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#5078 - 03/29/21 12:40 PM Corvette accepted to go to GTD-Pro Class  
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A consensus among manufacturers has been reached that will allow Corvette to transition from IMSA’s GT Le Mans class to 2022’s GT3-based GTD Pro category, despite there being no currently eligible version of its car.

Of the 10 active auto manufacturers that build production-based GT3 cars for use, every brand is a potential factory entrant when GTD Pro debuts in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Whether it’s as a full factory effort or in support of a customer program, Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Lexus, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche could be involved with GTD Pro in some capacity.
And of the GTLM manufacturers currently involved in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, only Corvette and its title-winning C8.R lacks a GT3 version of the car to use after GTLM is shuttered.

Despite reports suggesting the Corvette team was aiming to convert its C8.Rs to GT3 for GTD Pro and back to GTLM for its visits to the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA is prepared to work with its most popular team to find a way to keep Corvette without requiring the GT3 conversion.

Although Corvette Racing has yet to formally commit to GTD Pro, it’s believed a waiver will be granted by the series that will allow the General Motors factory outfit to use a detuned version of the GTLM C8.R for the first season or two of GTD Pro.

“Corvette and all the brands in IMSA are very important partners of ours,” series president John Doonan told RACER.
“We want to do everything we can to make their continued participation as relatively easy as possible.

So we’re in a decision mode, working very closely with the partners at Corvette Racing, GM as well, and all the other manufacturers to make sure that we can put them in a position to be able to continue to compete, right away, in GTD Pro, with an eye on what we can do with them going forward.

“And in the end, it’s their company’s decision to make relative to creating a GT3-spec car. And we’ll let them be the ones to share that news when they’re ready to. But for the short term,
IMSA is putting ourselves and everybody who’s involved, from the tire makers to all the other manufacturers, in a position to let folks compete as easily as possible, given their current product, and to also have an eye on the future, which would be using only GT3-spec cars.”

Of the other brands represented in GTLM and the FIA WEC’s GTE category, Aston Martin, BMW, and Porsche have existing or upcoming GT3 models that comply with GTD Pro regulations, and to date, no requests to detune and use their GTLM/GTE cars in the new GT3-based class are believed to have been received.

It leaves Corvette as the lone outlier for GTD Pro, but as Doonan shares, the other manufacturers have been supportive of having the C8.Rs compete with a special Balance of Performance formula applied.

“To be honest with you, we try never to make decisions in a vacuum,” he said. “So as we have allowed the market to speak, they’ve spoken in a forum that each of them can hear one another, and that includes Corvette Racing.
Right now, nobody is giving us any blowback about trying to make it work, both in the short and the long term.”


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#5079 - 03/30/21 11:11 AM Re: Corvette accepted to go to GTD-Pro Class [Re: teamzr1]  
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New GTD PRO Class based on GT3 specifications to launch in WeatherTech Championship for 2022

Solidifying a bright future for factory-supported, professional GT endurance racing in North America, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials today announced the introduction of the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO class to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning in 2022.

GTD PRO will include race cars built to FIA GT3 technical regulations.

GTD PRO offers the opportunity for factory teams and driver lineups to compete in the class, while customer teams, Pro-Am or Am-Am lineups have the option of competing in either GTD PRO or the standard GTD class.

Michelin will be the exclusive tire supplier for both the GTD PRO class and the existing GTD class in the WeatherTech Championship.

GTD PRO replaces the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, which will contest its final WeatherTech Championship season in 2021 using LMGTE technical regulations developed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).

“The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has long been regarded as featuring the world’s greatest GT manufacturers, teams and drivers and some of the world’s most exciting and competitive professional GT endurance racing through the GTLM class,” said IMSA President John Doonan.

“We believe the move to GTD PRO offers the best opportunity for manufacturers and teams to continue that legacy well into the future.
We expect considerable manufacturer participation when we kick off the GTD PRO class a year from now in the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona.”

New FIA GT3 technical regulations will debut in 2022.

New cars built to those specifications, as well as any existing cars upgraded through “Evo” kits will be eligible to compete in GTD PRO and GTD starting next year. There are nine manufacturers currently participating in IMSA with GT3 cars in the GTD class.


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