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Corvette Not Ruling Out Parallel Full-Season WEC, IMSA Efforts

Parallel IMSA, WEC operations being considered by Corvette Racing for 2022…

Photo: MPS Agency

Corvette Racing has not ruled out parallel full-season FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship programs next year according to GM’s sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser.

The American manufacturer, which has already signaled plans for a return to WEC competition for at least a partial season around the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is understood to be closing in on a decision to potentially mount its first full-season endeavor in the globe-trotting series.

It would be alongside a likely full-season effort in the GTD Pro class of the WeatherTech Championship with at least one modified Chevrolet Corvette C8.R to fit into the GT3-based ruleset of IMSA’s new-for-2022 category.

With four C8.R chassis available, Klauser said they have the flexibility to “pick and choose” on how to “dress them” to certain specifications.

“I don’t think you have to rule any of those options out,” Klauser told Sportscar365. “We’re still working through figuring out where we’ll place cars. The good news is that we’re coming to the end of the year. 

“There’s nothing to confirm or deny at this point. Looking at the clock ticking, we’re going to be coming to a conclusion and getting that out as soon as it makes sense.”

Sportscar365 understands one of those options includes a dual-pronged effort that would see a season-long GTD Pro entry and a single GTE-Pro Corvette in the WEC full-time, something the Pratt & Miller-run team hasn’t embarked on outside of selected WEC race appearances in the past.

There are no clashes in the 2022 WeatherTech Championship and WEC schedules, apart from the joint ‘Super Sebring’ weekend in March.

“That one seems to be a potential every year,” Klauser said of a move into full-season WEC competition. “It’s something we’ve looked at for a while. Obviously most of these discussions were pre-me [in her current position]. I wouldn’t say it’s off the table.

“It’s making sure we balance resources appropriately. 

“We’ve been talking a lot about the WEC recently with the Cadillac because we plan to be there in 2023. So we’re doing a lot of investigations to understand what that means.

“It’s quite an undertaking when you now have to worry about sending cars across oceans versus just putting them on a truck and going across several states.”

Klauser said there’s pros and cons to running as a two-car or single-car operation, which the team has experience in both.

“There’s a lot of benefits about running a two-car program,” she said. “You have your second car to do different strategies in the middle of the race. You have the ability to staff appropriately for two cars, which gives you a little more leeway with people.

“But there’s also ways you can do a one-car program successfully as well. 

“I don’t think there’s anything saying we have to do it one way or another. It would just come down to goals and budget.”

Tires Will Be Biggest Difference in Two Corvette C8.R Specs

Klauser said the biggest difference in specification between GTE-Pro and GTD Pro will be tires, with the IMSA class set to run on the customer Michelin S9M compound compared to the French manufacturer’s confidential tires in the GTE platform.

“Being able to have the car as it’s legal to run in Le Mans is important to continue to have the experience,” she said.

“The good news is that even the changes we’re making for IMSA, the car will be similar enough that we can gauge learnings back and forth between the two.

“The biggest differences will be tires. We’ll be on the spec tire for GTD Pro.

“In that situation, the tire really does impact the car a lot and you want to get as much time as possible with the tire package that you’re going to be running with.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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