After much speculation, Corvette Racing has revealed that the future of its sportscar racing programme will be focused on the new restructured GT division that will be brought into place from 2010.
As a result, the team will continue to run in the American Le Mans Series in the GT1 class with a limited schedule through the first half of 2009, before Corvette heads to Le Mans to chase its sixth class victory at La Sarthe.
Following the famed 24 hour race, Corvette Racing will then turn its focus to the GT2 category, running in selected events for the remainder of the year ahead of a full-season assault in the new look GT class in 2010.
In line with the new regulations, the newest version of the C6.R will also be available to customer teams to take the fight to the works outfit.
"Corvette Racing will be well positioned for the future of production-based sports car racing worldwide with the plans we are announcing today," Steve Wesoloski, GM Racing road racing group manager, said. "The international regulations are converging around a single, global GT class, and we intend to continue Corvette's motorsports heritage by racing against manufacturers and marques that Corvette competes with in the marketplace.
"The GT1 class has been a platform for GM Racing and our partners to develop the most technically sophisticated race cars in our history. We intend to apply the tremendous success we have had in the GT1 category to make the next-generation Corvette C6.R a strong contender in the new GT class.
"In accordance with the regulations, the new version of the Corvette C6.R race car will be available to independent teams. Corvette and Chevrolet are global brands, and we look forward to seeing production-based Corvette race cars competing in series around the world under the leadership of the ACO and the FIA."
Having found themselves racing alone in GT1 in a number of ALMS events this season, Corvette will now go head-to-head with a range of rivals including Ferrari, Porsche and BMW with the latest incarnation of the C6.R running with a six-litre engine next year in GT2 while a new 5.5 litre powerplant undergoes development for use in 2010.
"Competing in GT2 will be a true test of our team's determination, talent and technology," Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing programme manager, admitted. "The level of competition in the category is already fierce, and that promises to become more intense with more manufacturers and top-tier teams. We've explored alternative paths, and we believe that competing in GT is the right road for Corvette Racing to take in the future.
"We will continue our commitment to cellulosic E85R ethanol racing fuel in the current GT1 Corvette C6.R and the next-generation Corvette C6.R that will compete in the new GT class. Corvette Racing's green racing initiative is proof of our commitment to using alternative fuels at the highest levels of motorsports."