Ahead of the IMSA Fastlane Sportscar Weekend at Road America, Corvette drivers past and present as well and GM Sportscar Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser have been discussing the loyalty and emotional connection that fans of the GM brand display.
Corvette Racing has earned 199 wins including four GT-class wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts and eight class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Currently Corvette pilots Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia are second in the GTD Pro category of the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in a season that has included victory at Sebring.
“Growing up in the sports car paddock, you always knew that Corvette Racing brough the biggest fanbase,” said Jordan Taylor. “From every autograph session, they had the longest line, kind of wrapping in front of the other trailers, so I think even if you weren’t with Corvette, you noticed how passionate their fans were.
“And then once I joined, it was pretty apparent just how passionate they are and how supportive no matter how the weekend’s going, good or bad. They are always there for support, always cheering you on and hoping for a Corvette in Victory Lane.”
Oliver Gavin, who raced with Corvette from 2002 to 2019 and who includes five Le Mans class victories on his CV, understands that loyalty from US fans and has also experienced the same enthusiasm and support from fans in Europe.
“When I go back 20 years, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but this has led to so many opportunities both at the racetrack and away from the racetrack.
“The fans embraced you, they wanted to hear your story, they were a family. You felt like you joined this huge family. You were instantly their best friend and since you were driving a Corvette, it didn’t matter what you had done before. You were part of their team and their family.”
GM Sports Car Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser is very conscious of the unique relationship Corvette, its customers and racing teams share.
“I think we have the privilege of being America’s sports car,” said Laura Wontrop Klauser. “When I look out and see over 50 percent of the fans at a race are wearing something Corvette, I’m like, ‘Yeah, we won this one’.
“We race for our fans. We race to spread to message about the brand and the car but, ultimately, we’re out there because of the fanbase and the pride they have and all our employees back at GM have for this car. That’s why we’re out there.”
Jorden Taylor and Antonio Garcia will be sharing the driving duties in the #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R at this weekend’s IMSA SportsCar Weekend round at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.