Ben Waddell Set for IMSA Debut at Sebring

Ben Waddell Set for IMSA Debut at Sebring

12.03.2018: Teams with Hanratty at ESM for Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda Ben Waddell will make his IMSA Prototype

Teams with Hanratty at ESM for Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda

Ben Waddell will make his IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda debut next weekend at Sebring International Raceway as he teams with Max Hanratty to pilot the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 in the 1 hour, 45-minute enduro. 

The race (Friday, March 16 9:10 AM ET streaming live at  marks the second round of the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda championship season and will see the young American duo team up for the first time as a driver pairing.

Facilitating the step up for Waddell is the continued support of his partners, as he has long carried the Invisible Glass/Stoner Car Care ( colors, and he is pleased to have the brand on board as he makes this move up the racing ladder.

“The support from Stoner Car Care (parent company of Invisible Glass) has been amazing,” said Waddell. “It is awesome that they are a part of this move up to IMSA with me. Invisible Glass has a great presence in IMSA with their Continental Tire Challenge program and I’m proud to represent them now in Prototype Challenge.”

Waddell will also carry support from Bell Helmets as well as USWAG (, the leader in custom socks that was founded in early 2015 by late Indy Car driver Justin Wilson and Michael Waddell.  Ben Waddell is making his first-ever Prototype Challenge race start with the Sebring outing.  

The young American raced with success in the F4 US Championship ranks in 2017 following his winning run in the 2016 Lucas Oil Racing Series that followed two seasons in Skip Barber Racing School competition.

For Waddell, the opportunity is a big one  as he looks to follow in his father’s footsteps in the sport. The senior Waddell, Barry, took to the overall podium in the 1997 Sebring 12 Hour, and is still active in the sport as a spotter, mentor, and driver coach.

“For me this is the biggest race I’ve done in my career, so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Waddell, who has made the most of the technology available to him, with extensive training on simulators to prepare.

“I’m really excited to be racing as part of the IMSA 12 Hour at Sebring-it is a big event with a great atmosphere.There are a lot of really strong drivers in the Prototype Challenge field so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes and how we stack up. I’ve known Max (Hanratty) for a long time, so it was a great fit when this opportunity came up.”

Both racers come from open wheel backgrounds. Hanratty moved to the IMSA Lites platform in 2016 before gaining experience on board the V8-powered Ligier machine in ELMS competition in 2017, while also contesting the Pro Mazda Championship. The American racer opened the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge season with a run to 4th place at Daytona and will look to build on that momentum with another strong result in Sebring as Waddell joins the effort.

“I’m looking forward to racing with Ben (Waddell)-we are a couple of young guys and have known each other for a while so it should be a good pairing,” said Hanratty. “Prototype Challenge is a good natural step for drivers to build and try to work up to get into IMSA WeatherTech. The field is a great mix of young drivers and more experienced racers and ESM is a great team to race for.”

“We are really happy to have Max continue his career development with us at ESM and build on his strong result at Daytona,” said Scott Sharp. “Ben has a great background in open wheel racing and he should be able to make this transition into endurance racing pretty smoothly. We are excited to have two young hungry drivers in these two and hopefully they can get off to a great start at Sebring.”

While the team and car will be all new for Waddell, he’ll have a good guide in teammate Hanratty, who has experience with both.

“It is great to race for ESM-it is a great environment,” said Hanratty. “I’ve known Scott (Sharp) for a while and he has been kind of a mentor for me and my career, and his team does things right. You can see the pride everyone takes in their work and I have a lot of confidence in their cars.  They have all the resources you need to be competitive and win races.”

Waddell, who lives just outside of Denver, Colorado, continues to balance his racing with his studies as he works on his marketing and communications degree.  The Prototype Challenge format has evolved for 2018 as the two-class field takes on an endurance format, something that Waddell is relishing.

“Coming from open wheel competition, this will be a change for me to have a roof and to do driver changes and to race this long,” said Waddell. “Sebring is a tricky place—not just the bumps, but also how much the temperature changes and how the car reacts to the track. It can be completely different from session to session.

 But it is important to just get laps in and get comfortable. I’ve got my seat fitting done and  now I’m just really excited to be a part of such a big event and hopefully we can score a podium.”

The race is also an opportunity for Hanratty to continue to network as he develops his program with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to help create a better fan experience at the race events.

“My company (Mobile Engagement Solutions) partnered with Aruba Networks (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) and HPE Pointnext (consulting services) using its intelligent venue solutions to create a digital experience for race fans,” said Hanratty.

 “Using Aruba Networks location based services, we are able to connect racing fans through turn-by-turn navigation to amenities and points of interest. There is also information on the teams and drivers, live timing, media, promotions, sponsors, and venue related information. Using beacon technology, we are able to send location-aware push-notifications to the users with exclusive content and promotions.”

The promotion of the program has Hanratty racking up the miles to support its growth.   “We were just currently in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, which I believe is the largest tech conference in Europe with more than 100,000 attendees,” said Hanratty.

“We had the #12 LMP3 car I drive for EuroInternational in ELMS on the show room floor to create some hype and promote our projects with intelligent venues and mobile engagement so it was a big success and hopefully we can continue to build on that.”

The Sebring event will kick off with practice on Wednesday, March 14, with the grid set to be determined on Thursday at 12:20 PM ( coverage). The race will go green at 9:15 AM on Friday to kick off the 1 hour, 45 minute event. Follow @imsa and @patronesm for updates.


Sunday Group Management-also photos


12.03.2018 / MaP

Weitere Beiträge

Sebring 12 Hours next on United Autosports 2018 calendar
•    United Autosports ready for second endurance race in the US•    Hanson, Di Resta and Alex Brundle racing Ligier JS P217 at notoriously bumpy Sebring•    Valuable knowledge gained at official Sebring Test last month weiter >>
Mario Farnbacher aiming for third win in Sebring
From 14th – 17th March 2018, Mario Farnbacher will be competing in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring race for the sixth time. The young man from Ansbach takes the wheel again for the Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian team and will weiter >>
Risi Competizione 12 Hours of Sebring 2018 preview
A Race Engineers' Perspective Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62: Toni Vilander (FIN)                        & weiter >>
Twelve Hours of Sebring Entry List 2018
66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringPresented By Advance Auto PartsSebring International Raceway - Sebring, FloridaMarch 14 - March 17, 2018PROTOTYPE (P) (P) ENTRIES - 16E-20C Scott Sharp(P) USA Ryan weiter >>
Porsche quotes ahead of 12h Sebring 2018
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 2, 12 Hours of Sebring, USA   Pre-race quotesDr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “We didn’t start weiter >>
Porsche takes on the sports car classic in Florida as the record winner
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 2, 12 Hours of Sebring, USAThe 12 Hours of Sebring, the toughest and oldest sports car race in the USA, will be held for the 66th time on March 17th. Porsche has written motorsport history on the legendary weiter >>
IMSA Sebring Fan Fest March 13th
All roads will truly lead to the Sebring Circle Tuesday, March 13 when the inaugural IMSA Twelve Hour Fan Fest at Historic Downtown Sebring gets underway with the Outback Steakhouse Transporter Parade featuring more than 40 IMSA WeatherTech Championship teams.  The weiter >>
IWSC: BMW Team RLL attends test at the “Sebring International Raceway”.
Just three weeks ahead of the second race of the season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC), the iconic 12 Hours of Sebring (USA), BMW Team RLL has been racking up more kilometres of testing with the new BMW M8 GTE. Over the course of five test sessions, two of w weiter >>
United Autosports enjoys positive Sebring official test
•    Over 1,000 trouble-free miles achieved over two days in relentless Florida heat•    Hanson & Di Resta acclimatise to a very different U.S. track compared to Daytona• &nb weiter >>
Craig Morgan Concert and Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 Added to Race Weekend at Sebring International Raceway
The Alan Jay Automotive Network Presents Craig Morgan concert will be the highlight of Alan Jay Friday at Sebring International Raceway March 16.  The country music star, whose 25 Billboard hits include "That’s What I Love About Sunday," "Intern weiter >>
Paul di Resta joins United Autosports for Sebring 12 Hours and Watkins Glen
•    Di Resta rejoins United Autosports after Daytona sports car debut•    Former DTM Champion will race Ligier JS P217 with Phil Hanson and Bruno Senna•    All three drivers to take part in the official Sebring test on 22-23 February weiter >>
Long and Casey take first TCR win for Compass Racing in Daytona
IMSA Continental Tire Spotscar ChallengeLast Friday the TCR class made its official debut in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportcar Challenge and Compass Racing’s Tom Long and Britt Casey Jr. took the first victory in the 4-hour BMW End weiter >>
AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports finish Twelfth at the Rolex 24 Daytona
AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports proved their potential as a fighting team over the weekend by completing their first race ever, the Rolex 24 at Daytona in twelfth place. In what was an untypically calm race for the majority of the competitors, the drivers and crew of the #52 weiter >>
3GT Racing's Season Opens with Top 10 Final at Rolex 24h Daytona
The No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3, with driver Jack Hawksworth at the wheel, finished P9 at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The No. 14 finished P15, with new driver Kyle Marcelli taking the car over the finish line.Hawksworth, who had qualified the car and began the r weiter >>
Will Owen Finishes Fourth at Rolex 24 Debut
'Racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona was an awesome, challenging, and rewarding experience.  At some points during testing we were not feeling very confident for the race, but the combination of our crew's hard work and reliable car made it possible to finish in the top five!  weiter >>
Paul Miller Racing Rebounds from Rebuild to Score Rolex 24 Podium
While the Rolex 24 at Daytona never fails to provide excitement and hardships, Paul Miller Racing experienced both ends of the spectrum this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. After a challenging week leading up to the main event, and weiter >>
Amazing podium for Andrea Caldarelli in Daytona
Andrea Caldarelli opening season began with an incredible podium in Daytona. The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Champion took third slot on the podium in the Rolex 24 Hours, traditional first event in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The weiter >>
Luca Stolz mit starker Vorstellung bei den 24 Stunden von Daytona
Mit dem 24-Stunden-Rennen von Daytona stand für Luca Stolz am vergangenen Wochenende bereits das nächste große Saisonhighlight auf dem Programm. Beim wohl bedeutendsten Langstreckenrennen in den USA konnte sich der 22-jährige Brachbacher mit dem weiter >>
Technische Probleme verhindern Top-Platzierung in Daytona
Bei seiner Premiere beim 24-Stunden-Rennen in Daytona blieb die starke Leistung von Philipp Frommenwiler unbelohnt. Nach zwischenzeitlicher Führung in der GTD-Klasse warf ein technischer Defekt am Lexus RC F GT3 das Team ans Ende des Feldes zurück. Dank einer fehlerfreien Aufholjagd gelang es dem Lexus-Piloten und der Mannschaft von 3GT Racing, sich auf Position 15 zurückzukä weiter >>
Mustang Sampling Racing Wins Rolex 24 At Daytona
Launches 2018 North American Endurance Cup Championship Campaign with victory  •    3rd Rolex 24 victory for Barbosa (2010, 2014, 2018) and Fittipaldi (2004, 2014, 2018)•    2nd Rolex 24 vi weiter >>
Fernando Alonso quote after 24h Daytona race
Fernando Alonso, driver car #23, United Autosports:“I have a positive feeling about this weekend’s race and the whole event, I really did enjoy this a lot. I love driving and doing this for eight or nine hours in a race is great weiter >>
Risi Competizione post 24h Daytona race
56TH ANNUAL ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONARisi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTLM No. 62: Toni Vilander (FIN)                           &n weiter >>
IMSA: A promising season opener for Mercedes-AMG at Daytona
Customer Racing: Rolex 24 At DaytonaThe 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship gets off to a successful start for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: in the ‘Rolex 24 At Daytona’, the Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports secured fourth plac weiter >>
No 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPI wins Rolex 24 at Daytona with a record distance
At 14:40 local time, the chequered flag waved the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi across the finish line, confirming Filipe Albuquerque, João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi as winners of the 2018 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. The No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing took victory weiter >>
United Autosports vows to return to Daytona after making mark on full Rolex 24 debut
•    Minor but time costly issues deprive both cars likely podium race finishes  •    Both Ligiers lead despite six of seven driver squad entering maiden Rolex   •    Massive six-week team effort 4,000-miles from home almost gets rostrum reward     weiter >>
A Ligier JS P217 finishes just shy of the podium in the Daytona 24 Hours
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – Daytona 24 Hours, 25-28 January 2018After finishing in the top 5 (fourth in LM P2) on their first outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours last June, United Autosports repeated this feat on their debut in the Dayto weiter >>
Lamborghini wins the Daytona 24 hours
After 24 hours and 750 laps, the #11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 conquers the 56th edition of the famous endurance race at the Daytona International Speedway.The Austrian team, winner of the 2017 Blancpain GT Series, dominated the G weiter >>
Best Porsche 911 RSR sixth at anniversary race in Daytona
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 1, 24 Hours of Daytona, USAFifty years after Porsche’s first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Porsche GT Team fielded two 911 RSR this weekend at the long distance classic in Florida. weiter >>
BMW M8 GTE masters debut race in Daytona.
The racing career of the new BMW M8 GTE officially kicked off at the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Daytona (USA) this weekend. At the Daytona International Speedway, Jesse Krohn (FIN), John Edwards (USA), Nick Catsburg (NED) and Augusto Farfu weiter >>



© 2001-2017 full copyright