The GTLM class the Corvette C8.R was developed for does not permit the use of ABS, which is one of the many small differences that separate a GTLM/GTE spec car from a GT3 car. The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will do away with GTLM class for 2022, however, replacing it with a GT3 class for pro-rated drivers called GTD Pro. Chevy has received a waiver from IMSA to race the GTE-spec Corvette C8.R in the GTD Pro class, albeit with a couple of changes – including the addition of ABS.
Corvette Racing ran ABS on its two Corvette C8.R entries during the recent Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle in preparation for this change, driver Antonio Garcia revealed in a recent interview with Sportscar365. The team was added to the Detroit Grand Prix docket as an invitational entrant and was the only team participating in the GTLM class, enabling it to run outside of the regulations. Corvette Racing also asked permission to run ABS on the No. 3 and No. 4 cars, GM sportscar racing manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said.
Chevy tested the ABS system on its simulator prior to the Detroit race, allowing it to co-relate the sim data with real-world data and prepare for 2022. Garcia said the team has been “developing and testing different things” throughout the year in anticipation of the GTD Pro switch, which will take effect at the 2022 24 Hours of Daytona in January.
“[We’re] just trying to learn the car and how it’s going to feel like,” he said.
The GTE Pro class has stronger participation in Europe and will continue to race at Le Mans until 2024. So while the Corvette C8.R will no longer race in IMSA in the faster GTE-based category in North America, Corvette Racing can still bring the car to Le Mans for the foreseeable future.