General Motors is expecting to decide on its LMDh and GTD Pro future within the next 45 days according to the manufacturer’s director of motorsport competition Mark Stielow.
It comes amid expected imminent confirmation from multiple LMDh manufacturers that would be ready by as early as the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Stielow, who replaced Mark Kent last year as GM’s new motorsport boss, said that some of the “biggest challenges” the company is currently working on deals with discussions on its potential involvement in GTD Pro and LMDh, which are set to come online in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
As previously reported by Sportscar365, GM has taken a keen interest in both although has ruled out building a full GT3-spec Corvette in time for next year and is instead pushing to run a modified version of its GTE-spec Corvette C8.R in the class instead.
“The biggest challenges that we’re working on right now is… on sports car racing,” Stielow said.
“The GTLM class is going to converge into GT Daytona Pro. So, we’ve been working a lot on a conversion package for that.
“And there has been a lot of investigation, a lot of work has been done, on our end studying the LMDh proposal.
“LMDh is very interesting to us and there’s going to be a lot of manufacturers in that space, so we’ve been heavily looking at that.
“So there’s a lot of activity going on in that space… [and] there’s going to be some exciting stuff going on in motorsports in the next few years.”
When asked when GM might reach a decision on its sports car direction, Stielow said it would be in the next 45 days.
That timeline would be consistent with other manufacturers currently evaluating LMDh for a 2023 launch.
In addition to the already confirmed projects from Audi, Porsche and Acura, Sportscar365 understands that both BMW and Lexus have also continued evaluations, along with at least one other undisclosed manufacturer.
Stielow on ‘Corvette Exhibition’ in Detroit
The addition of the GT Le Mans class to this year’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will see the factory Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs compete for the first time in WeatherTech Championship history, although as a non-points race.
Both full-season entrant WeatherTech Racing and BMW Team RLL, which is committed for only the Michelin Endurance Cup races this year, will not be present at the event, resulting in a two-car GTLM field.
GTLM’s addition to the event was confirmed during its date change to June 11-12, in rejoining the NTT IndyCar Series weekend.
“It’s always good to play on a home field,” Stielow said. “We’ll be racing in the shadow of the Ren Cen.
“In my previous jobs at GM, I’ve actually driven some of the parade cars down there. So, it’s nice to run that event and for us to do well.
“Unfortunately, our competitors won’t be showing up to race against the Corvettes, so we’ll be running exhibition only. There are some prior commitments that Porsche has that they can’t get out of, so we’ll be running the Corvette exhibition.
“And the Cadillacs will be there strong and IndyCar also. It’s always a fun event.
“I’m hoping that COVID-19 turns around and we can have it be a well-attended event, but that’s still kind of up in the air right now.”