The FIA Electric GT Championship is “one of the more intriguing” series that General Motors is evaluating for the future according to its sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser.
Announced in May, the Discovery-promoted series will utilize 430 kW all-electric GT race cars on permanent circuits around the world, with a target launch in 2023 with events initially in Europe, Asia and the Gulf region prior to North America the following year.
The regulations call for GT3-based cars with electric powertrains, which Klauser said is something GM is “definitely investigating” although would not give a timeline for its potential involvement.
Chevrolet is understood to be developing a GT3-spec Corvette that is slated to launch 2024, with rumors of a potential plug-in hybrid version of the road car, dubbed the E-Ray, launching in 2023.
GM has outlined plans to have an “all-electric future” with a commitment of 30 new global EVs by 2025 although its current EV racing involvement has been limited to the Extreme E series with the Hummer brand.
“We are definitely keeping an eye on [Electric GT],” Klauser said. “I think it’s one of the more intriguing things that is out there to look at.
“With the FIA running it, that gives you a lot of stability.
“I know they’ve put a lot of effort into that. It’s something that we’re definitely investigating.”
Klauser indicated that GM has been involved in the recent technical working group meetings for the championship but has remained non-committal on its potential participation.
“Whether or not we’ll jump in for the early stages is still TBD,” she said. “That might be something we keep an eye on. But that’s also been looked at and explored.”
Klauser: Tech Transfer Still Relevant with ICE Series
Despite GM shifting into an all-EV future on the road, Klauser still believes there’s room for internal combustion-engined programs in motorsport, which can still help with technology transfer.
“Racing and electric has been a hot topic of discussion,” she said. “You’ve seen all of our company announcements. We’re definitely headed that way with the full company at some point.
“There’s a lot of heritage and history [with races] like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24, that you just can’t get there with the battery technology yet.
“I think what you’re going to have to see is a stepping stone with us as we go.
“We are going to have ICE in the cars for a while on the racing application. But maybe there’s some other opportunity to bring other technologies in.
“A lot of things we’re learning, even with our ICE programs, aerodynamics, simulation, all of that… That’s key to our production, whether it’s got an EV in it or an ICE.
“As long as we continue to have those learnings and tech transfer coming through, the racing makes sense and is something we’d want to continue doing.
“It’d be great if an electric series pops up that gives us everything we want and people come on board in droves and the fanbase is incredible.
“When that day comes I’m sure we’ll be ready to roll with something on the grid.”