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#19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team

Zach Robichon and Moorespeed Win Sunday Victory at VIR
Zach Robichon and Moorespeed Persevere to Stay Perfect in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA With Hard-Earned Sunday Victory at VIR 600 400 MOORESPEED

Zach Robichon and Moorespeed Persevere to Stay Perfect in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA With Hard-Earned Sunday Victory at VIR

Robichon and Moorespeed Score Second-Straight GT3 Cup Challenge USA Weekend Sweep in No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup
 
DANVILLE, Virginia (August 19, 2018) – Zach Robichon and Moorespeed stayed perfect on the season with their fourth IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race win together in as many races Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), but the path to today’s checkered flag was far from easy.
 
In their previous three victories – a doubleheader sweep at Road America two weeks ago and Saturday at VIR – Robichon and Moorespeed were never challenged in flag-to-flag romps to the checkered flag from the pole.
 
Robichon started from the pole again for Sunday’s second and final 45-minute race of the weekend but it soon became apparent he and the Moorespeed team were going to have to dig a little deeper to earn their fourth victory.
 
Robichon led the race’s opening lap only to drop to second place a lap later when he was passed for the lead for the first time since he started driving the CAG/Moorespeed No. 19.
 
“I made it hard on myself,” Robichon said. “The first two laps I didn’t push hard enough. I got passed, he made a great move, but then I could see his tire pressures were probably higher than ours because a few laps later you could see his rear was flat while ours was still rolling over. I knew he wasn’t going to last the whole race.”
 
Robichon kept the pressure on and retook the lead with a charging pass down VIR’s front straight into Turn 1 with just under 20 minutes remaining.
 
Back up front, Robichon appeared ready to check out on the competition but another challenge soon emerged.
 

 
“We have always known that Zach has a special talent,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “We kind of went wrong with the car at the start of the race. We thought the track was going to be different. We went one way and the track went the other. We weren’t terribly concerned about the early pass as we knew the car would come in for us in the last half of the race, but then we had the traffic. It always plays a part here and unfortunately, we got caught up in it.”
 
Weaving his way through lapped traffic, Robichon encountered a slower competitor in a damaged car in the main racing line. Robichon quickly darted to the right side of the track to avoid contact, but the slight trip off course ripped the No. 19’s front splitter off.
 
“I was more aggressive today with the traffic because the lead gap I had wasn’t nearly what it was yesterday,” Robichon said. “I thought the lapped car saw me because he went a little bit of a weird way out of the first turn of the esses. I went right, but he obviously didn’t see me, and I had to drop to the grass and hit the curb on the exit. The front splitter came off and it makes for a lot of work. Through the esses and the high-speed corners it’s a handful, and even on the front straight that slight bend becomes a corner.”
 
Robichon powered on in the jittery Porsche for the race’s final 10 minutes and skillfully managed to hold off a fast-closing competitor for the hard-earned victory.
 
“It made it interesting,” Moore said. “For the last nine or 10 laps of the race, you could see Zach adjust at every corner the attitude of the car to get it to do what it wouldn’t do. He changed the driving to fit the situation on the car and was just in a class by himself. One day Zach is going to be a really good endurance racer because things happen and you have to be able to manage the equipment. He did a hell of a job today.”
 

 
Moorespeed and Robichon have teamed up for the final four IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA doubleheader race weekends of the year and remain undefeated in the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup with half of the scheduled race weekends now in the record books.
 
Next up for Robichon and Moorespeed in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is the doubleheader race weekend at Sonoma Raceway, September 14 – 16.
 
Noteworthy
 
– Moore wasn’t surprised Robichon drove masterfully and held on for the Sunday VIR win even without the front splitter on the CAG/Moorespeed No. 19. “The first time I ever met Zach was three years ago at Road Atlanta where he lost the front splitter, I think on the first or second lap, and he still finished third on the podium at a blistering pace,” Moore said. “I went up to him after that race and told him I was impressed. That was how we met.”
 
– While Robichon heads home to Canada to close out the IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Moorespeed is going straight to work on its 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup driver development program. “We are testing a young man for next season next Wednesday back in Texas,” Moore said. “It’s a one-day test at MSR Houston and then we will get the car back in the shop in Austin and start preparing for Sonoma.”

Will Hardeman withdrawing from GT3 Cup Races at Watkins Glen
Will Hardeman and No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team Withdraw from IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Races at Watkins Glen 600 450 MOORESPEED

Will Hardeman and No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team Withdraw from IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Races at Watkins Glen

Unexpected Family Obligation Forces Hardeman to miss Watkins Glen Doubleheader After Winning Start to 2018 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Season

AUSTIN, Texas (June 25, 2018) – Will Hardeman and the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup team will not compete in this weekend’s IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races at Watkins Glen International due to a recent and unexpected family obligation that requires 100% of Hardeman’s focus.

Moorespeed fully backs Hardeman’s decision and has shifted its attention from achieving success on the track with its team driver to doing everything possible to support Will and his family. Moorespeed has requested on their behalf that the team’s friends, fans, and racing family keep the Hardemans in their thoughts and prayers and respect their privacy. No decision has been made regarding Hardeman’s competition plans beyond this weekend.

In their fourth-year racing together in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, Hardeman and Moorespeed were having their best season to date in 2018. Hardeman earned his first series win in the season-opening weekend of competition in March at Sebring and was optimistic for more success at The Glen. Hardeman finished second in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup race last year at Watkins Glen and tested successfully with Moorespeed at the track last month.

Moorespeed remains ready to return to competition with Hardeman at a moment’s notice and will continue to prepare for future events with both its Porsche GT3 Cup and Radical Cup North America teams. Moorespeed is actively pursuing and already testing new candidates for the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup season in addition to managing its growing business as the Official Radical Dealer in Texas and the Southwestern U.S.

WPD/Moorespeed Race Teams Tests at COTA
WPD/Moorespeed Race Team Tests at Circuit of the Americas 568 410 MOORESPEED

WPD/Moorespeed Race Team Tests at Circuit of the Americas

#19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team finished a very productive two day Test at their home track COTA.  The team tested both the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup 991 that driver Will Hardeman will use to compete in the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series but also the 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup they will run together in Pirelli World Challenge

Will Hardeman enthusiastically stated “It was the best test of my life”  Our Two Day Winter Test home at COTA could not have gone better.  The team hasn’t been together since the finale at Laguna.  I needed a break.  The program Dave and the team put me through last year was super intense.  I was still a little worried I might come back at a sub par level.  This winter I thought a lot about the bad habits I’d developed and really worked on eliminating them mentally and it seemed to have paid”.  David Moore echoed Will, “I think we reached another Milestone, maybe the most important to date. Last year we saw some signs late in the season that he was getting close but today after doing two race simulations back to back and he wasn’t sweating, no red face, fresh and the fact that he decided not to use a cool suit or helmet blower just showed how far he’s come.  I know its cheesy but he’s finally become “One with the Car”.  I told him one day it would just click and everything would slow down in his mind, then he could get on with racing instead of just focusing on his driving.  I could not be more pleased.  We ran some very quick laps right out of the gate and came close to his personal best on the Pirelli Tires and shattered his PB on the Yokohama tires”.
 

The team’s next outing will be at the Promoter Test day part of the season opener for PWC race home at COTA March 3rd.

WPD Moorspeed Race Team Pirelli WC
WPD/Moorespeed Porsche Race Team enters Pirelli World Challenge race at COTA 1024 371 MOORESPEED

WPD/Moorespeed Porsche Race Team enters Pirelli World Challenge race at COTA

#19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team is pleased to announce entry into the Pirelli World Challenge race at home track Circuit of the Americas.

Today was a rollercoaster ride”, according to David Moore, “I received the news at 4am this morning from SRO out of their UK offices that they were cancelling the 6 Hours of the Americas. It broke my heart to relay the news to the team who were in deep preparation working around the clock to have the best shot at a win.”

Moorespeed had a strong winning history in World Challenge over a decade ago so the decision to run Will Hardeman in the #19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup was reached to run in the GT Cup class for the season opener of PWC at our home track Circuit of the Americas.

“I want to personally thank Greg Gill, Moore continued, Greg and the folks of Pirelli World Challenge really run a great program and know their customers. It’s been years since we competed in PWC but when the President calls you to make things right, it was a simple decision and perfect time for us to come back at home in Austin at Circuit of the Americas.”

WPD/Moorspeed Race Inaugural Blancpain
WPD/Moorespeed Porsche Race Team to race in the inaugural Blancpain 6 Hours of the America 1024 178 MOORESPEED

WPD/Moorespeed Porsche Race Team to race in the inaugural Blancpain 6 Hours of the America

AUSTIN, Texas  (Jan 17, 2016) #19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team is pleased to announce entry into SRO Motorsports The Blancpain 6 Hours of the America at our home track Circuit of the Americas Saturday, March 5 from 3:15 pm to 9:15 pm in conjunction with the Pirelli World Challenge

 

Lead Driver Will Hardeman is joined by Austinite Ross Garber and New Yorker Anthony Imperato who both have competed the last two seasons in Ferrari Challenge USA

 

WPD/Moorespeed Driver Will Hardeman said the “Stars Aligned and Some friends of ours built a Formula 1 track in our back Yard……”

2016 Race Schedule
WPD/Moorespeed Race Team announces 2016 Schedule 600 353 MOORESPEED

WPD/Moorespeed Race Team announces 2016 Schedule

#19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Team will be competing in the 2016 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama but jump starting the season at home in The 6 Hours of the America at COTA with Blancpain GT and Pirelli World Challenge.

Click Here For The Full Schedule

VIR WPD/Moorespeed
Moorespeed, Hardeman Earn Highest Finish of the Season at VIR 600 359 MOORESPEED

Moorespeed, Hardeman Earn Highest Finish of the Season at VIR

IMSA #19 Hardeman

AUSTIN, Texas  (Aug. 26, 2015) – Moorespeed and driver Will Hardeman progressed to a season-best finish at VIRginia International Raceway during Rounds 11, 12 and Round 4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series.

Hardeman finished fourth after starting third in the rescheduled Round 4 Sunday, Aug. 23. The race was rained out in two previous scheduled dates. Round 4 was long anticipated for Hardeman and Moorespeed. The team qualified a season-high third at NOLA only for the race to be postponed due to rain at NOLA and again at Watkins Glen.The first two races of the weekend at VIR had highs and lows, but a more conservative approach to the first half of Round 4 found Hardeman dropping back into the clutches of veteran Kasey Kuhlman.

A battle ensued between the two, and the hard-edged racing had consequences.Hardeman’s No. 19 Moorespeed/WPD Porsche and Kuhlman’s No. 15 Porsche made hard contact in Turn 14. Hardeman went off track but continued quickly to catch Kuhlman and make the pass for his fourth-place finish as Kuhlman went off track two turns later due to damage from the previous contact.

Team owner David Moore was proud of the gains Hardeman made but still sees room for improvement in his racecraft.

“He ran a conservative race but he got his best finish of the season,” Moore said. “He did a great job, but, I felt he was a bit too conservative for either of our taste. In hindsight, a podium finish was well within his reach if he drove the way he did in Race Two. His brake zones became longer, and he would get on the gas just a tad bit later. I would have liked to have seen him push harder, but I also didn’t want to push him into a spin. He maybe didn’t have the pace for first or second, but I think he could have held third.

“Will has worked so damn hard in record time; we all want it for him, and it can be frustrating. We talked again this evening after landing home in Austin, and he’s not satisfied with his performance. That’s a good thing. He’s proud of what he’s accomplished in only 12 months. I’m very proud, but he’s hungry for more and feels he is close to a breakthrough. He’s coming over dinner later this week, and we will debrief video and data of VIR again so we can really identify his weaknesses that we need to work through prior to COTA.

“But overall, it was a great weekend. We have been knocking on the top-five door for a while, and we finally got it and Will is in high spirits. The last race, he had one off that was induced by a move that was maybe not so kind from his good friend Kasey Kuhlman, but he didn’t let it faze him. He got back in the fight right away.”
Team driver coach Price Cobb, 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, further elaborates Moore’s comments.

“The difficult thing for each of us to realize is that Will is so naturally gifted that he is already running at the front but without the years of experience and knowledge everyone else has picked up during those learning years,” Cobb said. “Because of this, when Will finds himself in a difficult position there is a much smaller knowledge base to draw from, which can be a severe hindrance for him. The end result is that we get frustrated for no other reason than we forget his remarkable climb is all him, but without the usual foundation. Once we give ourselves the reality check, all is good again.”

Hardeman demonstrated his quick learning ability by making rapid progress over the weekend. He bested his previous finish in each race, continuously building momentum to his top-five finish in the final 45-minute race of the triple-header weekend.

The beginning of the weekend started roughly for the Austin-based Moorespeed team Saturday, Aug. 22 in Round 11. Hardeman spun in Turn 5b, the rear of the car hitting the wall, causing significant exhaust damage and rear body damage. Hardeman continued but was black-flagged due to his rear bumper hanging off his car. The team quickly removed the loose pieces and sent Hardeman back into the race. Hardeman kept a level head and focused on finishing the race and working on his racecraft. He finished 13th in the Platinum Cup class.

After Round 11, Moore, Cobb and Hardeman studied data and video to prepare for the double-header Sunday. Moore then took Hardeman to various corners on the 17-turn, 3.27-mile circuit where he was having trouble and watched TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona cars’ race lines. On Sunday morning, Hardeman shaved 1.4 seconds off of his lap time, turning a best lap of 1 minute, 51.592 seconds in Round 12.

Starting eighth in Round 12, Hardeman was running within the top 10 and working his way up the field before a spin under braking into the famed Oak Tree turn cost him a position. He finished ninth overall and in the Platinum Cup class.

“I’m not content where I ended up with over the weekend because I know I’m better than that, and I can do better,” Hardeman said. “But when I step back and look at myself from a global perspective, I’ve never been to the track and have never raced before this year, so I’m OK with how I did. Six months ago a top five would have been a great achievement. Today now that I’m looking at podium territory, I know I can do better.

“My fourth-place finish was due to technicality, not because of speed, necessarily. It’s very easy to advance through the back of the pack. Once you get to the front, it’s more competitive than ever. When I get to the podium positions, they’re going to be that much more gratifying.

“First and foremost, I want to thank my wife, Anna, for being there this weekend. She’s my rock. I get to have a clear and very calm mind because she’s there in support of me, and I have no worries. And I have to thank my team for providing me a perfect car and all the tools I need to be successful: coaching, mentoring and support.”

Moorespeed next will compete on its home track, Circuit of the Americas, Sept. 16-18 in Austin, Texas for Rounds 13 and 14 of the championship. Visit imsa.com for a full schedule.

WPD Moorespeed Racing Team
Hardeman’s Homework Could Pay Off with Podium Visit at Road America 700 475 MOORESPEED

Hardeman’s Homework Could Pay Off with Podium Visit at Road America

Moorespeed co-owner David Moore and driver Will Hardeman will celebrate at Road America, and they prefer the location to be on the podium.

Hardeman celebrated his one-year racing anniversary July 31, seven days before the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama field hits the track at Road America on Aug. 7-9. Moore will celebrate returning to the track that hosted his first race as a professional driver.

Moore believes Rounds 9 and 10 at Road America represent the best chance so far this season for Hardeman to earn his first Platinum Cup podium finish in the No. 19 Moorespeed/WPD Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

Hardeman and Moorespeed raced in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series July 31-Aug. 2 at Road America, giving Hardeman extra track time under race conditions as he learns yet another new circuit. Hardeman earned two second-place finishes at that event.

“We’ll be working on seat time and racecraft at Road America,” Moore said. “Before July 31, 2014, he had never even been in a race car. He’s progressing; he hasn’t plateaued yet. But he needs more seat time and more experience.

“I think podium is a realistic goal for him. He’ll have to work for it; no one is going to hand it to him. It takes skill, speed and time learning the track. He has to manage his equipment, but he’s got a good shot.”

To prepare for the Road America races, Hardeman and Moore have spent time studying data from the team’s race last year at the iconic Wisconsin track. They began reviewing that information immediately after the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race in late June at Watkins Glen.

Taking studying beyond the numbers, Moore and Hardeman studied hours of video together, and Hardeman has turned countless laps of the 14-turn, 4.048-mile Road America circuit on a VRX racing simulator.

The more understanding of what to expect and what is expected, the better for Hardeman.

“It’s a long track, and there are key places to focus on,” Moore said. “We started getting ready the moment we left Watkins Glen, on the flight home watching video. At The Glen in Race 1, he was fast, but he made a rookie mistake letting two cars by at the exit of the bus stop. He didn’t have any spins or incidents afterward, gathered up his focus and ran some of the fastest laps in the race where he was purple in most all the sectors, finishing sixth. He could have easily been on the podium if it were not for the one mistake.

“Race 2 was a bust when the leader spun in front of him, damaging the left radiator and ending Will’s race. Then the make-up NOLA race that evening was canceled. That was a real bummer for us as we repaired the car, and Will was ready to go as he is very good in the rain.”

“We’ve gone over in-car data from last year’s Moorespeed drivers, and he’s spent a ton of time on the simulator so he has a visual in his mind when he gets on the track. We also watched a lot of video of Kevin Estre,Michael Lewis and Patrick Long together before and during simulation runs. Will has been studying very hard, and we feel confident that we have done our homework.”

The race week starts with a promoter test day Thursday, Aug. 6. Moorespeed General Manager Price Cobb, winner of the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, and standout professional driver Andy Lally will be on hand to help prepare Hardeman.

Round 9 takes place at 5:25 p.m. (CT) Saturday, Aug. 8, with Round 10 at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 9.

Fans can follow the action on scoring.imsa.com, through live timing on the official IMSA app for iOS, Android or Windows or on Twitter with @IMSALive. Both races will be streamed live on imsa.tv.

Sinclair Broadcast Group will provide delayed television coverage Aug. 22-23 on major network affiliates in numerous U.S. markets. Visit http://www.imsa.com/porsche-gt3-cup-usa-channel-finder and enter your ZIP code into the box at the bottom of page to check availability in your area

About Moorespeed

Moorespeed is a full-service automotive company, based in Austin, Texas, specializing in sales, service, repairs and restoration of luxury sports cars and competition 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.

 

WPD Moorespeed Racing Team

Hardeman Takes Incredible Journey from Track Day to Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama 599 408 MOORESPEED

Hardeman Takes Incredible Journey from Track Day to Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama

IMSA News Release

Will Hardeman sat with David Moore in a passenger sports car a year ago at Circuit of the Americas in their hometown of Austin, Texas. Hardeman and his father, whose family runs a successful auto dealership group in Austin, received an opportunity to drive their sports cars at speed around the COTA circuit during a charity event. Hardeman asked his friend Moore, owner of an Austin-based vintage, racing and exotic preparation shop and race team Moorespeed, to join him to offer tips.

They had a blast, thrashing the car around the circuit at a brisk pace behind a pace car. It was Hardeman’s first experience in a performance car on a racetrack, and he relished it. But he had no dreams of competition. “I thought that was as good as it got,” Hardeman said of his charity track day.

Moore had other ideas. At higher speeds, Hardeman’s driving lines weren’t tidy. His braking and throttle application weren’t smooth. But Moore knows talent, and he saw something different in Hardeman. Something special.

“David said, ‘You know what? If you want to pursue this … You’re not doing any of the right stuff now, but I can tell there might be a diamond in the rough here,’” Hardeman said. “At least, we’ve got something to work with. He said, ‘I liked what you’re trying to do here, and I think we can take this and clean up your driving a lot, and you would definitely be a competitor, a force to be reckoned with, in IMSA.’He was talking one of these days, maybe two or three years.”

Try nine months. Hardeman, 33, persevered and learned through a warp-speed, intense regimen of training and testing in race cars with Moore, Moorespeed general manager and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Price Cobb, and International Motor Sports Association TUDOR United SportsCar Championship standouts Andy Lally and Darren Law. Hardeman made his full-season racing debut this March in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Sebring International Raceway, driving the No. 19 Wholesale Parts Direct (WPD)/Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Platinum Cup class.

The rapid journey from a fun track day to lining up in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama almost didn’t happen for Hardeman. He always has been around cars since he started working his family’s dealerships at age 13. Hardeman and his father even talked about going racing to Moore after seeing events in 2013 at COTA, with Moore trying to steer them into the proper development series.

 

Will Hardeman and David Moore

Will Hardeman, left, and Moorespeed owner David Moore analyzing data and video together. Their close relationship has been instrumental in Hardeman’s rapid development as a race driver.

But Will Hardeman also knew racing required a major time commitment needed to devote to the craft of learning about the mechanical aspects of the car, technique and racecraft. Those are skills usually developed over years and decades, not months.

“That was the whole reason I never even dipped my toe,” Hardeman said. “I said, ‘I don’t have the time, and I don’t really want to go through that long road through all the schools all over the country.’ You’ve got to go through years of whatever two or three series until you get to Porsche Cup. I was thinking that could be five or 10 years down the road, and I have other things in my life I want to pursue.”

But the Hardemans and Moore continued to talk about fusing the dream and reality of racing. Last July, Moore told Will Hardeman’s father that Moorespeed had a lightly used Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Platinum Cup car available if his son was serious about going racing with the team.

Still, Will Hardeman had initial doubts. Then a quick spell of soul-searching changed his heart and mind. “My first reaction was: ‘Hey, I’m not ready for this. I’m way over my head. I can’t do this,'” Hardeman said. “Once the process popped into my head, I thought:

‘In 20 years, I’m going to more regret the things I didn’t do in life rather than the things I did do. And this is exactly the type of opportunity I need to take while I’m young and can learn things fast and am able-bodied and I can do this.'”

Game on. But the hard work was just beginning. The initial plan was to prepare Will Hardeman to make his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama debut last September during the Lone Star Le Mans at his home track, COTA.

Moore, with help from Cobb, Lally and Law, started a magical motorsports tour of testing with Hardeman all over the southern third of the United States last summer and early fall. They turned laps at COTA, the Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving and Road Atlanta, realizing the plan to be ready for COTA was a bit too ambitious.

Still, the work continued full speed. The training was a crash course. Literally, at times.

Hardeman had two major moments of doubt during the process, induced by crunched body work on his Porsche. He spun off at COTA in early August during his first proper test in his Platinum Cup car.

“It was a very, very minor incident but enough to shake my confidence,” Hardeman said. “I was wondering if the sport was right for me if this is going to happen a lot. You just have to get that out of your head. Price, David and Andy were there, and they’ve all had an illustrious career of wrecking cars in much more grandiose fashion. They said to get back in the saddle. That’s part of it.”

That confidence boost helped Hardeman get back on track for a test just before Labor Day at Road Atlanta, sharing the track with factory prototype and GT cars. Coaching and a pep talk from his racing mentors helped Hardeman avoid intimidation even though he was the slowest driver on the track.

And Hardeman’s zeal to rebound from the COTA incident and learn quickly caused him to watch and follow the racing lines of higher-performance machinery during the test. He followed a prototype into the fast, daunting Turn 1 at Road Atlanta and learned quickly that purpose-built race car had far more downforce than his production-based 911 GT3 Cup car.

Hardeman put two wheels off the grass and hit the tire barrier exiting Turn 1, damaging his car and confidence again.

But once again, Hardeman dug deep in his mind and used technical tips and confidence boosting from Moore and his other teachers to return to the seat, focused on his goal of becoming a race driver.

Those initial setbacks taught an important trait of motorsports Hardeman admits he didn’t understand before he started driving.

“The biggest thing that I underestimated about racing is how mentally demanding it is,” Hardeman said. “Your mind and your brain is a muscle, just like any other muscle in your body. You condition it to the mental demands of racing.

“At first, when you’re a guy off the street, you get into a race car for 15 minutes, and you are worn out for the rest of the day. Your mind is tired, and you don’t know what’s wrong with you. Even though you’ve got an eight-hour test day that you signed up for, after 30 minutes your mind has turned to mush. You can hardly work on anything productive, but you keep on pounding out those laps. That’s how I felt for probably the first four or five months.

“It got better and better. When you mind is mush like that, you’re not comfortable with the car yet. Driving a car at speed is not downloaded into the subconscious yet like it is with a pro who has had 20 years behind the wheel.”

Hardeman competed in a race for the first time in November at Daytona International Speedway. He showed the first glimpse of fulfilling the faith Moore showed in him during his COTA track day by winning his class in a one-hour HSR Historics race.

When Hardeman jumped on the podium to accept his trophy, the track public address announcer asked him for his racing background. Hardeman told the announcer this was his first race and first day at a competitive event. The announcer went silent, thinking Hardeman misunderstood the question.

Hardeman continued to test throughout the end of 2014 in various machines, learning and honing his craft. He also participated in the promoter test day before Petit Le Mans last fall at Road Atlanta, in the IMSA test in February 2015 at NOLA Motorsports Park and competed in another series in early March 2015 at COTA, preparing for his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama debut two weeks later at Sebring.

His goals were simple: Running in the top 10 in the Platinum Cup in one of the most competitive of Porsche’s 20 single-make series around the world.

At Sebring, small mistakes and racing incidents dropped Hardeman toward the rear of the field in both races. But he ripped off some of the quickest laps of any driver in the field to rally to finishes of 15th and 12th, respectively. He also finished 12th in treacherous, wet conditions in early April at NOLA after turning the fourth-quickest time overall in practice.

Once Hardeman had time to reflect this spring on his incredible progress, he wasted no time setting new goals. Hardeman no longer is content with mid-pack or even top-10 results. He is aiming toward the top of the grid and would like to finish the season with three Platinum Cup podium finishes.

He still has miles to go, plenty to learn. But Moore, Cobb, Lally and Law have helped Hardeman do almost the impossible in racing, flattening a nearly vertical learning curve in almost record time.

“David and Price are the best in the business,” Hardeman said. “They are giving me so much personal attention. Their level of service is better than anything I’ve seen, even in my business.

“Price with his experience, he’s like Yoda. He will teach you so many things with fewer words. With Darren Law and Andy Lally, one cool thing is they’re world-class drivers, but I’ve worked with both of them so much over the last nine months. That’s a huge part of my success. I wouldn’t be in IMSA right now if I wasn’t working with Darren and Andy.

“They all have provided me with the setup, the equipment and the opportunity that is perfect. My success is now completely on me.”

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama enters its 11th season in 2015 as one of the largest of Porsche’s 20 single-make Cup Challenge series in the world. The series produces intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world’s most produced and iconic race car, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Will Hardeman #19
Hardeman & #19 WPD/Moorespeed Qualify P1 again and win Race # 2 in the rain soaked Circuit of the Americas on Sunday 630 408 MOORESPEED

Hardeman & #19 WPD/Moorespeed Qualify P1 again and win Race # 2 in the rain soaked Circuit of the Americas on Sunday

Will Hardeman capped off a perfect weekend for the hometown crowd at COTA by taking the Pole in both qualifying sessions on Saturday and Sunday and then leading from start to finish in both races for the double header victory.

Sunday the WPD/Moorespeed team arrived to COTA in a rainstorm. Morning practice was cancelled by officials. Qualifying for Race 2 was very wet.

Hardeman who had never driven in the rain before used the first half of qualifying to get the feel of the car. When Moorespeed’s David Moore told him “Its time to get with the program” he delivered instantly again qualifying P1.

Will went on to victory with a margin of over 10 seconds to the second and third place cars of IMSA regulars.

The team heads to Sebring with great momentum for the IMSA GT3 Cup season held in conjunction with the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Watch Race #2 on YouTube
compliments of Competent Motorsports

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