New factory-supported program is first confirmed for new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R
Chevrolet and Pratt Miller Motorsports officials announced today the formation of a program that will lead competition and development efforts with the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R — Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports.
Starting with the 2024 Rolex 24 At Daytona, Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports will campaign a pair of the new-for-2024, GT3-spec Corvettes for a full season in the GT Daytona (GTD) PRO category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The factory-supported effort is the first of two 2024 WeatherTech Championship programs that feature the Corvette Z06 GT3.R, with additional customer programs set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Drivers for the GTD PRO effort will be announced at a later date, as well.
The link-up between Chevrolet and Pratt Miller Motorsports (PMM) is a natural fit. The current full-factory Corvette Racing program is in the midst of its 25th season and has earned 125 race victories to date — the most recent coming at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the team’s ninth class win at the famed French classic. Also, for the second year in a row, Corvette Racing has programs in both IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship with the Corvette C8.R, which is now in its final season of competition.
“Chevrolet and Pratt Miller have collaborated for more than 25 years on the Corvette Racing program, and we are thrilled that we are able to continue together into the GT3 era,” said Christie Bagne, program manager, Corvette Z06 GT3.R.
Corvette Z06 GT3.R customer teams will compete under the umbrella of Corvette Racing, which also will include customer and technical support to help carry on the tradition of Corvette Racing excellence that began in 1999.
With an eye toward the future, Chevrolet Motorsports Competition Engineering and Pratt Miller began planning more than two years ago for the Corvette GT3 era. Pratt Miller — located in New Hudson, Michigan — is the constructor of the Z06 GT3.R. Pratt Miller engineers have worked hand-in-hand with Chevrolet Motorsports engineers on development, build and testing of the vehicle.
With Pratt Miller dedicated to chassis builds and engineering on the Z06 GT3.R, the GM Propulsion Performance and Racing Center in Pontiac, Michigan, has focused on the development and refinement of the 5.5L, flat-plane crankshaft DOHC LT6 V-8 engine that will power the racecar.
The LT6 engine for the Z06 GT3.R originates from the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the same line on which all production Corvette Z06 engines are built. The racing engines are delivered to the Performance and Racing Center where they are fitted with certain race-specific components.
The 5.5L powerplant shares more than 70% of its parts with the production Z06 engine, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder heads, fuel injectors, coils, gaskets and a variety of other sensors.
“It makes sense to have Corvette Racing with Pratt Miller Motorsports lead the competition element of the Z06 GT3.R program in the GTD PRO championship starting in 2024,” Bagne said. “We couldn’t have a better representative than the same group that has been part of the development, build and testing processes for our new Corvette racecar. The learnings we will take from testing and competition will flow to our other Z06 GT3.R customer teams to ensure that the Corvette brand is a championship contender around the world.”
Corvette Racing and Pratt Miller have accumulated nearly 9,000 kilometers (5,500 miles) with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R since September of last year. The car currently is undergoing its final homologation testing in Europe with additional testing planned for the summer and fall to fine-tune the Z06 GT3.R to multiple brands of tires for use across an array of championships around the world.
“This is an exciting time for everyone at Pratt Miller,” said Brandon Widmer, Pratt Miller Vice President, Motorsports. “We’ve experienced a lot of successes, race wins and championships with Chevrolet through the Corvette Racing program. Now we move into the GT3 era. Everyone is pleased with the progress of our testing and development programs, and new car builds are under way.”
“We’re appreciative of the decades-long relationship with Chevrolet. Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports is looking forward to continue showing our expertise in race operations and management to our fans, our commercial partners and new prospects as we go forward.”