Corvette Racing’s future beyond 2023 is undecided according to GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser, who has expressed a desire for the factory team to continue but admitted parts of the program is “going to have to change.”
Announced on Thursday, the works Pratt & Miller-run squad will embark on parallel full-time programs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
While Klauser said it’s “fair to say” Corvette Racing will “likely” continue into 2023, at least in the WeatherTech Championship’s new GTD Pro class, the future beyond that remains unclear.
She indicated the introduction of the Corvette Z06 GT3.R for 2024 and class structure within the GT3 racing landscape could play an impact on its decision on whether to continue with a full-works team or instead focus support entirely on customers.
“We’re still figuring that side of it out,” Klauser told Sportscar365. “A lot of it is that we’re just feeling out what the landscape looks like and what’s appropriate for this style of racing.
“We would like to continue on with having Corvette Racing on the grid as people know and love it but obviously it’s going to have to change in some way because of the different classes and the customer program will be a huge part of GT3.
“We’re not ready to commit to anything right now. We’re going to wait and see.
“We’re waiting on what the ACO is doing [with GT3]. That will help us understand what the landscape is and what that’s going to look like and everything along those lines.”
With the ACO known to be going a Pro-Am route for its GT3 class in 2024, Klauser said the factory team’s program is not yet officially confirmed beyond next year.
“Mainly because we don’t know what’s going on in the WEC,” she admitted. “We’re waiting to see what’s happening there because it’s a little ambiguous right now.
“Having the pro class in [IMSA] is huge. That definitely makes it more of a feasible thing for us to have the style of racing we have today and to have our [factory] drivers.
“If you go into a Pro-Am situation, you can’t use all of your drivers because you need to have different [rated] people in the seats.
“That makes it easier on this side but looking at it as a package deal and trying to figure out, ‘Do we want a car in WEC for the next how many years vs. here’… That’s what we’re waiting to figure out.”
Klauser said they would have to “wait and see” if Corvette Racing would be only focused on GTD Pro in 2024 or it could turn more towards customer support, a similar model most GT3 manufacturers take with their programs.
“A lot of it is going to come down to what the customer demand ends up looking like and who wants to run the cars,” she said.
“We do like having that connection — I know our fans really enjoy our Corvette Racing team that we have now and how we do that.
“We’d like to be able to carry that forward in some way. But we’ll see what the best fit is.”
Second Car in GTD Pro Not Ruled Out for Selected Races in 2022
While committing to single-car entires in both the WeatherTech Championship and WEC next year, Klauser said they haven’t ruled out a second Corvette C8.R making appearances in selected IMSA rounds in 2022.
“Nothing’s off the table,” she said. “We’ll evaluate it race by race and figure out what makes sense at the time and where we want to target resources.
“Clearly GT3 is really a high priority right now to make sure we have the best race car we can possibly have for everybody.
“If it makes sense to bring another car to a race to show off something or to give the drivers some seat time, we’ll look at it.”