Well, we have completed another season of prototype sports car racing and not without a lot of support and encouragement.
We continue a remarkable record of finishes. Again, another season without a mechanical DNF. In fact, of the eight races we participated in, we had only two DNFs and were engine related.
With the racing environment of factory as well as some very well financed teams, we continue to feel that dollar for dollar, we have the best team out there. Not to say only this team at the workshop and at the track did their very best every day, but also our drivers, technical & financial partners, friends and families that all sacrificed, and fans as well. We enjoy the letters.
As a team we finished second of the single car privateer teams and averaged in points better than all but two of the multi car teams.
Overall this team finished eighth in points which included five factory multi-car teams, twenty-four teams all together.
Our driver Chris Bingham did not do so badly for himself either, finishing eighteenth of the professional sports car and ex-formula one drivers. He is among the names of these, Johansson, Taylor, Caffi, Weaver, McNish, etc. We are very proud of Chris with not one driver ahead of him in points less than a full time professional racing car driver. All the while skipping the Petite LeMans Race, competing with the oldest car on the grid and battling the engine development wars race after race.
Our four top ten finishes are respectable with a seventh place at the 12 hours of Sebring as a stand out event.
We ran over six thousand miles this year on race tracks in the U.S. & Canada. Not once did we have even a tire failure. Our association with Yokohama Tires the last four years is no coincidence. Yokohama Tires are not only an advantage due to their passion for competition, but they are safe and reliable. As they are also great road tires, it is no coincidence why Team Owner Rod Everett buys them for his and his wife's street vehicles.
With increasing tire technology comes an increasing demand on the other components of the racing car. As we have seen all year, a car parked on the side of the race track or in the garage early due to mechanical failures has not affected this team. While paying particular close attention to what propels, stops, and advances the ability for our race car to corner at very high lateral loads, we recognize that Redline synthetic oils in our engine, steering and gearbox along with their other lubricants prevents us from having failures, along with good preparation, of course. Performance friction brakes have been a key to most of Chris Bingham's out-braking maneuvers. "We see it and hear it from Chris time after time, 'I can out-brake anyone.'" We tried another brake at one race this year based on a relationship with one of our associates. "It was a mistake, actually dangerous."
The team's modest budget this season limited testing; however, it stimulated the in-house engineering department that produced many advancements in aerodynamics and mechanical componentry. "For each design actually applied, there are another three or four drawings. The race season ended too soon to do them all."
Globalstar of Canada was a welcome addition to the Hybrid team's partners. While they are engaged in the high tech world of telecommunications (satellites), we are proud to have an association with them and are confidant as they are in the successful launch of their product and services by using motorsport as their promotional tool with our high technology environment.
Probably with a more direct result and awareness gain was found with our exotic sports and luxury car sponsor Park Place Ltd. While we all thrive for exposure in this business, they have a niche. Show up with a tricked out Porsche 996 or a rare Lotus Elise and bang, instant attention and sales. I could only imagine the appearance of one of their Panoz roadsters or an Esperante-what trouble we would have with crowds.
As we reflect on 1999 there will always be what ifs. All considered, though, this was a good season in the inaugural American LeMans series for us. Partnering Chris Bingham this season in the driver seat was a strong cast of talented drivers. At Daytona, Frenchmen Frank Freon (veteran) and Didier Andre (Indy Lights standout) along with Canadian Ross Bentley (another veteran) gave us one of the premier driver line-ups on the grid. Belgian Marc Duez joined us at Sebring and with his rally car style of driving, gave us and the fans a bit of excitement. After a season with considerable engine troubles, the last two races saw none and with drivers Rick Sutherland (veteran) and Dave Cutler (formula Atlantic regular) partnering Bingham for our seventh and eighth race this year, the combination gave us two of our four top ten finishes. All of our drivers contributed well to the team. "Chris Bingham really shined at Las Vegas while stepping into the cockpit with only four practice laps prior on the weekend. However, all of my drivers this year would be welcome back" said Everett.
Sports car racing has a lot of momentum right now to gain much needed market share. It is a very exciting time to be involved in this growth.
Hybrid R & D racing welcomes all inquires to its team and promotional/marketing opportunities are abundant. The year 2000 racing season will be upon us soon, and Hybrid R & D is very optimistic about the new challenges, what with the new chassis/engine combinations available and the tremendous growth of the sport as well as this team. "We took on the best in the world and on occasion, beat them." For the new season Hybrid has a chassis/engine combination they are in negotiations with, and Team Owner Rod Everett has a development program in place.
Hybrid R & D Racing is a Southern California based Prototype Sports Car Racing Team that competes in the American LeMans Series as well as the Daytona 24-hour race.
The racing car this year is a Riley & Scott / Ford 6 liter. Team Owner is Rod Everett. Rod has 12 years in sports car racing specifically and has began the careers of such drivers as Richie Hearn (Now in his third year of Indy car racing and a champion of the professional Formula Atlantic series) and Craig T Nelson best known as "Coach" from the ABC hit series.