AWA’s lineup as it switches from LMP3 to GTD with the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will look quite familiar, as much of the driver lineup remains unchanged. Orey Fidani and Matt Bell return as co-drivers, and Anthony Mantella will partner with Nico Varrone, who joined Mantella for the endurance races this past season when not driving with Ben Keating and Nicky Catsburg on their way to winning the WEC GTE-Am championship for Corvette Racing.
The Ontario, Canada-based outfit led by Andrew Wojteczko has been a fixture in IMSA competition for several years, most recently in the WeatherTech Championship’s LMP3 class, where Mantella, Varrone, Wayne Boyd and Thomas Merrill won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the team’s two cars finished third and fourth in the championship. The team announced earlier this year that it would make the switch to GTD and Corvette, the first customer team for the Z06 GT3.R in the GTD class.
Fidani has been with AWA since 2019 and has seen much success with the team. He will once again be accompanied by UK driver Bell, as the pairing reunite for a third consecutive season as teammates. Bell is a seasoned driver with experience in endurance championships around the world.
“Stepping up into the GTD class is both a very exciting and intense feeling,” said Fidani. “The competition at this level is world class, and features some of the best racing drivers in motorsports. All eyes will be on us, and I have full confidence in this team and this program. I’m thrilled to be working with Andrew Wojteczko and Matt Bell again. We’ve proven that this program has what it takes to fight for wins and I can’t wait to enter this next chapter with Corvette.”
“I’m really happy to be returning to AWA,” said Bell. “It’s been a fantastic experience to grow with this team and I can’t wait to return with them for 2024. To be competing with a Corvette is a dream come true, as I’ve loved these cars since I first began competing in IMSA in 2014. Chevrolet is an iconic motorsport manufacturer so to represent that name in the GTD ranks is a great opportunity for us all.”
Mantella will also be continuing his long-standing relationship with the team following a successful 2023 season that included a win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in addition to the Rolex victory.
“It’s an honor to be driving a Corvette, this is a unique and rare opportunity that I feel very privileged to be a part of,” he said. “Corvette’s worldwide customer program is a trusted network, and it was a very easy decision to make after having worked with Chevrolet in the past. The advanced engineering and high level of professionalism that they bring to the racing scene is unprecedented. I want to express my gratitude to Andrew Wojteczko and everyone at Chevy Motorsports and Corvette for this one of a kind opportunity.”
For Argentinian Varrone, it marks a continuation with not only AWA, but Corvette. Part of the trio that won the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am title for Corvette Racing, their trio of race victories so far included the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I’m very excited to be announced as a full season driver for AWA,” said Varrone. “It’s been a great first season together with some highlights including winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and I can’t wait to get my first laps under my belt in the Corvette Z06 GT3.R. I’m looking forward to this next season and I can’t wait to race for victories with Anthony Mantella. We’ve built an awesome friendship and both of us have the same desire to win. We have a busy year ahead of ourselves with new challenges but we like it that way!”
AWA will make their GTD debut with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R at the 2024 edition of the Rolex 24 next January.