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ME [email protected]: When?

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  • ME [email protected]: When?

    ME [email protected]: When?

    That answer is unknown outside of GM. That it will happen we know. Afterwards is some related information.


    1) We know there will be a C8.R — though whether it will be called a C8.R or a ZORA.R or an ME.R, or something else is not known.
    2) Three different, knowledgeable Corvette individuals have commented publicly about the C8.R.

    A) The head of Larbre Racing, Jeffrey Leconte, whose Corvette recently raced the C7.R in the European WEC and at LeMans, mentioned the C8 race car in a press conference several months ago. Thanks to CorvetteBlogger, who wrote the below article. The key sentence is Leconte’s statement: “It was also too early to enter a C8 as this car is still in development.”

    B) When I was at April’s National Corvette Museum BASH, Corvette C7.R Team Manager Doug Fehan said, talking about the Crew Chiefs for the # 3 and the #4 C7.R , who were listed on the agenda and supposed to talk about “20 Years” of Corvette Racing,” e.g., the dinner’s topic.

    Originally posted by DougFehan
    Sorry that Danny and Brian are not able to be here tonight, but they are working on the C8.R.
    C) Harlan, who was sitting next to Doug at the head table, visibly blanched the second Doug said that. Ever the quick thinker, Harlan immediately stated, “At some point we will stop racing the C7.R, and at that point, we will race the C8.R.” And then he quickly changed the subject back to that night’s event 20 Years of Corvette Racing topic.

    D) Doug has additionally talked about the C8.R at other times.

    Originally posted by racer
    “As far as new cars go, eventually there will be an eighth-generation Corvette; right now I don’t know when that’s going to be,” Fehan said. “But I can ensure everyone that when it comes out we will be racing it.

    The rest of that article is worthy of reading to at least tangentially address the question of this thread.

    Originally posted by racer
    Corvette Racing Ponders Le Mans (By Stephen Kilbey)
    This weekend is a big one for Corvette Racing, which is making its 19th start in the Le Mans 24 Hours as part of its 20th anniversary as a team. A class win on Sunday would be Pratt & Miller’s ninth at Le Mans, setting the team up for a potential 10th victory in its 20th Le Mans appearance in 2019.

    But which model will Corvette Racing bring to the party next year? Its current C7.R GTE is now the oldest car in the GTE Pro field, and coming toward the end of its life cycle. But this year is unlikely to be its last as a factory car.

    “I don’t think the regulations allow [us to homologate a car next year], with the advent of the ‘Super Season’ and the timing of the way the rules read,” Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan explained to RACER today at La Sarthe. “I don’t think we’d be able to homologate anything next year; we’ll be running what we’re running now.”

    Whether or not the next-generation Corvette will feature a radical change in philosophy though, remains to be seen.

    “As far as new cars go, eventually there will be an eighth-generation Corvette; right now I don’t know when that’s going to be,” Fehan said. “But I can ensure everyone that when it comes out we will be racing it.

    “Chevrolet and Corvette have some of the most advanced engineers in the world, and produce a great product. When you talk about mid-engined and front-engined, I look over at our friends from Ferrari, who have introduced their fastest production car ever, and they’ve done it with a front-engined car.

    “There’s a lot of speculation whether or not the next Corvette will be mid-engined or not. But we won’t find that out until we find out when or if they’re going to build one.”

    There is another question mark too, and that’s surrounding the 2020 and 2024 top class regulations set to be released by the ACO tomorrow at Le Mans. It looks as if the new top class will feature prototypes that look like hypercars, leaning more toward a GTP formula and away from what we’re used to with the current LMP1 breed.

    Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan and Antonio Garcia, who joins Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller in the No.63 Corvette. (Image by Thawley/LAT)

    And crucially, with the C7.R likely to continue racing next year, Corvette has time to decide on its future.

    Fehan is intrigued by the potential of the 2020 regulations, and rather than rule out Corvette making the big step into the top class, everyone involved in the program will take a step back and consider if a change of direction is the right move after tomorrow’s conference.

    “Every year we step back, and globally we look at what developments have taken place in racing, where we can best showcase our product,” he told RACER. “And we will do that after the rules and philosophies are released and they have a blueprint for where they want to go. I can guarantee you that we’ll go away and evaluate it, and see if it fits our plans. You can never rule anything in, or out.

    “Right now it would be too soon to say because we haven’t seen them. But it would be unfair to say we’re not interested in doing that. Every year we look where we can go, and the objective is to find the right place.

    “Sometimes it makes sense to move to something else, sometimes it makes sense to continue on the road you’re going down. We’re not ruling anything out; an overall win at Le Mans is a unique situation, and when you look at the intent of the past, efforts to create something unique became too expensive. This move, to the credit of the sanctioning bodies, is to find something that’s more affordable and technologically representative of where you want to go, with proper brand identification, so it would stand a better chance of attracting manufacturers.

    “But, I’m sure that there will still be manufacturers who continue to run both [in GTE and in the top class]. Porsche is a prime example, with a big customer race program, and they’ve shown in the past that they can do both.”

    In the meantime, the C7.R GTE is here to stay, racing in IMSA and at Le Mans. A full-scale WEC attack in GTE for the brand is still unlikely. While desirable, it would require “the separate GM companies [from outside of the North American arm] coming together, which isn’t easy to do.”

    There is a chance Corvette could defend its home turf in the WEC’s race at Sebring next year, as it did before when the WEC raced with IMSA at Circuit of The Americas in 2014.

    “Everything is on the table,” Fehan explained. “Is it a possibility? Of course! It’s a distinct possibility.”
    So back to the question raised in the title of this thread, we mere mortals outside of GM do not yet know. And when might it relatedly start racing in the IMSA WeatherTech series.

    Last edited by John; 07-22-2018, 04:01 PM.
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