The #64 C8.R Corvette in the hands of Englishman Nick Tandy took the GTE Pro pole position at Le Mans. Having qualified on Wednesday night in the all-important top six places in the GTE Pro Class, both Corvette Racing C8.R advanced to the Hyperpole session on Thursday night.
It was an intense 30-minute session especially when you consider a single lap takes nearly 4 minutes – no room for any mistakes. The #64 topped the GTE Pro Class with a best lap time of 3:49.985 and the #63 driven by Antonio Garcia backed them up with a 3:50.177 good enough for second place. Both of the factory Porsches were very close taking 3rd and 4th and then the two AF Corse Ferraris secured 5th and 6th with the Bee Safe #74 Ferrari in seventh place eliminated from the Hyperpole session on Wednesday night.
Friday morning and some desperately sad news was officially confirmed by the ACO President Pierre Fillon – GTE Pro will not compete in the FIA WEC or at Le Mans from the end of the 2022 season. GTE Am will finish after the 2023 season and the all-new GT3 Class which will operate on the GTE Am model i.e. privateer teams with at least one amateur driver, this effectively kills any chance of a factory-backed race team such as Corvette Racing competing at Le Mans EVER again.
Better news was announced on Thursday with the official unveiling of the Cadillac Hypercar that will compete in the IMSA series in the hands of Action Express racing in 2023 and in the FIA WEC – including Le Mans – in the hands of Chip Ganassi Racing. Both teams are expected to field two cars. BMW and Acura have also both committed to Hypercar for 2023 and with Peugeot and their 9X8 also set to compete.
Stop Press News – Ferrari has also just released a first teaser picture of their 2023 Hypercar which is also aiming for Le Mans 2023 – the 100th anniversary of the first race – with AF Corse running the cars. This is part of the reason that Corvette Racing has been frozen out of Le Mans as AF Corse and also Porsche is both committed to Hypercar leaving Corvette with no one to run against.
It is a desperately sad situation for all Corvette Racing fans across the world and unless they switch allegiances to Cadillac will have nothing to cheer on at future editions of Le Mans.