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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Root to Replace COVID-19 Positive Hardwick at Laguna

Max Root swaps plans from Porsche Carrera Cup North America to Michelin Pilot Challenge this weekend…

Photo: Wright Motorsports

Following a positive COVID-19 test, Ryan Hardwick will sit out this weekend’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race with Wright Motorsports, having been replaced by Max Root in the No. 16 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Hardwick “immediately quarantined” upon first sign of symptoms and awaited the results of an official test, following team and IMSA series protocol.

Root was previously slated to run in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands triple-header at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.

“Max did a great job when he filled in for me at Sebring, and I know he’ll do an excellent job this weekend at Laguna, one of his favorites, and his home track,” said Hardwick.

“I expect nothing short of the top step of the podium for him and Jan Heylen this weekend. I know he’ll do his best to keep us in championship contention for when I return for the final two races of the year.”

Root previously subbed for Hardwick once this season, stepping in to race alongside Heylen at Sebring in March. Root won pole position and the pair finished second in the team’s first Pilot Challenge race.

“I’m very excited to be joining Wright Motorsports this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, my home track,” said Root. “It’s a track that pairs nicely with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

“I’ll be joining Jan Heylen in the championship quest to get the Porsche as high as we can in the points here in the last few rounds.

“In doing this, I’ll be filling in for Ryan Hardwick and not able to compete in the Carrera Cup races this weekend.

“Given the highest priority of the team to keep the GT4 car in the championship hunt, I will be happy to be in a Porsche in another manner. I’m looking forward to getting on the ground just a few hours north of LA and getting to work with Jan and the team.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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