With today’s announcement that Cadillac’s Pirelli World Challenge programme has been put on hiatus, Callaway Competition’s 2017 ADAC GT Masters-winning Corvette C7 GT3 could start racing in customer hands over in the USA.
In conversation with Callaway Competition’s owner Ernst Wohr last year, DSC learnt that GM had signed an agreement with the German manufacturer which prevented it from selling and racing the C7 GT3 over in the USA. The agreement was made to prevent it from interfering with Cadillac’s GT3 PWC programme.
With Cadillac now out of GT3 racing as a factory, and confirming to DSC that it will not be selling any ATS-V.R GT3s to customer teams for next season, there are now no notable road-blocks for the C7 GT3 to race in North America. The ATS-V.R GT3 meanwhile, will be retired as the only FIA homologated GT3 car which wasn’t sold to customers.
“There’s a lot of interest (in the C7 GT3) from Australia, Australian GT teams as well as East Asia and the USA,” he said.
“In the USA, at the moment, we can’t race there. When I got the signature from GM to say that I could homologate it with the FIA, we had to sign that we wouldn’t run it in North America. They don’t want competition with Cadillac and their future programmes.
“The plan was to build it (the C7 GT3) in the USA and run in Pirelli World Challenge. PWC are trying to convince GM that they should let us in, but they don’t want it. But PWC want the car there, they were trying to get us to run a car in a race at the end of the year, but we can’t, as we don’t want to hurt our relationship with GM.
“If we ever go to America, it’s because they’ve retired the Cadillac, we would build a lot more cars, and build them here and in the USA. For now though we have to focus on getting Australian and Asia customers cars.”
As it stands, two Callaway Corvette C7 GT3s are set to run in the 24H Series race at CoTA in November, in customer hands. Those two get around the agreement, because they are European customer-owned cars.
DSC is currently waiting on full confirmation from GM and Corvette that Callaway can now begin to sell and race its latest GT3 car in the USA, alongside Pratt and Miller’s Chevrolet Camaro GT4 PWC programme.