Larbre Waiting on GM Decision for Corvette GTE-Pro Effort

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Larbre Competition has moved ahead with plans of fielding a GTE-Pro class Corvette C7.R in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year, although is waiting on a final decision from GM for the proposed single-car program.

The French squad, which has entered GTE-Am class Corvettes in recent years, plans to step up to the top GT category in 2017, with the hope of increased factory support from GM and Pratt & Miller.

GM factory driver Ricky Taylor joined the Jack Leconte-led team for the second half of the WEC season, as part of Larbre’s ramped up efforts, which included a dedicated Pratt & Miller engineer.

“The evaluation process for a WEC GTE-Pro program in 2017 is now completed,” Leconte said.

“Over the past three months, the work we have accomplished with the Pratt & Miller engineers, and the experience Ricky Taylor gained in Mexico, Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain – which will be again on the 2017 calendar – does not leave anything to chance for next year.

“We are now waiting for the decision from the management of General Motors to enter a Corvette in the Pro class, which is very promising for us after six years of partnership with Corvette Racing.”

It’s understood a proposal is in place for Taylor to return to the team, potentially alongside 2016 season-long co-driver Pierre Ragues, although a final decision has not yet been made and is likely dependent on GM’s approval.

Larbre would need to either upgrade its existing Corvette C7.R or purchase an all-new car from GM for the GTE-Pro effort.

19 Comments

  1. Marc

    December 6, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Let them race!!

  2. KershDawg

    December 6, 2016 at 10:48 am

    That would be interesting to see how they would partner with Pratt & Miller at LeMans. Would it technically be a 3 car team at that point? That might be a good selling point for GM with Ford aiming for the win by simply increasing their car total.

  3. Justin Porter

    December 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

    If this happens, I will forgive GM not going to race in Europe in FIA GT1 and the ELMS when the ALMS was down to JUST the Corvette GT1’s.

    Yes, I still hold a grudge over that farce.

  4. Dan

    December 6, 2016 at 10:59 am

    If this was any other manufacturer but GM I’d be hopeful but given the mentality they have I’m not.

  5. el_gordo

    December 6, 2016 at 11:27 am

    When it doesn’t happen you can add it to not letting the Callaway C7 race in the US on their list of mistakes

    • Alex

      December 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Also add to it the lack of any support whatsoever for a car that has won races in its first season (and title contenders until the final 20 minutes). If they support this GTE over the GT3 cars, it will be beyond silly.

  6. P

    December 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

    1 car or 2 cars?

    GM should give them 2 cars to give Larbre a fighting chance in GTE Pro.

    Let them Race.

  7. Pierce

    December 6, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I’d say one Pro one Am entry.
    GM should back this should make for better BOP by Le Mans with the corvette present

  8. Boo GM

    December 6, 2016 at 11:53 am

    GM will probably do what they always do and kill the fun. No customer Caddy GT3s. No Corvette GT3s in North America that would compete against the Caddy GT3s they won’t sell to anyone.

  9. N8

    December 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Even with “increased factory support”, this seems like an effort that’s going to get crushed by the full-blown works entries. A 2016 Vette in AM seems like more common sense choice for Labre.

  10. kw

    December 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Jack Leconte has been faithful to Corvette for several years and has done good PR for GM in FIA WEC on a private basis. This team really deserves stepping up and being a more official partner.

    • slow

      December 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      And how long has Callaway been involved with GM and Corvette yet are still getting screwed by them??

      • Alex

        December 7, 2016 at 8:05 pm

        Over 10 years they’ve raced GT3. Over 25 with GM cars in general. The fact they won multiple victories and championships on their own and are still looked down on (in the US) is sad. Callaway deserves support over Larbre, IMHO….

        Fun fact: The C7 GT3 won its first race in only it’s 4th outing. The Caddy GT3? 7-8 races before their 1st win (and with 10 times the development budget)!

  11. Alex

    December 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I find these articles amusing. I recall John posting several articles about this over the years. Remember this quote? “Initially, we wanted to run one car in GTE-Pro and one in GTE-Am, but GM’s board has decided otherwise.”

    Its simple logic: Why spend large $$ on exposure to primarily a European market (only 13 dealers in Europe) that wont show any major increase in sales as a result? Also, Larbre haven’t won a single race in the C7 GTE. To GM, Le Mans is plenty of exposure for Europe/Non NA.

    Now, supporting something smaller like the (already successful) Callaway C7 GT3……that would be MUCH more appealing, but will sadly never happen….

  12. David Chaste

    December 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

    The only chevys they sell overseas are masquerading as opels, vauxhalls, saabs, holdens, isuzus, and suzukis. They dont see why they should advertise the brand if they dont sell it much there. Very small quantities.

    • kv

      December 7, 2016 at 11:38 am

      WITH Pratt/Miller as partner it seems GM is serious about racing FORD ,PORSCHE’ASTON,FERRARI,and that has a real return on investment of its own !Cadillac and Corvette are the focus to selling Halo Brands !

      • David Chaste

        December 7, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        Gm doesnt have to be in the WEC to race against those other makes. They’re all in the US. Aston would be too if they had the cash. The U.S is the best market for supercars by far. GM already has plenty of factory backed or works programs with Opels, Vauxhalls and even Chevys all over Europe and the world. Even the Holdens in the Australian V8 supercars is plenty of exposure. There’s chevy cruzes in wtcc and btcc.

  13. JamierR

    December 7, 2016 at 8:18 am

    A 1 car effort will be [pointless against the works teams. Given the lack of Chevy exposure in Europe anyway, what would the purpose be?

  14. Algifary

    December 7, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Tbh I want to see Larbre stay in GTE Am because the entries in GTE Pro is a works teams. Beside WEC need more cars in GTE Am

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