Photo Credit: Richard Prince for Corvette Racing
This year apparently will be the end of the line for Corvette Racing – and everyone else – in the World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Pro division as motorsport.com is reporting that the WEC will not run the division for another year before GT3 regulations begin in 2024 as GT3 Premium.
Only five cars in GTE Pro are competing for the full season in 2022, including a single Corvette C8.R and two factory entries each from Ferrari and Porsche. Another Corvette Racing C8.R and a Riley Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE private entry ran in last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ironically, Corvette Racing just yesterday locked out the front row for Le Mans for the first time since 2010, with British driver Nick Tandy running a best lap of 3:49.985 around the 8.4-mile Circuit de la Sarthe to edge out veteran teammate Antonio Garcia for the pole by only 0.192 seconds.
The demise of GTE Pro is really no surprise, considering that two of the current manufacturers, Ferrari and Porsche, have already said they wouldn’t be competing in 2023 in that division, instead choosing to focus their efforts on LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar instead.
That would have left Corvette Racing as the only manufacturer in GTE Pro next year.
Introduced in 2012 at Le Mans when the former GT2 division was split in half to provide a category for all-Pro crews and another for Pro-Am teams, GTE Pro peaked in 2019 with 17 cars competing. But it has rapidly descended since, with BMW and Ford both pulling out. Aston Martin also stopped running in 2020, leaving only Ferrari and Porsche in GTE Pro in 2021 before Corvette Racing joined them for the entire season in 2022.
The GTE Am category will be axed after the 2023 season, according to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
The new GT3 Premium category in 2024 will feature a cost-capped body kit conversion from standard GT3 cars, running on commercially available tires instead of the confidential rubber now used in GTE Pro.
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