Corvette Racing revealed a roster of eight worldwide factory drivers Monday (Nov. 13) that will drive for teams around the world that will field the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in competition. It is a mix of returning veterans and new faces to General Motors.
The new drivers added to the list today are Earl Bamber, Charlie Eastwood, Daniel Juncadella and Nico Varrone. They are in addition to Nicky Catsburg, Antonio Garcia, Tommy Milner and Alexander Sims, who were confirmed as full-time drivers for the factory-affiliated Corvette Racing with Pratt Miller Motorsports in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship back in August.
“As we move into GT3 and customer racing, it is important that we add to our roster of drivers that are available to teams,” said Christie Bagne, program manager for the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R. “We are excited about the wealth of
experience in our Corvette factory lineup. Both GM and our teams will benefit from the learnings from each driver.”
Garcia and Sims will share the No. 3 Chevrolet full-time in 2024. For the three longest Michelin Endurance Cup races (Daytona, Sebring and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta), they will be joined by Juncadella. In the No. 4 Chevrolet, Catsburg and Milner will drive that car for the full year with Bamber joining in for the longer endurance events.
Bamber’s primary role will continue to be driving the Cadillac VSeries.R in the WEC’s Hypercar class. This season, Bamber finished fifth in Hypercar points with a third-place finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Juncadella’s primary Corvette job will be racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new LMGT3 class for TF Sport. It will be Juncadella’s first full season in the WEC after multiple years focusing on Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS’ Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup. He will be joined by Eastwood, who stays onboard with TF Sport after running an Aston Martin with the team this year.
“I’ve been a witness to what it means to be a Corvette driver in the U.S. That’s
means a really big fanbase,” Juncadella stated. “That’s pretty exciting, to be honest. At every autograph session in IMSA that I’ve been sitting next to the Corvette tent, there is a queue of 100 people waiting to get an autograph from their
drivers, and we were just sitting around! That’s very exciting, I have to say, to see the legacy that Corvette Racing has created in the U.S. and to see the amount of awareness about the brand is very exciting. It makes me proud and it feels quite unique to be a Corvette factory driver.”
Juncadella comes to the Corvette banner after being in the Mercedes fold for many years. This past season, Juncadella ran full-time for Proton Competition in IMSA under the WeatherTech Racing banner. He won four races and finished second in GTD Pro points. He also raced in Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS. Previously, he won the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup championship with Akkodis-ASP and the Intercontinental GT Challenge championships in 2022 with Mercedes.
Eastwood has been affiliated with TF Sport every year since 2018 under multiple banners and in multiple series. In addition to TF Sport, this includes Racing Team Turkey and ORT by TF. This past season, he finished fifth in the WEC’s GTE-Am class with ORT by TF alongside Ahmad Al-Harthy and Michael Dinan. The trio had two podium finishes, including second at Le Mans.
In addition to his TF Sport responsibilities, Eastwood will also race for Andrew Wojteczko Autosport (AWA) in their No. 17 Corvette for Daytona only. The race will mark his Chevrolet debut.
For Varrone, he will be in familiar territory. He will drive the No. 17 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R for AWA in the GTD class alongside Anthony Mantella, now on a full-time basis. This past season, Varrone drove for the team in the Michelin Endurance Cup events while they ran in the now-defunct LMP3 class. Along with Mantella, Wayne Boyd and Thomas Merrill, the team won in LMP3 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Merrill will be the team’s third driver in the five Michelin Endurance Cup races.
This past season, Varrone drove for Corvette Racing in the WEC’s GTE-Am class. Alongside Catsburg and Ben Keating, the trio scored three class victories (including Le Mans) and clinched the final GTE-Am championship at Monza with two races remaining.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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