American Le Mans Series CEO Scott Atherton has admitted his delight at the news that Corvette Racing will continue to be involved in the series next season.
After much speculation around its plans for the future, Corvette announced today [Tuesday] that it will continue to compete in GT1 for the early part of 2009 before switching its focus to GT2 after going for a sixth class win in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Corvette will then launch a full-season assault on the new look GT class that will come into force in 2010 and Atherton said he was delighted to hear the news that the most successful team in ALMS history would be returning to the fold.
"The Corvette brand is the gold standard for General Motors' high performance automotive line-up, and we are thrilled that Corvette Racing will continue to be a prominent part of the American Le Mans Series in 2009," he said. "This confirms GM's recognition of the importance racing has to the Corvette brand. Without question the Corvette Racing program is the best example of GM racing what it sells in the most relevant way possible.
"There is a direct link from the Corvette race car and the Corvette for sale in the showroom that no other form of racing can match. The rich racing history and success that Corvette has already established stands to grow again by directly competing against the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Panoz and others in the most competitive class of sports car racing in the world."
Atherton added that he felt sure that the announcement would also prove to be a popular one with Corvette fans, who are known to be amongst the most partisan in the paddock.
"I also am happy for Corvette's massive fan base, which have been loyal supporters of Corvette Racing, Pratt & Miller and the American Le Mans Series since the beginning," he said. "I have no doubts that the cheers will be louder, the autograph lines will be longer and the Corvette Corrals will be even more crowded as Corvette embarks on this new chapter of Corvette Racing history."