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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

“Flawed” IMSA BoP sparks WEC change for Porsche GTD racer Hardwick

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The 42-year-old has signed to race a Proton Competitors Porsche in at the least the primary three rounds of the WEC, alongside 2021 IMSA GTD champion Zacharie Robichon and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Harry Tincknell, and also will contest the primary two rounds of the European Le Mans Sequence for Proton with Robichon and Alessio Picariello.

He already had a assured entry within the Le Mans 24 Hours because the top-ranked Bronze driver in final season’s IMSA GTD standings, having completed second alongside Jan Heylen with Porsche squad Wright Motorsports and gained the season-opening Daytona 24 Hours.

However Hardwick defined that his determination to focus on European racing whereas downscaling his IMSA GTD programme to the 4 endurance races was prompted by a making an attempt debut for the newest iteration of Porsche’s 911 RSR-19s at Daytona in January.

Heylen certified quickest of the Porsche drivers, however was 2.849s slower than Philip Ellis’ class-leading Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3, whereas Pfaff Motorsports’s GTD Professional Porsche was the perfect positioned of the 911s within the race and completed a lap down because the tenth GT3 automotive dwelling.

Hardwick, Robichon, Heylen and DTM race winner Dennis Olsen completed ninth in school, six laps down.

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Outlining that his WEC change would assist him “to raised put together for my entry within the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans” with extra monitor time within the GTE-spec RSR Porsche, Hardwick stated he was “extraordinarily dissatisfied by what occurred within the GTD class at Daytona” which had contributed to his determination to cut back his IMSA programme.

He stated: “There was quite a lot of finger-pointing as to who was at fault for one model being at such an excessive efficiency drawback in comparison with the remainder of the GTD class. Personally, I don’t care who’s at fault. I do really feel strongly that some modifications must be made.

“What occurred through the race was a tragic show of simply how flawed the present IMSA BoP system actually is.

Hardwick was left pissed off by IMSA’s reluctance to deal with Porsche’s lack of velocity at Daytona with a BoP tweak

Picture by: Artwork Fleischmann

“The product that all of us put ahead on monitor in Daytona was a shame to our followers, our producers, our sponsors, our groups and our drivers. The reality is the present BoP course of has failed us. All of us.

“This sport is particular as a result of it has traditionally been a contest amongst folks, and it has all the time rewarded these individuals who can extract essentially the most efficiency from their vehicles. Sadly, the present BoP course of and the IMSA officers who proceed to defend it, are severely damaging the true spirit of competitors inside our sport.

“What occurred in Daytona ought to by no means occur once more, and it’s my hope that the producers and IMSA officers will work collectively to make some much-needed modifications, as a result of our sport deserves it.

“The folks and sponsors who drive this sport ahead deserve it. And most significantly, our followers deserve it. I hope that IMSA makes these modifications quickly.

“In the meantime I’m very a lot wanting ahead to competing within the WEC, ELMS and in addition the one centesimal anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this yr!”

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