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Today Chevrolet announced it is ending its Corvette racing program. A consortium with Chevy and Pratt & Miller. It’s a curious announcement coming the next day after its C8.R garnered a class win at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. So why now, and what’s to become of the Corvette race legacy?

Why did Chevrolet kill the Corvette Racing program?

Yellow C8.R Corvette
2023 C8.R Corvette Racing | Getty

Over the past two decades plus, factory Corvette activities have brought many victories to the automaker. It has seen its fair share of wins in both IMSA Sportscar Championship races and FIA World Endurance championships. But with the coming Z06 GT3.R in 2024, Chevrolet wants to pass the torch.

As Chevrolet would be up against private Corvette competition teams, it didn’t make sense to compete with your own customers. So the factory efforts will end. “As we moved into the GT3 platform, we wanted to be able to be more customer-based,” GM Motorsport competition engineering director Mark Stielow told Sportscar 365. “There was a lot of internal debate inside GM and us about whether we’d want our customers racing against a factory.”

Is Chevrolet ending racing altogether?

C8.R Corvette Racing at night
C8.R Corvette Racing | Getty

One of the aims of this new arrangement is for Chevrolet to help drivers find teams. The hope is that this will spawn more teams. As for the teams themselves, Stielow said that Pratt & Miller might be one of those participants. However, the “Corvette Racing” moniker will not continue after this year. 

Though it’s believed the Z06 GT3.R is still in development, it is supposed to begin deliveries in Q3 2023. This will allow plenty of test time before the 2024 season starts. These racing Corvettes will mostly be fielded in the SportsCar Championship GTD class and the LMGT3 class of the 2024 World Endurance Championship.

How successful was the racing program?

C8.R Corvette Racing Front
C8.R Corvette Racing | Getty

Since beginning in 1999, Chevrolet has fielded four different generations of racing Corvettes. Besides multiple wins in IMSA and FIA World Endurance, it has won four 24 Hours of Daytona, ten victories in the American Le Mans Series, and five wins in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Yesterday, Corvette Racing beat the field in its class to win the 24 Hours of Lemans. The drivers were Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg, and Nico Varrone. The No. 33 C8.R Corvette battled back from behind after an incident early in the race. According to IMSA, they lead by over a lap at the end beating in fierce competition.


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