18-year-old open-wheel prospect Johnathan Hoggard has won the Sunoco Whelen Challenge competition, earning a prize drive in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Hoggard finished second in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship this season and topped the Sunoco Whelen Challenge points table, which involves drivers from multiple disciplines.
His tally of seven race wins, seven pole positions and eight fastest laps helped him achieve a score of 91.56 points, putting him 12 points clear of his nearest rival Clement Novalak who was crowned F3 champion.
The Sunoco Whelen Challenge is based on an average score taking into account wins, poles and fastest laps, enabling Hoggard to win despite finishing behind Novalak in the F3 championship standings.
It’s not yet known which car Hoggard will be driving at Daytona, with previous iterations of the prize being a drive in a Whelen Engineering-sponsored prototype or a GT3 car.
Last year’s winner Linus Lundqvist contested the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.
“What has been impressive about Johnathan this year is that he is always quick,” said Anders Hildebrand, founder of Anglo American Oil Company Ltd.
“When he is on song, he gets fastest laps, pole positions, and wins, and that is how the Challenge points system is built; You have to be consistent to win, but you get a boost for the fastest laps and poles.
“He follows in the footsteps of Felipe Nasr and Linus Lundqvist, who won the prize last year. It is nice to see how a Formula 3 driver can jump into a GT3 or DPi and be on the pace straight away and I think Johnathan will show us what he is made of at Daytona.”
A second prize for the Sunoco 240 Challenge, which offers the winner a drive in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge support race on the Daytona weekend, is still up for grabs.