Starworks Motorsport is making its debut in the LMPC category at the American Le Mans Series round at the Circuit of Americas this weekend.
It is an important step for Starworks who entered the history books in 2012 by becoming the first LMP2 Champions in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the first North American team to win an FIA World Championship in 46 years. The team also won the 2012 GRAND-AM North American Endurance Championship and led with the most laps in a Daytona Prototype. These milestones concluded an incredible season with victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first Rolex Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus a second place finish in the ‘Rolex 24 At Daytona’ and third in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
This year Starworks has taken the title fight in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex series to the final round at Lime Rock Park. With two wins and six further podiums between the team’s two Daytona Prototypes, and consistently high points finishes for the 2 car, the team has once again proved to be a title contender.
Racing in the top P class in the new United Sports Car Racing (USCR) series is only part of the equation for next year. The current ALMS LMPC class running is preparation for Starworks’ plan to enter two cars in to the USCR LMPC class alongside its two DP’s. This class has been incredibly stable and offers a place for all those uncertain about the costs and some as yet unanswered questions around the DP/LMP2 integration.
Post the incident-filled ‘Grand Prix of Baltimore’ on August 31st, where the team’s newly acquired ORECA FLM09 was run by RSR Racing, the Starworks squad has worked tirelessly on a 50% rebuild of its LMPC car whilst also contesting the penultimate round of the Rolex Series in Laguna Seca. The PC, which will now run as ‘#5 Starworks’, has received new hardware, some new parts to the suspension and electrical wiring to make it track ready.
Starworks Motorsport has invited seasoned Daytona Prototypes driver John Pew to join Ryan Dalziel in Austin, Texas this weekend. John (from Grand Rapids, Michigan) currently competes in the Rolex Sports Car Series for Michael Shank Racing. Making his DP debut in 2004, over the years John has won the ‘Jim Trueman’ award for the top Pro-Am racer in the GRAND-AM series twice (2010 and 2011) and the 2012 ‘24 Hours of Daytona’ race overall in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Daytona Prototype.
Peter Baron, Starworks Motorsport Team Owner:
"We are beyond thrilled to make our debut in the LMPC class at COTA this weekend. I was first introduced to LMPC racing back in 2011 and was surprised to see what a fantastic class it is and the close racing it provides. Despite being cost effective these are incredible cars. They offer a full carbon tub and much of the same components as its Oreca LMP2 ‘brother’. The LMPC class has managed to contain costs and keep budgets reasonable for the teams. When get got involved with DP's almost a decade ago, it was because of cost containment and stability, same as what the LMPC now offers. With the integration of the two series for next year and the future provided for this class, it would not surprise me to see well over a dozen of these cars at all the races next year and this is why LMPC is a class we want to be involved in.”
Peter continues: “One of the best things about this weekend is we have our WEC team back together, lead by Steve Challis engineering the car. We were crushed to find out Alex could not make this race after all the planning - but we are grateful to John Pew who will guest drive with us this weekend. It's been fun competing against John the last seven years in DP’s and we’re happy to have him on our side this race. Our debut with this team led to a LMP2 win at the 2012 Sebring 12 hours, so we have high expectations and look to use these last three races to build our knowledge base on the car.”
"I'm really excited about our new LMPC venture. It's something we have been trying to put together for a while. Not only that but I Iove COTA and going back there for the second time in 2013 is going to be a lot of fun. I've known John for a number of years, competing against him but I also consider him a friend, so it's great to be able to put this deal together with him. He's for sure one of the best AM drivers in the country just now and I know our line up, combined with this great team at Starworks, will be a big success. I would also like to mention that this will be the first time I’ll be reunited with our 2012 WEC Championship winning engineer Steve Challis and I'm really excited about that. Steve, Starworks and I have enjoyed lots of good times together and I hope we can hit the ground running this weekend with our new program. Big thanks to Alex Popow for his contribution and Peter Baron for making this all possible."
“It was a great surprise last week to get a call from Peter asking me if I would like to drive the Starworks LMPC at the ALMS race at Circuit of Americas in Austin this week. Unfortunately, regular driver Alex Popow could not make the race and so I am honored to replace him and drive with Ryan Dalziel. Ryan and Starworks are both at the top of their game in multiple series so this is a very exciting opportunity.”