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New Corvette Signing Catsburg Feels Like the “Luckiest Guy”

New Corvette addition Nicky Catburg explains the background to his move to the C8.R program…

Photo: John Dagys

Nicky Catsburg says he feels like the “luckiest guy on the planet” to be representing three racing manufacturers following the Dutchman’s recent signing with Corvette Racing.

The 2015 24 Hours of Spa winner has joined Corvette’s No. 3 crew for the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, partnering full-season IMSA drivers Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia.

In addition to his GM commitments with the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, the 31-year-old is contracted to BMW as a factory GT driver and to Hyundai for its TCR program.

“I feel like the luckiest guy on the planet at the moment, and I have to thank all of them to allow me to do those kinds of things,” Catsburg told Sportscar365.

“As a driver, it’s so nice to be able to do different things, from touring cars to GTs and from America to Europe. I’m just extremely lucky.

“Obviously now, I have a new group of people to get to know and a new car to understand.

“Every car is always a little bit different, so it does make life difficult sometimes, but I really like that challenge. I would never not do it because it’s difficult.

“At the moment it seems all clear [in terms of schedule conflicts]. Calendars change, but even if they do, everything has been previously discussed so we know where I’m going to go if there are any clashes.”

Catsburg turned his first 23 laps of the Corvette C8.R on the Friday of this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway.

However, it was not his first time behind the wheel of a Corvette.

In 2016, Catsburg drove a Larbre Competition C7.R at the 24 Hours of Le Mans test day in a brief deal that would serve as a way into the GM operation further down the line.

“It’s all still a bit new to me,” he admitted.  “Thursday was the first time that I sat in the car and met some of the boys. It feels very good.

“I drove the Larbre Corvette at the Le Mans test day and that’s kind of when some contacts started to arrive. I did not stay in very close contact after that, but I think it’s something that they kept very close in their minds.

“Obviously, we had some contact later on in 2019 and that’s when we made it happen. I’m a super lucky guy.

“I have a very good manager who obviously deserves a lot of credit for this because it’s not easy to make it happen.”

Catsburg suggested that arriving into the Corvette lineup while the team introduces a new GTLM car will likely aid his transition into the program.

“Purely looking from a driver performance point of view, yes it helps me because it will take me less time to adjust to something that everybody already knows for years,” he said.

“Now we are all starting from the same page so that makes it a bit easier.

“But on the other hand, it’s also nice to jump into a car which is fully developed that I can just go in and do my thing.

“I have done some sim work [for Corvette]. They have a very nice and sophisticated sim and I’ve done a couple of days in that, so it’s not all new. I feel like I’ve prepared well.”

While no announcements have been made, Catsburg is expected to return to WTCR with Hyundai next year while his BMW program could include drives in GT3 competitions such as the Nürburgring 24 and the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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