Hardpoint has formally confirmed its expansion into full-time IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, with the team to field a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport for Nick Galante and Sean McAlister beginning with this month’s round at Sebring International Raceway.
As previously reported by Sportscar365, the Rob Ferriol-owned team will return to Pilot Challenge competition after contesting selected races in 2020 with an Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Galante, a two-time series champion in 2016 and 2018 in what was then the ST class, and McAlister, who was the 2019 Hurley Haywood scholarship winner for his success in single-make Porsche championships, have been announced as drivers in the car that will carry a purple and white livery for Racing to End Alzheimer’s.
“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to finally drive with Team Hardpoint,” Galante said. “Watching this team build itself into a top-level team has been tough to race against over the years, and now I can relax a little bit knowing I don’t have to compete against them.
“I can now work harder than ever to help make this team as strong as possible. I am looking forward to teaming up with Sean McAlister as a co-driver this season.
“He has been doing some great things in Porsche Carrera Cup, and the new 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is looking to be one of the top GT4 cars this season. I am excited to be back with the Porsche brand as we had some success the last time we were in one.”
McAlister added: “I’m incredibly excited to say that I will be racing with Hardpoint this year, making my debut in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.
“Last year I was racing against Hardpoint in Porsche Carrera Cup North America and was very impressed with the performance they brought to every event.
“The move from racing in single-make series the past six years to racing in a multi-make series is very new to me, but I’m eager to take on that challenge.
“Being with Porsche for the seventh year in a row will give me a ton of comfort throughout the entirety of the season.
“I can’t wait to get the series started and I am really looking forward to running with my teammate Nick Galante and being on board with Phil Frengs and Racing to End Alzheimer’s.”
Hardpoint’s Pilot Challenge program will be housed in the same Virginia International Raceway-based shop as its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Porsche 911 GT3 R GTD entry driven by Ferriol and Katherine Legge.
Glenn Long will serve in the team manager role, with Hardpoint’s Charles Hamm as its technical director.
“This program cuts to the core of our values here at Hardpoint,” Ferriol said. “We have a competitive Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport with drivers in Nick and Sean that have proven they can win races and compete for championships.
“To top it off, we’re able to provide value to a cause like Racing to End Alzheimer’s, which includes fan interaction by carrying the names of those touched by this disease. We’re looking forward to this expansion of our program and can’t wait to get started at Sebring.”