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CORVETTE RACING AT FUJI: また会おうね! / We Meet Again!


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

CORVETTE RACING AT FUJI: また会おうね! / We Meet Again!

Championship in hand, No. 33 C8.R aiming to continue strong run during Fuji return

DETROIT (Sept. 5, 2023) – Corvette Racing returns to action in the FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend as the series resumes after a lengthy hiatus with Sunday’s Six Hours of Fuji. It’s the second consecutive appearance in the Far East for the newly crowned GTE Am championship-winning team with aims of continuing what has been a historic season so far.

As they have in the previous five rounds of this year’s championship, the trio of Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone will share the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in its next-to-last race in the WEC. Together, the three drivers and the rest of Corvette Racing have put on a season-long show that ranks as one of the best in series history by any metric.

For starters, there is the collection of three victories – all of them significant: the season-opener at Sebring, a thrilling late-race drive by Catsburg to win in Portugal and, of course, the historic ninth victory at Le Mans for the Corvette program… coming from two laps down in the process. There also were pole-position runs by Keating at Portimão and Le Mans, and Varrone’s fastest GTE Am race lap at the 24 Hours.

All of this led Corvette Racing to clinch a class championship earlier than any previous team in the WEC, regardless of category. Still and even with all those accomplishments, Corvette Racing’s drive to keep collecting race victories with the C8.R remains.

To do so will require the team to win for the first time in Japan after making its debut at historic Fuji Speedway a year ago in the GTE Pro class with a fifth-place class finish.

As in previous races, the C8.R will run at Fuji with a level of rewards weight due to its successes earlier this year: 15 kilograms for winning Le Mans and 15 kilograms for leading the championship on top of 10 extra kilograms added to the car’s minimum weight ahead of the Monza round for a total of 40 kilograms – 10 less than at the Italian round.

The Six Hours of Fuji is scheduled for 11 a.m. JST on Sunday / 10 p.m. ET on Saturday. MotorTrend and MotorTrend Plus will provide both live television and streaming coverage, as will the FIA WEC app. Radio Le Mans will stream audio coverage of qualifying and the race.

NICKY CATSBURG, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I feel like with Fuji coming up, even though we’ve won the championship that it will not change our approach at all. We will still try to go for race wins. Personally I always find Fuji a very difficult track, especially the last sector. It’s very technical and very slow. I feel this could be good for our car, but it’s not a track where I feel like I am on top of things. It will be very challenging. But this is always one of my favorite countries to visit. Japan is a country that I really love, and I’ll stay a few days after in Tokyo just to spend some time there. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the team again and continue where we left off. I don’t think there will be a different mood because we have already won the championship. So I’m looking forward to the challenge and cannot wait to get on the plane!”

BEN KEATING, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "I absolutely love the experience of racing in Japan. Each year I've been in WEC, the Japanese fans have been some of the best around the world. They are extremely passionate about the racing, they know the competitors, and the level of respect that have for what we do is tremendous. We are all honored to compete for them this weekend.

"I also really enjoy the track at Fuji. It is a track where you don't necessarily need the fastest car, but you need one that is well-balanced in terms of pace and handling ability. I hope some of the previous success I've had at Fuji can be passed along to the Corvette team. Yes, we've won the championship already but in some ways I think it makes us want to have a solid run in Japan that much more. I expect a really strong and competitive race. All three classes in WEC are so close and super competitive that I am confident we will put on a good show for the fans."

NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: "It feels like I haven't been in the Corvette for quite a long time. For that reason, I'm excited to go to Fuji and Japan for the first time there in my career. I have heard from a lot of people on the team how great it is to race in Japan, how nice of a track this is and the warm reception of the fans there. I definitely want us to be big in Japan! This is one of the reasons I am excited to drive for Corvette Racing in WEC. Of course having secured the championship already is very nice, too! That doesn't mean we will simply show up. We want to keep racing hard and going for wins."

2023 FIA World Endurance Championship – GTE Am (After five of seven events)

Driver Standings

1. Ben Keating/Nicky Catsburg/Nico Varrone – 145

2. Michelle Gatting/Rahel Frey/Sarah Bovy – 67

3. Ahmad Al Harthy/Charlie Eastwood/Michael Dinan – 65

4. Christian Ried/Julien Andlauer/Mikkel Pedersen – 60

5. Benjamin Barker/Michael Wainwright/Riccardo Pera – 54

Team Standings

1. No. 33 Corvette Racing – 145

2. No. 85 Iron Dames – 67

3. No. 25 ORT by TF – 65

4. No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – 60

5. No. 86 GR Racing – 54

CORVETTE RACING AT Fuji: By the Numbers

• 1: As in one team, one manufacturer and one model of car for 25 years of racing: Corvette Racing, Chevrolet and the Chevrolet Corvette

• 3: Number of GTE Am wins in four FIA WEC races this season for Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nico Varrone with the No. 33 Corvette C8.R

• 13: Hours difference between Fuji and Detroit in the Eastern Time Zone. That means the race will begin Sunday morning in Japan but late Saturday night Eastern Time

• 14: Manufacturer Championships for Chevrolet and Corvette Racing since 2001

• 27: Tracks at which Corvette Racing has won races – Baltimore, Charlotte Motor Speedway, COTA, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park/Mosport, Daytona, Detroit, Houston, Laguna Seca, Le Mans, Lime Rock, Long Beach, Miami, Mid-Ohio, Monza, Portimão, Portland, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Sonoma, St. Petersburg, Texas, Trois Rivieres, Utah, VIR, Washington DC and Watkins Glen

• 34: Number of drivers for Corvette Racing since 1999. Ben Keating and Nico Varrone joined that list with their participation – and victory – in the 1,000 Miles of Sebring for the World Endurance Championship

• 40: Kilograms of success ballast for the Corvette C8.R at Fuji – 15 for winning Le Mans, 15 for leading the GTE Am championship and 10 additional kilograms added to the car’s minimum weight by the organizers

• 127: Victories worldwide for Corvette Racing – 115 in North America, nine at Le Mans and three in the FIA WEC

• 280: Event starts by Corvette Racing since 1999

• 359,884.24: Total number of racing miles completed by Corvette Racing since its inception. To put that in perspective, Corvette Racing is more than halfway to the distance traveled by Apollo 13 – the longest manned spaceflight in history: 622,268 miles. That means Corvette Racing has raced to the moon and more than halfway back!

Corvette Racing at Fuji (wins in bold)


No. 64 Corvette C8.R: Tommy Milner/Nick Tandy – 5th in GTE Pro

Ryan Smith
Judy Kouba Dominick

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