Irish motorsport team enters 2013 FIA Endurance Championship
Motorsport report by Tony Gregory
Irish motorsport team, Status Grand Prix and HVM Racing have confirmed that they have filed a formal entry application for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) This marks the first stage of the collaboration between two successful teams. The Silverstone and Indianapolis-based organisations have committed to running a latest-specification Lola Coupe in the LMP2 class in all eight rounds of WEC.
Silverstone-based Status GP has an established sports car racing pedigree dating back to 2006 when it prepared and ran an Aston Martin GT1 in selected FIA GT events and the Le Mans 24 Hours. After again providing technical support to a customer at Le Mans in 2011, this time for the LMP2 class, Status GP entered its own LMP2 Lola Coupe in the 2012 European Le Mans Series, as well as selected WEC rounds and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Speaking on behalf of Status GP, Mark Gallagher said; "We are pleased to have taken this step, being not only very confident in the capabilities for the LMP2 Lola Coupe after the good learning curve last year, but recognising the additional strengths brought to the programme through the collaboration with HVM Racing. The stability of Lola's commitment to sports prototype racing through the new partnership it has put in place with Multimatic Inc. adds to our confidence. It's a great package and one very worthy of a full WEC LMP2 assault."
HVM Racing enters the sports car racing arena with a successful history in the USA‘s premiere racing categories. A six-time winner in the Champ Car World Series between 2001 and 2007, HVM has competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the last five years. The step into sports prototype racing is a natural evolution for the team, combining its engineering and commercial strengths with the Status GP package.
"We are excited to be in WEC and believe strongly in its future,” said HVM Team Principal Keith Wiggins. “We believe we have a very strong programme with HVM, Status GP, Lola and Multimatic. We could not have hoped for such a strong start with experienced partners all together. We are now focusing on those strengths for the start of the season and we will soon have news on the technical progress. It is good to be working with the Lola engineers once more, now with Multimatic‘s added resources."
The FIA World Endurance Championship is entering its second season, having replaced the existing Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) after 2011. The season opener on April 14th will see HVM Status GP commence its campaign on local ground in the 6 Hours of Silverstone (UK). The championship then moves onto Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Le Mans (France), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Austin (USA), Fuji (Japan), and Shanghai (China) with the season finale on the island of Bahrain on November 30th.