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GM Racing Boss Laura Wontrop-Klauser Thinks There’s Enough Interest From Corvette Customers

Corvette C8.R Racing C8 Z06 Stingray
Image via Chevrolet

The original Corvette Grand Sport wasn’t a road-faring package that pulled from the parts bin of the base Stingray and up-level Z06. In fact, it was actually a track-only homologation special, raced by the likes of Roger Penske, AJ Foyt, and Jim Hall. And while Corvette godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov initially had plans to build 125 Grand Sports to compete with the Ford Shelby Cobra at the time, only five were built before General Motors executives axed the entire program in 1963.

Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to build a C8 Corvette Grand Sport fit for track-only use. Such a supercar could perhaps draw parallels to the Multimatic-built Ford GT Mk II; a $1.2 million race car that breaks all of the homologation rules, and has the sole purpose of being as quick around the road course as possible. However, that’s not to say there aren’t enough Corvette customers out there that would be elated if such a vehicle were to see the light of day.

Corvette Grand Sport C7 C2
1963 Corvette Grand Sport Chassis #005 and a C7 Grand Sport. Image via Chevrolet

Corvette Customer Interest Is There

“I think there is, yes,” said Laura Wontrop-Klauser, General Motors Sports Car Racing Program Manager, in an interview with MC&T, when asked if she thought there’s enough customer interest for a track-only C8 Corvette variant.

That being said, a turn-key track day toy that’s derived from the Corvette C8.R could be a pipe dream as it stands. The Corvette Racing team has to focus its efforts on building a GT3-spec car for the newly announced IMSA GTD Pro class beginning in 2022. Considering the extensive work required to convert the existing GTLM Corvette C8.R into a GT3 car, the Corvette Racing team has been given a bit of a grace period by IMSA, and will run the existing car next season with some modifications.

2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition Stingray C8R Belle Isle Grand Prix Laura Wontrop Klauser Jordon Taylor Tommy Milner Antonio Garcia Nick Tandy
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Corvette C8.R GT3 Program A Priority

“I think we’ll see where the world of GT3 could take us. There might be some future opportunities that come from there, but we really need to take it step by step,” said Wontrop-Klauser. “If we try to rush into too much all at once, we’re not going to do anything right. We’re being very careful because we’re very proud of the quality of our product and we don’t wanna let that fall.”

As for a potential C8 Corvette GT3 customer car for privateer race teams, the GM racing boss had the following to say:

“We’re exploring everything. You know obviously we have a connection with Callaway Competition from the C7 program that they were doing, so we’ve been chatting with everyone and it’s quite a big program to work out. There’s a lot of parts. There’s a lot of questions that are still unanswered, and it’s just that you have to take them one by one and figure it out.”

Corvette Racing C8R C8.R GT3 GTLM GTE Pro IMSA FIA WEC ACO
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.

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  1. I’m sure they took notice when the Callaway Competition Corvette just won the recent ADAC GT3 race at the Red Bull Ring pitted against 30 top cars from Porsche, Lambo, Audi, BMW and Mercedes…the sole C7R GT3 from Callaway came out on top

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