Corvette Racing Gets its New Boss
Corvette Racing has its new captain.
On Tuesday, Chevrolet officials named Laura Wontrop Klauser Sports Car Racing Program Manager. Officially, her role includes engineering and technical oversight of Corvette Racing on behalf of Chevrolet.
Unofficially, as the job title is slightly different, Klauser replaces popular Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan, who left the organization in December after more than two decades leading the Corvette Racing program.
Klauser also heads the Cadillac DPi-V.R and Camaro GT4.R programs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. According to Chevrolet, the goal is to expand the level of engineering and technical direction for Corvette Racing as it sets a course for its future with the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, along with all the Chevrolet road-racing programs.
Klauser’s appointment signals a shift toward an engineering-based approach throughout its motorsports programs.
“It’s a huge honor to move into this role with Corvette Racing,” said Klauser, who has been part of General Motors’ racing activities for the last five years. “It unquestionably is one of the premier programs in all of sports car endurance racing. The rich history of Corvette’s successes in IMSA is something of which everyone at Chevrolet can be proud. At the same time, this motorsports management restructure is a great opportunity to rethink how Chevrolet operates on IMSA weekends.
“My goal is to promote more synergy between our racing programs and funnel our technical learnings back to GM so we continue to make and sell better cars to our fans and customers around the world.”
Klauser earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering. She began at General Motors in 2008 and spent eight years on the production side of the business including advanced design work on the Corvette C7. Motorsports competition came calling in 2016 after stints on the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Cruze and Spark production teams. She was named Program Manager for the Cadillac ATS-V.R effort in Pirelli World Challenge.
A year later, Klauser helped launch the Cadillac DPi-V.R program, which to date has claimed two Manufacturers Championships, four Michelin Endurance Cup Championships and 18 race wins including four consecutive victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
In the past 22 years, Corvette Racing has amassed 14 team titles along with 13 manufacturers and drivers championships. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor are coming off a GT Le Mans title-winning season in which they won five times and drove the C8.R to its first victory in July at Daytona.
“We are pleased to have someone as enthusiastic and experienced as Laura as our Sports Car Racing program manager,” said Mark Stielow, Chevrolet Director of Motorsports Competition Engineering. “Corvette Racing and GM’s road-racing efforts will benefit from her engineering experience with both the Corvette and Cadillac production cars, and her relationship with a large number of our fans and Corvette owners.”
What are your thoughts on Chevrolet going to a more technical and engineering-based leadership structure on the sports car side. Do you think Corvette Racing will miss Doug Fehan? Join in the conversation in the comments section below.
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