For the first time in 20 years, Corvette Racing will not take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after the team announced they would be withdrawing from the event due to the financial implications of COVID-19.
Many teams, and the WEC itself, have faced financial implications from the lack of running races due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns imposed across multiple countries.
A number of teams and manufacturers have been affected across the automotive industry, with large numbers of employees having been furloughed, but this decision intends to cut costly international marketing campaigns such as the trips to Le Mans in order to reduce financial consumption.
Corvette Racing has been attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans since the beginning of the Corvette Racing programme in 1999.
Just like fellow GTE rivals, Porsche has done so with their GTLM cars (so will enter two instead of four LM entries) who made this decision last week, share the priority to complete their full participation of North America’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Corvette Racing debuted their C8.R at the Daytona 24H, WEC’s Lone Star Le Mans, and was expected to do so at the 1000 Miles of Sebring (until its cancellation). And although they do not compete in a full season of WEC, they have always attended Le Mans.
ACO, the organisers of the event, were understood to be aware of the team’s decision in the past few weeks.
Mike Ofiara, GM Product and Brand Communications – Chevy Truck, Performance Car and Motorsports, said: “Corvette Racing has a long history of competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, so our decision to not participate in this historic race this year was not an easy one.”
“Several factors played into our decision, including current conditions and the rescheduled timing.
“We’re proud Corvette Racing has been invited to the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the past 20 years and regret that we won’t be participating this year.
“We hope we have the opportunity to race at Le Mans again.”