Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Press Conference Transcript

cor123

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
1,018
Location
Florida
Corvette
2009 GT1 Championship Edition
Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Press Conference Transcript

Oicials met with members of the media Friday at Watkins Glen International to announce the Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports GTD PRO program for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona (GTD) PRO class:


Christie Bagne, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R Program Manager

Brandon Widmer, Vice President, Pratt Miller Motorsports

Marc Maurini, Corvette Racing Program Director, Pratt Miller Motorsports



Full transcript:

CHRISTIE, THIS IS A BIG DAY FOR EVERYONE AT CHEVROLET AND PRATT MILLER.

C. Bagne: “We’re proud to announce that next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, we will be running two Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs in GTD PRO as Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports. We’re looking forward to working with the same team that has designed and built these GT3 cars, knows them intimately and will now be racing the cars in IMSA. We’re looking forward to this program benefitting our entire customer program as this team races these cars, learns about them and efficiently transfers those learnings into the customer race program in order to elevate the level of all Z06 GT3.Rs on the grid globally.”


THIS IS NOT THE ONLY TEAM RUNNING CORVETTES NEXT YEAR?

C. Bagne: “You can look forward to more team announcements next summer. We’re continuing to target four cars on the grid in IMSA at the Rolex 24 and throughout the season, as well as two cars in the FIA WEC and two Corvettes in SRO Motorsports America.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PRATT MILLER MOTORSPORTS GOING FORWARD?


B. Widmer: “It’s definitely a very exciting day for us at Pratt Miller Motorsports. For us, it’s the next chapter in a very storied history with Corvette Racing, this year being the 25th season of racing continuously. The relationship will continue very strongly with Chevrolet and everyone at Corvette. We’ll continue to work with all the great folks on the engine side from Chevrolet as well, plus all the technical partners that we’ve worked with for many years. For us on the way we will operate, it will be very similar to what we’ve done for many years at Pratt Miller Motorsports – running out of New Hudson, Michigan. We’ll be back with a two-car effort in IMSA, which will be welcomed by a lot of our friends in North America who ask us at every race why there is only one car. Certainly we are enjoying our time in the World Endurance Championship, as well, and having a lot of great success there. But we’re very excited to have two cars running in GTD PRO here in IMSA next year.”


CAN YOU GIVE A SENSE OF WHERE TESTING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE Z06 GT3.R IS RIGHT NOW?

M. Maurini: “Currently the car is undergoing final homologation in Europe. We have a group of individuals from both Pratt Miller and Chevrolet who are supporting that… a lot of the same folks that you'd typically see in both the IMSA paddock and the WEC paddock. It’s a pretty matrixed team from the crews to the engineers, as well. Regarding the testing, the car has gone through a pretty extensive testing and development program. We’ve tried to take all the learnings from the past 25 years of Corvette Racing and apply that to the test program. The car has run more than 5,500 miles on tracks varying from Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio and Road Atlanta, and we have two additional track tests upcoming in the next 30 days. We’re proud to be able to present a car that is at the top level of sports cars and, as just announced, we’re proud to be racing it ourselves, as well.”


LOOKING BACK A LITTLE BIT, HOW SPECIAL WAS THE WIN AT LE MANS?



M. Maurini: “That was a pretty big effort by the entire team. I’m really proud of everyone at Chevrolet and Pratt Miller to be able to get the job done and get the victory with the C8.R and the ninth one for Corvette Racing. It was a year’s worth of effort to get there. The 2022 race didn’t end the way hoped, so to go back in 2023 and get the victory was a job well done by everyone involved.”B. Widmer: “I’ve been quite a few times at Le Mans, and we’ve had a lot of success there and a lot of ups and downs. This year, it felt like all those emotions were rolled into one race. We had a fantastic season leading up to Le Mans in leading the championship with two wins and a second-place. So we felt really confident going into the race. We showed great pace, but we also had some challenges. We had a crash a few minutes before the end of practice Wednesday. The team rallied and scrambled to get the car back together and we were able to get a few laps in during qualifying to get us into Hyperpole, then we went out and set the fastest lap time to start the race in first. We had a good race going for the first hour and 35 minutes but had to pull the car in the garage for some suspension repair. The guys did a phenomenal job, but we still lost around nine minutes so there was a lot of digging to do. Between the execution, the strategy, the driving in some challenging conditions from wet to dry. … It was quite an emotional one to overcome all that adversity and go out and win the 100th anniversary of the race with the C8.R. It was an amazing day for the team. It definitely ranks up there at the top as one of the greatest wins we’ve had.”


C. Bagne: “This whole team worked together so well as they’ve done in the WEC to overcome that adversity. It was a well-deserved win for the team and important for the legacy of the C8.R program. The C5-R won at Le Mans, the C6.R won at Le Mans, the C7.R won at Le Mans and we fought so hard to for that win with the C8.R. Last year obviously was very challenging for the team, so it’s a testament to the strength of this team that every time you throw adversarial events at them, they just dig deeper. Everyone came together, rallied like Brandon said in the week leading up to the event and in the race. It definitely was an emotional win for all of us.”


GM AND PRATT MILLER HAVE BEEN INTERTWINED FOR 25 YEARS. CAN YOU CLARIFY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS ARRANGEMENT AND A FULL FACTORY TEAM?


C. Bagne: “As we move into the GT3 space, in general there are often other commercial partners working teams in GT3. This is an opportunity for us to expand our presence, expand the Corvette Racing umbrella, bring in more customer teams and have more Corvettes on the grid for our fans. It’s also an opportunity for Pratt Miller Motorsports to expand their commercial opportunities, whereas in the past it’s been a fully controlled GM program.”

B. Widmer: “For us, it’s a new chapter. We’ve been quite happy being the name behind the scenes and the Corvette Racing name in the forefront. We spent quite a bit of time with the Chevrolet folks on what this team name should be. It sounds pretty simple, but Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports actually took a lot of time. For us, it’s important to have that continuation of the heritage of Corvette Racing and all the success we’ve had collectively for the last 25 years, but also put the Pratt Miller Motorsports name out there as well in the headlines. As Christie said, we’ll be bringing on commercial partners to help with the program. It’s a great opportunity for our company directly and for partners that have shown interest in the past and maybe those opportunities just weren’t quite there with the way the program was structured. For us, it’s not only a new chapter with the new GT3 car but it’s also a new chapter for our business as well. We’re excited with how it’s structured and how we are moving forward.”


IS THERE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO MAKE PRATT MILLER MORE OF A HOUSEHOLD NAME OUTSIDE OF ITS CONNECTION TO GM?


B. Widmer: “We started in motorsports and we’ll be in motorsports as long as we can. But we have been sort of the silent partner in the background, so for us part of the excitement is to get the name out there a little more. We have other divisions within the company outside of motorsports. Motorsports is a great platform for us to market those other segments, to attract talent and retain talent, and also technology transfer. Obviously technology has transferred with GM and Chevrolet for many years on the Corvette Racing program. It’s always been the case behind the scenes with our other business segments as well in terms of tools and processes, not necessarily the hard parts coming off the racecars. So absolutely this gives us the opportunity to expand the brand and name for Pratt Miller as a whole and certainly for Pratt Miller Motorsports.”
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Back
Top Bottom