Porsche, Corvette Racing Pull Out of This Year's 24 Hours of Le Mans
This year's Le Mans is going to look and feel a lot different.
We all know the novel coronavirus has had a major impact on the automotive world—not to mention the rest of it—and motorsports took a big hit, too. Without the ability to safely host teams, their fans, the media, and all the other associated people, many racing events have been pushed back to later dates or cancelled altogether. The 24 Hours of Le Mans, perhaps the most famous race in the world, was moved from June to September.
Now, Corvette Racing has announced that it won't be racing at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. This comes after Porsche announced its GTLM cars won't be taking part in the race either, and will instead focus on IMSA for the remainder of the season. That means two of Le Mans' most storied factory teams won't be taking part in this year's race, dramatically changing the way the field will look come race day.
This year's race would have been the Corvette C8.R's Le Mans debut, but now we aren't sure when we'll see the mid-engine race car take to the legendary circuit. Corvette Racing released a statement on Twitter saying, "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."
What Corvette Racing didn't mention in the statement is if they will return next for the 2021 race, and instead only say they hope to race there again—leaving the question of exactly when they will return unanswered. Corvettes have been a staple at Le Mans in the GT and GTLM classes for the last 20 years, and they have formed a something of a rivalry with the GTLM Porsches. So even though we don't know when Corvette might make its return to Le Mans, what's for is this year's race will be much quieter without those 911s and Corvettes duking it out all day and night.