Moorespeed, with veteran team driver Will Hardeman, will graduate to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class in 2019. The veteran Porsche competitors are among the first teams to order a 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 R, and initial plans have the team participating in the inaugural IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup season and the possible addition of a full-season campaign to also include the Michelin Endurance Cup events.
The step up to IMSA GTD with Hardeman returns Moorespeed to its top-level endurance racing roots after focusing on the sprint-race-based IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup series in recent years.
“I’m really pleased, along with everyone else at Moorespeed, to be returning to our roots in GT endurance racing, and with our oldest racing partner Porsche and the 2019 911 GT3 R in IMSA,” said Moorespeed president David Moore. “The first series we raced in professionally so many years ago was IMSA, and it will be great to return to a premier class in the 50th Anniversary IMSA season next year.”
Moorespeed and Hardeman, both based in Austin, Texas, will enter their fifth season together.
“I’m looking forward to our 2019 IMSA GTD effort,” Hardeman said. “Through the Moorespeed driver-development program, and the platform that Porsche GT3 cup offers, we are prepared to make a championship run in the GTD field. Right now, my focus is on getting ready for the 2019 IMSA season as we complete our roster and search for potential sponsors. We plan to leverage synergies with the existing Moorespeed Porsche GT3 cup program alongside our GTD effort.”
Hardeman experienced top-tier Porsche GT3 competition in 2017 as the first American driver to compete in the Blancpain GT Series Asia at the Shanghai International Circuit in China. Co-driving with coach and Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber, Hardeman finished second in the Pro/Am class and fourth overall in a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the weekend’s second and final race.
“We ran a Porsche GT3 R in Shanghai for a round of the 2017 Blancpain series and had much success there, ending up on the podium,” Hardeman said. “Since then, I knew stepping up to a ride in the GT3 R machinery was my goal.”
Moorespeed is currently in its best season of competition to date in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA. Hardeman won during the season-opening event weekend at Sebring International Raceway in March before recently crowned IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Champion Zacharie Robichon took over the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup for the year’s final four USA-series race weekends.
Moorespeed and Robichon swept their first two doubleheader weekends together at Road America and VIRginia International Raceway last month and are looking to keep their perfect win record intact in this weekend’s pair of 45-minute sprints at Sonoma Raceway.
“We have built our Porsche GT3 Cup program specifically to help develop drivers to a level where they can compete confidently on the world stage, which we feel IMSA offers currently,” Moore said. “One of the biggest factors in our move up was to find a more affordable step between the Porsche GT3 Cup championship and the big show.
“With the new IMSA Sprint Cup championship, we get that opportunity now. The decision to introduce the Sprint Cup Championship is the shot in the arm from IMSA we needed to make this happen.”
Moorespeed will continue its Porsche GT3 Cup program alongside the new GTD effort.