Corvette Racing has withdrawn from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the latest high-profile GTE-Pro team to pull the plug on its entry due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The factory Pratt & Miller-run squad informed the ACO over the weekend of its decision not to field its pair of Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs, in what will potentially break the manufacturer’s 20-year run of consecutive participations in the French endurance classic, should the event still occur this year.
The race, which is held annually in June, has been rescheduled to Sept. 19-20, although the revised provisional date has proved to be challenging from a logistical standpoint for U.S.-based teams due to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar and expected increased border scrutiny.
“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,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President – Performance and Motorsports, in a statement supplied to Sportscar365.
“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.”
Corvette joins the pair of CORE autosport-run Porsche 911 RSRs as recently confirmed withdrawals, bringing the GTE-Pro class down to seven cars.
The team was due to debut its new-for-2020 mid-engined GTE car in the race with the lineup of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg (No. 63), and Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler (No. 64).
The withdrawals have promoted the No. 20 High-Class Racing Oreca 07 Gibson and No. 78 Proton Competition Porsche into the race, which were both on the reserve list.