Sebring, FL (May 6, 2024) — DXDT Racing rolled off the trailer and into the unknown this weekend as the team debuted its new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS competition this weekend at Sebring International Raceway.

 

Taking delivery of two chassis in the weeks following the season-opener at Sonoma, the team had a whirlwind few weeks to get the No. 08 FENEX Corvette, piloted by Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers, prepped for its first race weekend. That preparation carried over for the drivers into Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, as the drivers got acquainted and comfortable in the car which was adorned in an instant fan-favorite, blue-and-green livery.

 

By Saturday, Sellers and Smithson seemed up to speed and at grips with the car, with the pair both qualifying fifth in their respective sessions. Throughout the weekend, the team had emphasized race-pace over one-lap speed, so expectations were cautiously optimistic heading into the first race of the weekend. That pace, however, didn’t have a chance to materialize in Race 1 after Smithson came together with the No. 50 Mercedes-AMG in Turn 16, relegating the car back to the garage for repairs and, ultimately, an early retirement.

 

Sellers started Sunday morning’s Race 2 positively, moving up two spots early on in his stint before settling into a solid rhythm for the remainder of his stint. The race heated up, though, once he handed the car to Smithson in third. Given the platform to fight from, Smithson immediately went on the hunt, steadily pulling in the Pro-Am leaders while simultaneously holding off the charging No. 38 BMW. 

 

With just under 10 minutes remaining, Smithson had pulled to within two seconds of the lead, but disaster struck when he got caught out by the high apex curb in Turn 5 while trying to set up a move for second place, resulting in a spin that ended the chances of a podium for the weekend.

 

“With the new car, there is a lot to take in and a lot of work for the team,” said Team Principal David Askew. “Everything is brand new. It’s a tall order for the team, but I think we’ve put together the right people with our own team plus the help we’re receiving from Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. That’s going to result in podiums and race wins. But we’re going to walk toward that goal. We’re not going to run toward it.”

 

The DXDT stable will double in size next time out at the Circuit of the Americas on May 17-19. The No. 08 will be joined by the No. 63 KÜHL Corvette of Tommy Milner and Alec Udell, who will be competing in the Pro class. You can follow along on DXDT’s social media accounts and watch when the team hits the track in a couple week’s time at youtube.com/GTWorld.

 

From the Drivers

 

Bryan Sellers

“You can look at the weekend in one of two ways. You can choose a negative or a positive view, and I think the positive view is the way to go. We were delivered a great car from Corvette Racing, Pratt Miller and GM. Our whole team took to the car very quickly, and it performed like we wanted it to perform. We had a solid racecar. For me, this gives me hope for the future that we can turn this into something pretty great. I’m proud to be a part of it. We certainly have some things that we need to address moving forward, as I’m sure everyone does. But we need to make sure we dig in to get those things done and give ourselves the best opportunity to compete for a win moving forward to COTA.

 

“To be honest, it’s a big honor to be a part of this Corvette program in any capacity. I’ve spent my whole career watching Corvette and Pratt Miller win races. To be a small part of that organization is quite an honor. I’m very happy with the relationship we’re starting to form and happy with the way they operate, and I’m looking forward to an increased relationship in the future.”

 

Scott Smithson

“It was a big learning weekend for me… just learning the balance of the car and how it races. Yeah, I feel like I let the team down and I never like to lose out on a podium when everyone did a great job and the car was there; I just made a mistake. But we have learned a lot. I feel like going into the next race, there are still some little bugs and getting used to everything about the car that we need to iron out, like controls and migrations and things like that. That said, overall, the team did a great job. GM did a great job. Corvette Racing and Pratt Miller did a great job. I feel like the result was all on me, but it was a good learning weekend.”

 

[On his stint Sunday and chasing down the class leaders]

“I think that was all about the car. [GM and Pratt Miller] put together a really good car that races really well. It’s a long-run car that got better as I drove it, even as hot as the track was. The front tires went away a little bit, so I was dealing with some understeer, but it’s really good for long runs.

 

“I’ve been so impressed by everyone jumping in. They’re willing to help with anything we need. There is a lot of knowledge, and yes this is a new car. The entire group is all-hands-on-deck. The attitude and willingness is phenomenal. It’s great support, and they put together an awesome car.”

 

David Askew, Team Principal

“With the new car, there is a lot to take in and a lot of work for the team. Our philosophy and attitude is that this is a long-term relationship. We anticipate running these cars for many years, and this is only the beginning. We’re going to walk into this and do things properly. There are a lot of people involved, and we want to make sure they are all working efficiently together. We want to make sure the cars and the machinery are working properly. It’s a new car, and there are always going to be development issues with new cars. And the drivers have never driven these cars before. So everything is brand new. It’s a tall order for the team, but I think we’ve put together the right people with our own team plus the help we’re receiving from Chevrolet and Corvette Racing. That’s going to result in podiums and race wins. But we’re going to walk toward that goal. We’re not going to run toward it.

 

“When I heard that Corvette was developing a customer racing program and was going to have racecars for sale to customer teams, the idea of it really intrigued me. I always wanted to work with a manufacturer. They’re the ones who design and build these cars. They know their products the best. What’s really unique about the Corvette program is that they have an in-house team that is racing the cars and also building the cars for GM. It’s really a unique opportunity to almost go back in time to the way it used to be when teams built and raced their own cars. As someone who wasn’t involved in motorsport at that time, that idea has always been attractive to me. I saw this as a unique opportunity, and I’m leveraging it to the absolute maximum that I can. I’m asking for (and receiving) max support from Corvette Racing and Pratt Miller. They’re happy to help. They want to help. The more they help me, the more they learn about the car, which applies to their own racing program. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”