Chevrolet and 25-year IMSA team partner, Pratt Miller Motorsports, announced this morning at Watkins Glen, the formation of a new Corvette Racing competition and development program for 2024. The long-standing collaboration will continue with the campaign of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship Series.
The 2024 driver lineup has not yet been announced. But the news reveals a commitment from Corvette and Chevrolet to continue racing in perpetuity.
The breaking news came from Christie Bagne, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R Program Manager, during a press conference this morning.
We’re proud to announce that next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, we will be running two Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs in GTD PRO as Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports. — Christie Bagne, Corvette GT3.R Program Manager
Bagne continued, “We’re looking forward to working with the same team that has designed and built these GT3 cars, knows them intimately, and will now be racing the cars in IMSA. We’re looking forward to this program benefitting our entire customer program as this team races these cars, learns about them, and efficiently transfers those learnings into the customer race program in order to elevate the level of all Z06 GT3.Rs on the grid globally.”
“This is an exciting time for everyone at Pratt Miller,” said Brandon Widmer, Pratt Miller Vice President, Motorsports. “We’ve experienced a lot of successes, race wins and championships with Chevrolet through the Corvette Racing program. Now we move into the GT3 era. Everyone is pleased with the progress of our testing and development programs, and new car builds are under way.
Widmer said, “We’re appreciative of the decades-long relationship with Chevrolet. Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports is looking forward to continue showing our expertise in race operations and management to our fans, our commercial partners and new prospects as we go forward.”
Despite Chevrolet’s ninth class win at LeMans and run-away points lead in the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Am class, the General will not contest the 2024 season as a factory effort as the current C8.R program will be abandoned at the conclusion of this year’s racing season.
According to Chevrolet Racing spokesman, Ryan Smith, “Corvette Racing is targeting two customer cars to contest the WEC next year.” According to Smith, these teams will receive factory parts and engineering support. However, the teams have not been revealed.
In the 25-year Chevrolet/Pratt Miller relationship, the team has recorded 125 wins in IMSA competition. The bulk of this success came with a legendary lineup of drivers including Jan Magnussen, a former Formula One driver and father of current Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen, and sports car stars, Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin, and Antonio Garcia. Further, the successes fell squarely on the expertise of former crew chief, Dan Binks.
Moving forward, Chevrolet knows the Pratt Miller partnership is a natural fit and does not want to make any major team changes for its North American efforts. Testing has been ongoing since September 2022 with the Z06 GT3.R and has already logged nearly 5,500 miles on the platform. Additionally, the Z06 is currently completing 2024 homologation testing in Europe.
Regarding the testing, the car has gone through a pretty extensive testing and development program. We’ve tried to take all the learnings from the past 25 years of Corvette Racing and apply that to the test program. — Marc Maurini, Corvette Racing Program Director, Pratt Miller Motorsports
” The car has run more than 5,500 miles on tracks varying from Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, and Road Atlanta, and we have two additional track tests upcoming in the next 30 days,” Maurini said. “We’re proud to be able to present a car that is at the top level of sports cars and, as just announced, we’re proud to be racing it ourselves, as well.”
Continuing the relationship was very important to Pratt Miller. Widmer gave some insight into the arrangement. “For us, it’s a new chapter. We’ve been quite happy being the name behind the scenes and the Corvette Racing name in the forefront. We spent quite a bit of time with the Chevrolet folks on what this team name should be. It sounds pretty simple, but Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports actually took a lot of time. For us, it’s important to have that continuation of the heritage of Corvette Racing and all the success we’ve had collectively for the last 25 years but also put the Pratt Miller Motorsports name out there as well in the headlines.”
Widmer continued, “It’s a great opportunity for our company directly and for partners that have shown interest in the past and maybe those opportunities just weren’t quite there with the way the program was structured. For us, it’s not only a new chapter with the new GT3 car but it’s also a new chapter for our business as well. We’re excited with how it’s structured and how we are moving forward.”
Many fans and enthusiasts stressed over the end of Corvette’s factory-backed racing efforts. However, while a direct team from the factory will not be present, having Chevrolet’s most successful partner taking the reins with great factory support, fans can rest easy. Additionally, fans can expect strong independent teams on the grid in 2024 as well.
Widmer concluded, “This gives us the opportunity to expand the brand and name for Pratt Miller as a whole and certainly for Pratt Miller Motorsports.” We look forward to seeing the new C8 Zo6 GT3.R race cars contesting an IMSA championship wearing the familiar Corvette Racing livery in 2024.