Mark Stielow, motorsport competition engineering director for GM, said the decision to move on from the full factory Corvette Racing team will allow the automaker to focus on Chevy Corvette Z06 GT3.R customer teams. As such, Stielow said that GM will drop factory support for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship Corvette Racing teams, which currently field Corvette C8.R race cars.
“We’re moving into the GT3 platform so we’re going to have a true customer program,” Stielow explained in an interview. “My team wanted to be very enthusiastic and build a lot of cars; I wanted to keep the launch slow, but very high quality.”
He added, “We’re not going to have a fully factory-funded Corvette race program, but we’re going to have a pool of Corvette drivers [that will race with customer teams]. We’re going to support different teams to a degree, but it’s not going to be like Cadillac, which is a fully funded factory effort.”
Moving forward, approximately eight Corvette Racing machines will compete in IMSA next year, with at least four representing full-time GTD Pro and GTD class entries. GM also expects to take up two entries in the new LMGT3 division.
Pratt Miller, which currently fields factory-backed Chevy Corvette race cars, is expected to continue competing in the GTD Pro class. However, at this time, it’s not clear if Pratt Miller will continue under the Corvette Racing umbrella upon conclusion of the 2023 season.
“It’s a big shift for our marketing team to be like, ‘What do you mean we’re not going to have the classic two yellow Corvettes?'” Stielow said. “I think it’s going to be good though because we’ll have more high-level Corvettes racing in more places.”