Tommy Milner said he was excited for the “new challenge” of full-time racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship as part of the Corvette Racing lineup in the GTE-Pro class next year.
Milner and co-driver Nick Tandy will drive the team’s No.64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in all six WEC races next year for the first time, as part of a parallel factory program at the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in GTD Pro alongside Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia.
For the 35-year-old American athlete, competing in a round-the-world running championship came as a new opportunity he was eager to tackle.
Outside of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans each year and several one-off events such as the Nürburging 24 early in his career and the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai in 2018, Milner has focused his sports car racing efforts primarily in North America until now.
“I love IMSA. I love the race track here,” he told Sportscar365. “I have been racing here since 2004, which was my first year in a sports car. I think part of my desire for the WEC race is to do something different.
“I’ve been racing IMSA for years now, to have the opportunity to race at WEC and follow all the big events they have there — Monza, Fuji, Spa — some other very famous and historic race tracks. around the world that I haven’t had the chance to race, that’s very interesting to me.
“I’m lucky that it benefits me in that way. I will definitely miss IMSA next year. And that doesn’t mean I’ll never return to IMSA, of course.
“This is the last year for this [GTE-Pro] car again. That’s another part of wanting to race at WEC, is to race these cars for another year.
“I’m excited about it. This will be a new challenge. The races there are very competitive, as we see every year at Le Mans and as the team has seen in the past with our one-off races too.”
The solo Corvette will enter the GTE-Pro lineup in what is expected to be the class’s final season at WEC, at least with factory involvement from Ferrari and Porsche, both of which will move to the Hypercar class in 2023.
Despite not racing the AF Corse and the Manthey-managed Porsche GT Team on a regular basis, Milner believes they will be up to the challenge.
“We are also used to that at IMSA,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of banging on the door races they did this year too.
“Those teams have been competing against each other for years. They know how each other competes so we came up with a bit of a ‘new guy on the block’ in some ways.
“We hope to be there fighting them. That’s the goal, obviously. We hope for a great race. As racers, we want good races like that.
“We have had great races over the years at IMSA. We’ve got it at Le Mans. I wouldn’t expect anything different for the others [WEC] timetable.”
The full season program is also expected to benefit the team effort Pratt & Miller is running at Le Mans, where they plan to make another two-car effort, pending a second invitation from the ACO.
“That will definitely help. There’s no question about that,” Milner said. “The more time you spend in that environment, you learn new things, you make mistakes and can correct them and don’t make those mistakes during Le Mans.
“It will be interesting to see how it all operates with one team divided between different continents.
“They are ready for it. We’ve done this before in the past and know what it takes.”