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
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.