Newly Formed Team Hardpoint to Run Full-Season Audi Entry in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

Newly Formed Team Hardpoint to Run Full-Season Audi Entry in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

13.12.2019: Team Hardpoint is proud to announce their decision to partner with Audi Sport customer racing for their debut GS entry in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.

Team Hardpoint is proud to announce their decision to partner with Audi Sport customer racing for their debut GS entry in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.
 
 
 
Newly formed for 2020, Team Hardpoint is the brainchild of team principal and driver Rob Ferriol. A successful entrepreneur and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Ferriol spent the 2019 season pulling double duty racing in both IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.


With over a dozen trips to the podium in GT3 Cup Challenge and two top 5 finishes in Michelin Pilot Challenge after only three races, Ferriol decided it was time to invest deeper in the sport.
 


Rob Ferriol - Team Principal and Driver:
“These last couple of years in IMSA have been the realization of a dream for me. It’s only natural to want to continue building on that dream. Being an entrepreneur at heart, this transition to team principal and driver gives me a fantastic opportunity to merge two great passions of mine – building great teams and racing.”
 


The all-new Team Hardpoint lineup was something specially curated, leveraging Ferriol’s experience leading elite teams across business and the military. Headed up by Team Manager Gary Biehl and Lead Engineer John Horton, who have more than 50 years combined experience in professional sportscar racing, the guiding principle is that in endurance racing, teams win championships, not drivers – and building the right team means looking at not only raw performance but also the chemistry between every member of the team, from drivers to crew.
 


John Horton - Lead Engineer:
“Hardpoint has an incredible lineup of talent. The individuals that have been assembled are just the right combination of drive, experience, passion, and a long history of success. It’s genuinely a capable team and exactly where I wanted to be for the upcoming season.
 


I’ve had the pleasure of accomplishing some of those successes with Spencer Pumpelly as one of my drivers in past IMSA seasons. Although my professional relationship with Rob is a newer one, our styles synched immediately, sharing a rare understanding of and passion for competitive motorsports at this level. In his first Audi race last season, I set expectations high and knew he was someone I wanted to work with when he executed flawlessly in our inaugural race together. We’ve found the right team composition for a winning season, and I’m looking forward to a rewarding year.”
 


Ferriol will be joined by co-driver Spencer Pumpelly, a longstanding friend and coach who has driven alongside Ferriol in both GT4 and GT3 machinery, and an IMSA champion in his own right.
 


Spencer Pumpelly - Driver
: “I am very excited to be back in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series on a full-time basis and even more excited about the team Rob has assembled to take on the task. I have been working with Rob for several seasons now and have seen his career take off in both his driving and his understanding of what it takes to be successful from a team standpoint. Rob is disciplined and focused, and he brings a wealth of knowledge from his time in the military and civilian life. This is the logical next step, and I know Team Hardpoint will be a strong presence in the upcoming season.”
 


Team Hardpoint applied the same principles to securing partners for the 2020 season. After Ferriol and Pumpelly found early success with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in 2019, Team Hardpoint immediately looked to build on that experience. Audi finished second overall in the Grand Sport category and won the Touring Car category in 2019 and has been a key partner in Team Hardpoint’s preparation for their debut season. The team looks forward to continuing Audi’s winning tradition into 2020.
 


Tristan Herbert – Manager, Audi Sport customer racing USA
: “We were very impressed with the team’s late entry into IMSA Michelin Challenge last year. With a strong driver line-up and solid team infrastructure, we believe that Team Hardpoint will succeed in a very competitive GS class.”
 


The 2020 entry will also carry over Ferriol’s legacy partnership with GridRival, whose bright red markings could be found on his 2019 GT3 Cup and GS entries. The GridRival partnership represents a unique opportunity to extend the relationship with the fantasy racing platform and further introduce fans, teams, drivers, and partners to the world of fantasy motorsports.
 


Rob Ferriol
: “I’m excited to not only bring GridRival along for another great season in IMSA but also continue being a part of their quest to be the future home of fantasy motorsports around the world. They’re doing exciting stuff, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
 


Team Hardpoint’s new team will be the racing arm of a broader ecosystem of racing driver services being developed by Ferriol, with more details on this exciting new project being announced in early 2020. Despite having a solid foundation set for 2020, the team has also left the door open to the idea of expanding to a two-car IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge entry if they find the right fit.
 


Rob Ferriol:
“When we embarked on this new journey, it was really about building out this picture of what a high performing race team can look like in 2020, then putting the thrust of that effort behind Spencer and me. What we didn’t expect was the rush of interest from other drivers to be a part of this new thing we were building. So that’s forced us to explore what a two-car entry looks like and whether there’s a good pairing out there that fits the culture we’re building.”
 


The team will make its first IMSA appearance at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona in just a few short weeks.
 




- SpeedGroup also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/team-hardpoint-audi-entry-imsa-pilot-challenge---201626.html

13.12.2019 / MaP

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