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CORVETTE RACING AT BAHRAIN: Recapping the Rookie Test


Well-known member
Feb 1, 2008
2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Press Release:

CORVETTE RACING AT BAHRAIN: Recapping the Rookie Test

Final laps for Corvette C8.R in the hands of Corvette Racing

SAKHIR, Bahrain (November 5, 2023) – The championship-winning No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R turned its final laps in the hands of Corvette Racing on Sunday as part of the annual FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test, with two drivers new to the mid-engine GTE car having the opportunity to sample it the day after the Eight Hours of Bahrain:

· Antoine Doquin: Nominated by the WEC following an LMP3 championship in the Asian Le Mans Series and a strong showing in the European Le Mans Series’ LMP3 category

· Timur Boguslavskiy: GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup champion in 2023 and GTWC Europe Sprint Cup runner-up in 2020, 2022 and 2023

Corvette Racing and program management used Sunday’s pair of sessions to test and evaluate each driver for potential future opportunities with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R, which will begin competing next year in the WEC, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Fanatec GT World Challenge America.

In the next garage over from the C8.R, Corvette Racing’s Nico Varrone received the opportunity to test Cadillac Racing’s Cadillac V-Series.R Hypercar a day after his GTE Am championship season closed. Varrone won three times this year with Corvette Racing – including the 24 Hours of Le Mans – and teammates Ben Keating and Nicky Catsburg, who also turned his final laps in the C8.R on Sunday.

Varrone, who drove for the first time with Corvette Racing at last year’s Rookie Test, will be part of AWA’s GTD full-season lineup in the WeatherTech Championship as the team transitions to Z06 GT3.R with two entries in 2024, starting with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.

NICKY CATSBURG: "To me, the best thing about today was to look at my teammate Nico and see how he did in the Cadillac Hypercar. We all have high expectations for him, so it's very cool for him to get this opportunity. For me, it was nice to turn my last laps in this car before it goes into Ben Keating's garage! That's always a pleasure. I loved this car right from the start when I first drove it four years ago. It always has been a car that suited my driving style and I always felt comfortable in it. On one hand, I feel like next year's Corvette GT3 car is going to be similar so it doesn't feel like a final goodbye. I enjoyed today as much as I could and see if I could help the rookies out a little bit."

NICO VARRONE: "Bahrain continues to be very special to me! I have been dreaming of the opportunity to drive a Hypercar, but I thought it would never come so early in my career. It has been great. It's a different car, full of power and in the top class of endurance racing. The high-speed corners with the aero was really nice. Braking was a little bit difficult, of course, and it was one of the main things. But it was so nice to drive!

"GM is like a family. At Le Mans and this season, we shared a lot of time and space together. You get to know everyone, even if it's just saying hi. It was quite relaxing rather than coming into a new place. They were all very nice, I have to say. It was great. I'm really thankful to the entire Cadillac team, to GM, to Laura (Wontrop Klauser, GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager), Christie (Bagne, Corvette Z06 GT3.R Program Manager) and many others. This is an opportunity I will never forget."

ANTOINE DOQUIN: “That was really, really fun and I enjoyed that a lot! Thank you to the WEC and Corvette Racing for the opportunity. This was my first time in a GTE car, and I absolutely loved it. It’s a GT3 car but 10 times better without ABS, so it’s all about the braking. It was a very good day but very tough with tire management. The track is quite tough for a stint with the tire degradation. I learned a lot and know now how the Corvette team works. I’m really happy and we will see what the future brings us. I would love to be with Corvette. There is such a great atmosphere with the team and the mechanics. I have been with them for two days, and they are very, very kind… always funny and always with a smile! A big thanks to all of the team from the mechanics to the engineers for this moment because I really loved it.”

TIMUR BOGUSLAVSKIY: “This was my first ever in a Corvette, and I like it quite a lot. I have tested three cars in my life, and this is more like a prototype than any GT3 car I have tested – a proper racing car. I enjoyed how the team works and you can see immediately why they have so much success. With the car, I feel I was struggling with the brakes because I am normally driving with ABS. To go to a car without it, you have to change your style and you are going to be inconsistent. At the end of the day, I don’t think I did a bad job. This track is not easy. Overall this was a great feeling and I hope to continue to work together again with Corvette in the future.”

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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