who want to carry this banner.”