The competitive life of the Corvette C8.R GTE has an expiration date in the United States before the decision of IMSA to change the GTLM class for a GTD Pro category under GT3 regulations. Without a clear future for a vehicle that debuted in 2020, the Corvette project led by the Pratt & Miller team look for the only exhaust valve of your GTE to extend your stay on the circuits, the World Endurance. In this aspect, Corvette Racing values the first two rounds of the WEC in 2021 as a prerequisite in its negotiation with ACO for a place at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The only places guaranteed on the Le Mans grid are those of the cars that compete regularly in the WEC and those granted via invitation, which is why Corvette can compete in the 8 Hours of Portimao and the 6 Hours of Spa as a prerequisite to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as an approach with ACO to have a position in the queen of the resistance. In fact, Pratt & Miller has already started preparations to shape its possible presence in Portimao with one of its Corvette C8.R GTEs due to the postponement of the IMSA appointments in Long Beach and Laguna Seca.
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This procedure is common on Corvette. Already in 2020 he had a planned program of two tests prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In fact, the team had intended to compete in the Austin 6 Hours and the Sebring 1,000 Miles in preparation for Le Mans, but could only compete in the race held in Texas. The cancellation of Sebring and mobility restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic they pushed Corvette out of the 1,000 Miles and debuting its Corvette C8.R GTE at Le Mans. An absence that ended his streak of 20 consecutive appearances at La Sarthe.