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Klauser: No GT3 Pro Class Would Be “Disappointing” for Corvette

Future of factory Corvette Racing participation at Le Mans unknown beyond 2023…

Photo: Richard Prince/GM

GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said the FIA and ACO’s plan to limit its new GT class to Pro-Am entrants only would go against their wishes after having ‘made their desires’ known to the French governing bodies.

Announced last week at Le Mans, the current GTE formula will be replaced by GT3-based regulations beginning in 2024 that is currently aimed at privateers only.

While both Porsche and Ferrari are expected to end their factory involvements when they move to LMDh and LMH projects, respectively, in 2023, Corvette Racing could no longer be eligible to race as a full factory team in the production-based ranks in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“That would be disappointing on our side,” Klauser told Sportscar365. “But again it would be nice to have that formalized from them exactly.

“Clearly we’re running both strategies at home to see what we would do. You can’t sign up until you know what you’re signing up for.

“We’ve already had those discussions a little bit, same with IMSA. We made our desires known.

“But we are just one of many. We understand that. Hopefully we can get the amount of voice as everyone else, the fairness in that.”

Corvette Racing has been a mainstay of Le Mans for the last two decades with the Pratt & Miller-run team coming off its 21st participation in last weekend’s French endurance classic.

When asked if the elimination of a GT pro class at Le Mans would make GM reassess its strategy in LMDh, which is currently earmarked for the Cadillac brand, Klauser said it’s not currently clear.

“We haven’t announced anything yet so we really haven’t committed one way or another with what’s going on in LMDh if we’re playing,” she said. “This has all been part of those discussions. 

“We’re trying to find the total program, taking into account the brands that currently race, what’s coming down the pipeline, what makes sense to pair them with the brands and how they’d be perceived and used as a marketing tool. 

“All of this information does play into different decisions. Some of them we’re getting pretty close on being solid. I don’t know if those would change or not. 

“Le Mans is a big race. Does it adjust what we’re doing?

“I guess once we figure out what exactly we’re doing across [the board]… Maybe there’s an opportunity not to in the current GT space depending on what the current direction ends up being. 

“Until we have that figured out, it’s hard to say one way or another. We might not be in a problem here.”

Klauser said a two-class GT3 formula, similar to what IMSA will be implementing with GTD Pro and GTD starting next year, would be an ideal situation for Corvette in order to “segregate” the factory program from its customers. 

“Obviously with GT3 we understand the customer requirement side of that,” she said. “One of the things you don’t want to do is race your customers.

“That usually doesn’t work out well for either party involved.

“Having the ability to segregate your pro effort if you want to play factory, play there and have an area for your customers to be in, that would be ideal. 

“I understand there’s different strategies and how you can do that and how you can interface. We’ll just have to look and see what makes sense for Corvette.”

She added: “I think what you are looking across the board and the car counts and everything, switching to GT3-type makes sense.

“It’s good that you can see some alignment of what’s happening in IMSA and [ACO].

“Whenever we have a global platform that can play in both places, that’s good. 

“What we need is the rest of the story [from the ACO] that they said they’ll get to us by the end of the year. We are still anxiously awaiting that.”

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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