Corvette Racing has expanded their factory driver roster after bringing on Daniel Juncadella, Earl Bamber, Charlie Eastwood and Nico Varrone, who will compete in IMSA and/or the WEC in the new Z06 GT3.R.
The quadrant of drivers will join the existing selection, featuring Antonio Garcia, Tommy Milner, Nicky Catsburg and Alexander Sims, who will contest the full 2024 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
Furthermore, the four additional drivers join the group to compete in IMSA or the FIA World Endurance Championship, or both.
Juncadella and Bamber will take part as Endurance Cup drivers within the two-car IMSA GTD Pro effort from Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports.
The former Mercedes-AMG driver will join Garcia and Sims, whilst Bamber will join Milner and Catsburg.
Furthermore, Juncadella and Eastwood will join TF Sport for the British team’s LMGT3 programme with Corvette in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“As we move into GT3 and customer racing, it is important that we add to our roster of drivers that are available to teams,” said Christie Bagne, Corvette Z06 GT3.R program manager.
“We are excited about the wealth of experience in our Corvette factory lineup. Both GM and our teams will benefit from the learnings from each driver.”
Juncadella, joining Corvette for the IMSA endurance races, said: “I’ve been a witness to what it means to be a Corvette driver in the U.S. That’s means a really big fanbase. That’s pretty exciting, to be honest.
“At every autograph session in IMSA that I’ve been sitting next to the Corvette tent, there is a queue of 100 people waiting to get an autograph from their drivers, and we were just sitting around! That’s very exciting, I have to say, to see the legacy that Corvette Racing has created in the U.S. and to see the amount of awareness about the brand is very exciting. It makes me proud and it feels quite unique to be a Corvette factory driver.”
Bamber, meanwhile, told media: “It’s really exciting to be joining Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports for the long races. I’ve been a part of some big rivalries for many years in IMSA racing. But this organization has won so many races and championships… it’s really impressive.
“When I did my first test at Road America, you could see why they’ve been so successful. I’ve driven the Z06 GT3.R and I think the package is really good. These guys have built fantastic GTLM cars over the years, and I don’t see why the Corvette GT3 should be any different. It’s a well-balanced car already just in its infancy, so I think they will be a formidable force not just in IMSA but also as this program seeks out to go all around the world. I think it will be one of the benchmark cars into the future.”
Nico Varrone said: “First of all, it’s a big honor to be a factory driver for Corvette. It’s also nice to be back in IMSA next season with everyone at AWA.
“These are people that I know from this year and doing the endurance races in LMP3. It was a good year. We won Daytona and had great performances throughout the season. It will be a big challenge with the new car, not only for our team but everyone in the entire Corvette program. But this is also a completely new class for AWA. It will be a challenge but we will be prepared to make the most of it and get some wins with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R and have a great season.”
And finally, Eastwood: “This certainly ranks up there for me, joining such a brand like Corvette and an organization like GM. It’s what so many drivers wish for their whole career. It seems to be an amazing place to be, and you can see that because so many drivers stay for so long. I’m really looking forward to that opportunity to learn from the best in the business and push on together to achieve great things for many years to come.”