Chevrolet is targeting an initial batch of ten Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs for each of the first two years of production as it enhances its global support network for the manufacturer’s first “turn key” customer GT3 program.
GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser revealed that Pratt & Miller’s GT3 car, which was confirmed last week for a 2024 debut, will initially be focused on limited production, targeted at customers in North America and Europe.
He said the expansion of the initial allocation, which meets the FIA’s minimum manufacture of 20 cars in the first two years of its homologation, will depend on the level of demand from customers.
“We’ll see how many teams reach out,” Klauser told Sportscar365. “We really want to see auto racing.
“That would be our goal, to have as many teams as possible who want to race cars in as many GT3 events as possible. But until we start talking to people…
“We finally made an announcement, that’s great. When we start figuring out who’s interested and who’s ready to make a deposit next year, that’s when we’ll know where to put all our focus and then we’ll continue to grow from there.”
Klauser said GM currently has two “parallel paths” towards the development of the GT3 project.
“We’ve got a car that’s clearly being designed and developed and getting ready for testing,” he explained.
“Then the customer support structure is almost another group of people working on it and trying to figure it all out.
“We are focused on the US [market] first. We know it’s for the best so that’s where we’ll feel comfortable.
“We discussed more details on the US side.
“The European side — we’ve just started a conversation, trying to figure out what it’s like and when it’s going to make sense.
“We’re only going to make so many cars every year. As we upgrade, we want to make sure we’re doing this right.
“To ensure demand is appropriate and to ensure we can properly support the product, you will see a limited number for the first two years.
“It will be interesting to see where they end up racing. We based it on who our initial customers were and worked with all of them.”
Klauser said they hope to start on-track testing next year.
“We’re still virtual now,” he said. “The drawings we have are made from CAD [model] which we are working on.
“We still have a bit more to do so things might change a little bit, but that is the path we are going.
“Hopefully next year there will be a trial. Hopefully we should have some hardware put together and get the wheels on the ground at some point next year. ”
When asked if the Corvette could take part in the test race before the FIA homologation, Klauser indicated it could be difficult due to the logistics and the planned testing program.
He emphasized that the development program would be carried out entirely in North America.
“If an option comes up and it’s something that fits into our schedule and makes sense, then yes, it’s always a great way to learn, to do real world situations. [test race] like that,” Klauser said.
“I don’t believe that option will exist at IMSA and I’m not sure if the SROs on this side of the pool will.
“That would make it complicated. Every time you have to add all that international shipping to an item, you end up giving up something for a lot longer time [time].
“It will be hard to justify when we can get more miles here at home.”
Corvette Z06 GT3.R Completes “Nice Circle” in Development
Klauser said the Corvette C8.R GTE car, which helped develop the production car Z06, has now formed the basis of the GT3 car, in an unexpected “good loop” of development.
“We didn’t plan that,” he said. “It’s just a nice way that works. When we launched the C8.R, we thought we’d be able to race it for a few years longer than we could. This is what it is.
“Now we have the opportunity to take that Z06 and turn it into a next-generation race car and really connect [the circle]. Those who own it can see the car closer to what they had in the past.
He added: “Machines will be significantly more production-based. But considering the C8.R was our testbed for a production machine, it creates a really nice loop for how it works.
“Flat plane cranks, everything remains the same. [It’s] about the same size and about the same package. We’ll be able to pull in more production content now available for us to use that wasn’t when we started working on the C8.R engine.
“As per the regulations for the GT3 you have to do that. But now that the Z06 is out, we have the perfect ‘donor’ to be a part of this process and have that opportunity to connect the two cars.”