IndyCar’s HVM Racing is joining British formula-and sports car team-Status GP to field a full-season LMP2 entry in the 2013 World Endurance Championship, according to a Dec. 4 press release.
The two teams will combine technical and commercial resources behind the P2 Lola-Judd Status campaigned in selected rounds of the 2012 WEC season.
“We are delighted to create this partnership between Status and HVM,” Status GP Team Principal Teddy Yip Jr. said. “For the step up to a full-time FIA WEC program, our combined strengths create a very strong platform for technical personnel, resources and contacts with drivers and sponsors in both Europe and the USA. It’s an exciting development for each company to establish a presence on both sides of the Atlantic, and we look forward a long-term collaboration.”
HVM CEO Keith Wiggins raced in Europe from 1984–1993 and was president of Lola from 1998–2000, so for his team this is sort of a homecoming.
“We made a decision to expand our interests into sports cars for next year, and once we looked at the WEC program, it was obvious we needed a European base, which is familiar ground for me,” Wiggins said. “Then we started a dialogue with my old friends now together at Status, and it quickly became a partnership both parties wanted and embraced.
“We cover two continents with facilities, staff and equipment and we hit the ground running, able to compete in both the U.S. and Europe, so it makes perfect business sense. Also both groups have a strong history and relationship with the Lola marque and its future plans.”
Status was an obvious choice for a partner when HVM decided to try sports car racing: Wiggins and Status co-founder Mark Gallagher have been friends and collaborators for 25 years; their efforts include launching Wiggins’ Pacific Grand Prix F1 team in 1994.
Status GP started out as an A1 Grand Prix team in 2005, winning the series title in 2008–2009. When A1GP ended, Status switched to GP3, where it finished second in team points. In 2012 the team opted to try sports cars in 2012; its best showing was a pole position at the WEC Shanghai round.
HVM has raced IndyCars for 11 years, earning six wins and 22 podiums, finishing fourth and third in the points in 2006 and 2007 against better-funded competition. HVM got stuck with the underpowered Lotus motor in 2012, and lost driver Simona de Silvestro and her sponsorship money. Rather than fight for a new engine contract in IndyCar, Wiggins decided to join the more welcoming world of sports cars for 2013.
Status and HVM have already concluded a successful two-day test of the team’s Lola in Spain in late November; further testing and development sessions are scheduled.
The 2013 WEC season starts on April 14 with the Six Hours of Silverstone. Check the Silverstone website for ticket information.
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