Corvette Racing has confirmed that it is withdrawing from the 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, bringing the GTE Pro category for the French endurance classic down to seven cars.
The logistical difficulties and financial impact in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are at the core of the decision, as well of balancing a Le Mans effort with the revised calendar for the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.
“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 of Chevrolet Performance and Motorsports in a statement.
“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’s withdrawal comes mere days after Porsche confirmed that its US-based GTE Pro cars will also not be competing in the race. The GTE Pro category now consists of Porsche’s full time WEC entries, as well as two cars from Aston Martin, Ferrari and a lone entry for Risi Competizione.
The news brings to an end a twenty-year streak of participation for the American brand, which has appeared uninterrupted at Le Mans since 2000, racing in GTS, GT1, GT2 and GTE Pro.
With two further cars withdrawn, that means that the second High Class Racing LMP2 entry, (the #20 ORECA 07-Gibson), as well as the #78 GTE Am-entered Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR, are now next up on the list of reserves. In a somewhat ironic twist, Corvette’s withdrawal could see their former star driver Jan Magnussen, who left Corvette at the end of 2019, see granted entry onto the grid as he is the listed driver for High Class Racing’s second ORECA.