Corvette Racing’s Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia scored their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO victory since Sebring 2022 Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. On the other side of the Atlantic in Italy, their sister team finished fourth in the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Monza. Not a very remarkable result, but on the back of victories at Sebring, Portimão and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it clinched the GTE-Am championship for Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nico Varrone with two races yet to run.
“A very good day. I don’t think it could have gone much better,” said Taylor after celebrating on the top step of the podium at CTMP. “We have our remote ops here as well, so during our pre-race meeting and warmup we were listening to their intercom and what was going on there. (Chief Engineer) Kyle Millay is usually on the WEC side, but he came here this weekend and they were still talking to him here during our pre-race meeting about strategy for there. It’s a team effort from both sides. Nicky texted us just now saying that they were on our intercom during our race. It’s one big family. They’ve obviously had an unbelievable year winning as much as they did – winning Le Mans and able to clinch the championship, so I think it was a good decision for Corvette to stay in the WEC to execute that championship and open up some doors for the future.”
GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser was at Monza to see the team linch the WEC title. In the second year of running a dual IMSA and full WEC program, it’s certainly a trans-oceanic success for the ages.
“I can’t think of a better weekend for Corvette Racing,” Klauser declared. “A World Championship in the WEC and a race win in IMSA on the same day is something we all will remember. It shows how strong this program is in both series and how much both sides work together to get the most out of these Corvette race cars. I’m incredibly proud of both the No. 33 and No. 3 Corvette teams on this unbelievable day.”
Ben Keating, the defending GTE-Am champion who came on board the Corvette program for this season after WEC shelved the GTE-Pro class, is often lapping the No. 3 Corvette regularly in IMSA competition aboard the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 car. But he is now part of the Corvette championship family.
“I’ve said it over and over, but in this championship and in each one of the five races we’ve h ad, it has been a true team performance overall. You win as a team and you lose as a team, but we’ve also been lucky in quite a lot of places. It’s just been a magical season,” he said, a sentiment echoed by Catsurg.
“Honestly, this season might have been one of my nicest in motorsport,” Catsburg said, who also wont he 24 Hours of Nürburgring, albeit with a different marque. “It has been so cool right from the start. It was always very relaxed with not a lot of pressure. Somehow the results just kept coming. I cannot deny that we have a great car, a great team and we have an awesome lineup. But we still need to execute, and I feel like we did that really well.”
For Garcia and Taylor, there is still the opportunity to produce a championship of their own. They are third in the GTD PRO points, although with a 109-point deficit to championship leaders Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth, it’s going to take a lot of luck in the five remaining races to achieve. For now, though, they get to celebrate Corvette Racing’s “unbelievable” day.