Winward/HTP Motorsport has confirmed its 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race program. The Houston-based team will run one full-time Techemet AMG GT4 for Russell Ward and Damien Faulkner, with Bryce Ward running a selected number of events in a second car co-driven by HTP regular, Indy Dontje. Ward and his Dutch co-driver will compete at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
January is a busy month for the Wards as the father and son duo will test at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona before flying to the Middle East for the Dubai 24 Hours, where they will be reunited with the HTP Motorsport AMG GT4 chassis they raced at November’s 24 Hours of COTA. The pair will then have one week off before the return visit to Daytona for the opening round of the 2018 CTSCC.
Russell Ward approaches his second full season with an entirely new mindset. “This time last year was a little overwhelming, being my first drive in a professional series. I’m heading into the ‘Roar’ this season with the same respect for the competition, but with more experience and a new found confidence.”
Ward’s partner in the No. 33 Techemet AMG GT4, Damien Faulkner, is confident that the groundwork laid out last season will pay immediate dividends in 2018.
“Last season was a building year for us, laying our foundations for the future. With the Mercedes AMG GT4 and our partnership with HTP Motorsport I believe we are in for a fantastically exciting season. We’re planning to hide nowhere and have nothing but the highest of expectations for 2018.”
For team principal, Bryce Ward, his four-race program represents a significant step up in class from the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA. The South African-born Ward won the Diamond Masters Class in 2017 but he is very aware of how reliant he will be on his young Dutch teammate, Dontje.
“Poor Indy, he will have a lot of pulling to do. I hope he is visiting the gym regularly!”
Ward has his work cut out with an incredibly hectic schedule to start the 2018 season.
“It will be a busy January with Indy, Russell and myself participating in the 24 hours of Dubai in the last Winward/HTP event for the AMG GT4 test car. I want to thank AMG and HTP for making this a reality; it has been a great learning experience for us.”