Team Hardpoint owner Rob Ferriol is aiming to run a two-car program in next year’s IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship with one car in the new GT Daytona Pro class and another in GTD as part of a continuing ramp-up of ventures for the Virginia-based team.
While details are still to be finalized, Ferriol has set a goal of running cars in the WeatherTech Series, Porsche Carrera Cup North America, and the Michelin Pilot Challenge under the Team Hardpoint banner.
“Our intent is to return to a two-car line-up like we had at Sebring and a two-car line-up for the full season. In addition to that, we plan to have our Porsche Carrera Cup North America program back and if the stars align, we’ll also introduce a Michelin Pilot Challenge program,” Ferriol told RACER.
Ferriol currently leads the Bob Akin Award standings and is thus in line to receive the invitation to Le Mans that comes with it if John Potter cannot close the gap in the next two races. The team set its sights on the Bob Akin Award in their first full season of the WeatherTech Championship for two reasons, Ferriol explained.
“I look at two things: one, it would be a dream to go run Le Mans, and two, it is an attainable goal for us to target. Coming out as a first-year team saying, ‘Oh we want to win the championship,’ well there’s a pretty low probability percentage tied to that.
“We can look at the Bob Akin Award as an attainable goal and it’s something that we can aspire to and ideally win and be proud of this season regardless of where we end up in the championship,” Ferriol said.
Should he clinch the Bob Akin Award, Ferriol said he would seriously consider taking up the invitation and making an effort to get to Le Mans.
Aside from the team’s prospects for the future, this weekend’s race at Virginia International Raceway is a particularly special one as VIR is both where the team is based and where Ferriol experienced his first taste of racing during a 2015 track day.
After a career in the military and later in the private sector, Ferriol explained that he had some spare money and wanted to treat himself. He purchased a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo to use as a track day car. He eventually moved into club racing and progressed through the ranks of sports car racing.
Coming home to race at VIR is a pleasure Ferriol never gets tired of experiencing.
“I now have a 10,000 square foot facility up here, which is the physical home of the race team, so every time I drive up to VIR it feels just like the first time, just because of the scenery and it’s just a cool facility to drive up to. I pinch myself every now and then because I’m driving up here, to come to the race shop that as I stand here right now, looking around, there are eight different race cars in here — 99% of them Porsches.
“It’s a really cool feeling to be able to come back with the team, and go into the IMSA weekend, it’s this dream come true every time I do it.”