Corvette Racing announced Thursday that Nick Tandy will join the factory team in 2021 to drive the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R full-time in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship alongside Tommy Milner. Tandy replaces Oliver Gavin, who announced his retirement from full-time racing earlier this year.
For Tandy, the move is a big one as he relinquishes his status as a Porsche factory driver in order to race the C8.R. It’s a massive change.
“Since I’ve been racing in IMSA and at Le Mans, Corvette Racing has been the team that everyone looks up to,” Tandy said in a press release. “It’s something I’ve always looked at, and it’s impressed me. The fact that the opportunity arose where I could join the team and stay racing within IMSA is a dream opportunity. You look at the history of Corvette Racing, and it’s been a team that has consistently been in top-level motorsport. And not just competing but winning races and championships wherever they go. It’s an appealing aspect. I hope I can add something to the party and continue that successful legacy that Corvette Racing has. I’d very much like to be part of the next chapter.”
Tandy had spent the last eight years under the Porsche factory umbrella. In that time, he’s primarily raced in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the now-shuttered North American wing of the Porsche GT Team. In the No. 911 Porsche, Tandy had 13 victories, including overall honors in the 2015 Petit Le Mans, along with 21 podium finishes. Tandy had two additional class victories in the American Le Mans Series in 2013. One was in the GT class (now GT Le Mans) for Team Falken Tire, while the other was in the GTC class for NGT Motorsport at Laguna Seca.
Tandy was also given the chance to race a third factory Porsche 919 at Le Mans in 2015. Alongside fellow Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg (who raced for Porsche on an off-weekend from Force India in Formula 1), Tandy helped guide the No. 19 Porsche to overall victory.
The 2020 season was not the best year for Tandy. He was forced to miss Mid-Ohio due to Porsche GT Team withdrawing after a number of team personnel tested positive for COVID-19 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The season was a struggle early on. A late charge that brought victories at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October and Sebring in November resulted in a fifth-place finish in GT Le Mans points.
In addition, Corvette Racing announced that Alexander Sims will join the team as the endurance driver for the No. 4 team, replacing Marcel Faessler. For Sims, the move will be a return to GT racing since he’s spent two seasons racing in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. He’s excited about the opportunity.
“During my two previous years in IMSA, it was clear the level that Corvette Racing is on,” Sims said in a press release. “I have such fantastic memories of battling with some of the Corvette guys, and some of those battles went against me! It’s a team that always seemed to be able to achieve a result, even if the track wasn’t one that suited its cars perfectly. If someone was going to make something out of a difficult situation, it usually was Corvette Racing. Now, to have a chance to be in that fold and be part of the program with the absolute pros on this team is really quite special.”
Sims’ previous time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship came as a factory driver for BMW with BMW Team RLL, paired with Bill Auberlen (2017) and Connor de Phillippi (2018). In 22 career starts, Sims has five class victories and eight podium finishes. He has not raced in the series since the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Corvette Racing’s championship-winning No. 3 team will remain unchanged for 2021. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor will return to defend their championship, while Nicky Catsburg will be in the endurance role.