Team Takes Another Step Toward Top-Tier Performance in No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup
MONTEREY, California (April 30, 2016) – Moorespeed and Will Hardeman raced in the top five in both rounds of this weekend’s IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where the team earned fourth and seventh-place finishes in the No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup.
Still beginning just his second season of professional racing with Moorespeed’s proven Porsche GT3 Cup driver development program, Hardeman once again stepped up to race with the series-leading competitors at Laguna Seca.
Hardeman qualified a career-best second on Thursday and he and Moorespeed were consistently the second fastest Porsche in the field all weekend. The No. 19 started second in both Friday’s and today’s 45-minute sprints based on qualifying and race-lap times.
“Every time I prove to the field that we have the pace and a glimmer of hope of what I can do if it all came together,” Hardeman said. “Every time I’m on the track it’s a learning experience, and I treat it as such. Once you’re up in the top five it gets a lot harder, you really have to work for it and spend most of your race setting up one pass.”
After struggles with starts and restarts in Friday’s race resulted in a fourth-place finish, Hardeman held his own from the outside front row this morning when the green flag dropped for the second and final race of the weekend. He ran side-by-side with a competitor through Laguna Seca’s Turn 2 Andretti Hairpin and then took firm control of second place going into the Turn 3 right-hander.
Today’s other learning lesson came a few minutes later when Hardeman, still second and leading a tight group of fellow top-five contenders, spun in Laguna Seca’s Turn 11 final corner.
“You take away the spin and he did really well,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “It just goes to show you how intense the competition is. You just can’t make a mistake, but that’s going to come from experience and seat time. Everything Will did going back through the field was great. He didn’t give up, and that’s important, and he was setting some of the fastest laps of the race. He’s showing the speed and, when he gets over this hump, it’s going to be fun.”
Hardeman continued in 10th after recovering from the spin and quickly went to work on getting back as many positions as possible in the final 35 minutes of the race.
“Saturday I got to hustle from the back of the field, make some good passes and work for it a little bit,” Hardeman said. “There’s a marked difference from the outside of the top five to the back 25 when it comes to how hard it is to get around guys.”
Hardeman set the third fastest race lap in his charge through the field and was on the bumper of the sixth-place Porsche when the checkered flag flew.
“It’s just a little frustrating for everyone but probably most of all Will because he really wants it bad,” Moore said. “The consistency with the speed he is doing is just going to come a little later with experience. Most of the guys who are going this speed have been doing it for 15 years or since they were kids. Will has only been doing this for 18 months. I have got to be pleased with how he fought back, and I’m still proud of where’s he’s at with his progress. The next race we’ll be right back trying to go for a podium again.”
Up next up for the IMSA GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama is a featured support race at the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 race in Montreal, June 10 – 12, that will see the series compete for the first time with the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama.
“Once again, I proved to the field this weekend that I have the single lap speed pace up there to be in podium territory at every race,” Hardeman said. “You get all the basics down, but one of the pillars of racing is consistency, and these last couple of times I’ve been in podium territory I slip on the banana peel just one time and it totally changes the outcome of the race. We are going to learn from it and move on.”
About Moorespeed: Based in Austin, Texas, Moorespeed is a full-service automotive company specializing in sales, service, repairs and restoration of luxury sports cars and competition on the track in numerous North American road racing series. Founded in 1991 in Austin by brothers David and Chris Moore, Moorespeed offers comprehensive, turn-key service in which people are just as important as parts and relationships are just as vital as results. Moorespeed’s road racing programs are designed for all skill levels, and driver development, both on and off the track, is a Moorespeed specialty. Dave Moore and General Manager Price Cobb, winner of the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, welcome and work with every racing customer as a member of the Moorespeed family while Winslow Mankin brings the same dedication and passion in his role as Street Department Service Manager. Moorespeed is all about the passion for high-performance automobiles and the people who drive them. A commitment to personal service and performance permeates every corner of the company. Learn more at www.moorespeed.com, contact us at (512) 474-7223, look for us on Twitter @MoorespeedTX and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MoorespeedRaceEngineering.