Corvette Racing has confirmed its participation for the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening 6 Hours of Spa, as well as its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and commitment to the globe-trotting championship.
The defending IMSA GT Le Mans championship-winning squad will field a single Chevrolet Corvette C8.R for Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia in May 1 enduro, marking the team’s debut at the famed circuit.
Corvette was initially on the entry list for the 8 Hours of Portimao, which was due to open the 2021 WEC season prior to a calendar shuffle that has seen the Portuguese round take the traditional Le Mans date, with the famed 24-hour enduro postponed to Aug. 21-22.
Sportscar365 understands that a second pre-Le Mans outing, which was initially in the cards, may no longer be feasible for the Pratt & Miller-run team due to IMSA’s likely inclusion of the GT Le Mans class into the Detroit Grand Prix.
Spa will mark Gavin’s return to the team since last year’s WeatherTech Championship season-ending Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, in what is currently planned as a one-off outing.
Corvette’s 2021 lineup, including third drivers Nicky Catsburg and Alexander Sims, will pilot the pair of GTE-Pro entries at Le Mans.
Catsburg will join Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 63 car in the French endurance classic, with Sims, Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner in the No. 64 entry.
Spa will mark Gavin’s third non-Le Mans start in the WEC for the team, the most recent coming at Shanghai in 2018 alongside Milner.
“It’s exciting for me to get back and work again with everyone at Corvette Racing,” said Gavin. “And I get to drive with Antonio for the very first time as my Corvette Racing teammate!
“We’ve been teammates inside the team for so many years, traveling so much together and sharing houses at Sebring, Daytona and many other places.
“For us to be able to go and race together at Spa will be very special.”
Garcia added: “First of all, to be in a works Corvette with Olly was a cool idea that we could finally do.
“It came together quickly and I’m thankful to be able to do it. Now we aren’t just sharing runs or rental cars; now we are sharing a race car.”
Sportscar365 understands that Corvette will receive logistical and operational support from longtime European customer Larbre Competition for the Spa race.
Corvette Renews Support for WEC
While continuing to “explore expansion” into GT3 with the Corvette platform, Corvette has reaffirmed plans to continue racing its current GTE-spec machine in the “future years.”
It would include selected WEC appearances as well as a continued presence at Le Mans with the Corvette C8.R, which made its competition debut in 2020.
“The current GTE regulations allow for the Corvette C8.R to continue competing against other manufacturers in the World Endurance Championship,” a statement from GM read.
“In addition to its 2021 European races, Chevrolet and Corvette Racing look forward to continuing in future years at Le Mans and in select WEC rounds.”
Chevrolet and Corvette, meanwhile, also remain “engaged” with IMSA as it defines the technical and sporting regulations for GTD Pro, which will replace GTLM in the WeatherTech Championship beginning next year.
Should it commit to building a GT3 variant, it would result in two different spec Corvettes being operated within the factory program.