Corvette Racing Rounds Out FIA WEC Lineup in No. 33 C8.R
Corvette Racing is completing its lineup for the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship with young Argentinian driver Nico Varrone joining Ben Keating and factory driver Nicky Catsburg. The trio will team together in the No. 33 Mobil 1/SiriusXM Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in the GTE Am category.
It’s the second straight full-season program in the FIA WEC for Corvette Racing, which celebrate its 25th season of competition in 2023. The campaign will be the first for the Corvette program in GTE Am, where the sporting rules require at least one Bronze-level driver, as rated by the FIA. One professional-level driver is allowed along with a second Bronze or Silver-rated driver.
The combination of Catsburg, Keating and Varrone will contest the full seven-race WEC calendar including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The season begins with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on Friday, March 17.
Although he’s new to Corvette Racing, the silver-rated Varrone got an early taste of the mid-engine Corvette C8.R during testing following the 2022 WEC finale at Bahrain and in a private test at Sebring in December.
Although his early racing focused on karting and single-seaters, Varrone’s most recent success has come in sports cars with victories in both prototype and GT cars. Among them are wins in the GTE Am category of this year’s European Le Mans Series along with a victory in the 24H Series’ round in Barcelona earlier this season.
This is the second consecutive year that Corvette Racing will compete in multiple GT championships around the world. Its campaign in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship begins in two weeks with the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
NICO VARRONE, NO. 33 MOBIL 1/SiriusXM CHEVROLET CORVETTE C8.R: “I’m really, really happy and over the moon for this opportunity. It always was my dream to be at this level and be on a team with a magnificent brand like Corvette Racing. To be paired with two legendary drivers like Ben and Nicky also is very special. I have to say a big thank to you to Jeroen Bleekmolen for recommending me. He is close to both Ben and Nicky so it’s quite a nice feeling. I can’t wait for us to start with this program.”
“It’s really special at Corvette Racing. I’ve never been inside a factory team, and I was expecting things to be kind of quiet and different. But it’s such a nice feeling because Corvette Racing is a big family. You have fun with the crew guys, the engineers and the drivers. They are so open to talking about things that it’s really special. Nicky and Ben also are guys who have always watched on TV. To share a car with them is something I never could have imagined.”
“I’ve driven other GT cars but the Corvette is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in a racecar. It’s a natural and proper racecar, for sure. The confidence it gives in the high-speed corners, the traction and the braking of the car is amazing. It fits me just right. I felt comfortable almost right away. I was expecting it to be like other GT cars I’ve driven, but to me it’s more similar to a prototype. It’s a mega sensation for the drivers. I enjoyed every lap I’ve done so far. I can’t wait for more.”
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