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Will Hardeman and Alex Riberas Score Season-Best Sixth-Place Finish

Will Hardeman and Alex Riberas Score Season-Best Sixth-Place Finish

06.05.2019: ....in No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS Sunday in IMSA WeatherTech Championship Race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

....in No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS Sunday in IMSA




WeatherTech Championship Race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course


Starting Driver Hardeman Runs as High as Second and in the Top Five Throughout Solid Race-Opening Stint
 




The No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Audi R8 LMS team and co-drivers Will Hardeman and Alex Riberas scored a season-best sixth place finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where the team rans as high as second early in the two-hour and 40-minute race.



The third race of the season saw a number of milestones for the Moorespeed team. In addition to the finish, Hardeman’s qualifying position of fourth was a season high, as was his second-place run in the opening three laps. An opportunity to battle for a top-five finish was taken away only by contact and a broken wheel that forced an emergency pit stop with 33 minutes remaining.



“I don’t think the results really show how we did today,” Moorespeed President David Moore said. “Will did a phenomenal job. I’m really proud of him, it’s his best performance to date. Alex also performed well, he just got hit. We’ll just keep moving forward. There are a lot of positives to take out of the weekend. The team is becoming more familiar with the Audi, and in my opinion it’s only a matter of time before we’re on the podium.”



Hardeman moved into second just after the green flag and ran in the top three for the opening 20 laps. The Audi shook off a bump and run from a Prototype and Hardeman handed the wheel to Riberas at the 46-minute mark of the race while running in the top five.


“The opening laps were executed about as well as I could have done them,” Hardeman said. “I made up a couple of positions and drove pretty smart. It was close quarters combat. I was able to build a gap to the guys behind me. Prototype traffic is always trying to pass you, so you have to manage that throughout your stint as best you can. There’s a lot of risk. By the time my stint was over, I was still in a good place.”



Riberas fluctuated in the top-10 as pit stops cycled through but was in seventh place with one hour to go. A hard hit to the right rear caused a broken wheel that deflated a tire, forcing the team to make a stop under yellow while the pits were closed for an emergency service. That stop cost Riberas a drive through penalty and was unable to challenge for a podium in the final minutes.



“It’s a good step forward, especially considering it was an eventful race,” Riberas said. “We keep getting better as a team. We clearly showed this weekend that we are competitive, but we have to keep improving. Hopefully at Watkins Glen, we’re able to take another step forward and fight for a podium. But sixth place today was a very good result for us.”



Moorespeed is running the 2019 season with the support of Bardahl and Audi Genuine Parts.




Round four of the 10-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes place at Watkins Glen with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 27 - 30. The six-hour race is also a Michelin Endurance Cup round, which also includes Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta in the 2019 schedule.




 
 
Reece White-  photo Moorespeed

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06.05.2019 / MaP

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