Driver Spotlight: Richard Westbrook
Driver, No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP
How do you think the first year of the TUDOR Championship went?
“I think it was a difficult year for many and there was too much negativity in the paddock. However, once Sebring was out of the way, where it felt like we we were under yellow more often than not, the actual racing was very good in all the classes. Trying to keep 55 entrants happy was always going to be difficult and now that some of the more unhappy teams have gone hopefully everyone can pull together and make the paddock a happy place to go race again.”
What will you remember the most from the season?
“I think our victory at The Glen will always stand out to me. It was a 6 hour sprint with very few yellows and to win such a historic event is special. Michael (Valiante) and myself really had to push every lap and we (drivers and team) didn’t make a single mistake, those victories are always the most satisfying.”
Is there anything you’d personally like to see changed for 2015?
“More consistency with penalties which I know Beaux (Barfield, IMSA Race Director) will get right. He’s only been back since COTA. People want to see hard racing and a little bit of rubbing shouldn’t go punished as long as it’s not malicious. I’d also like to see more split races like at Long Beach and Laguna which both interestingly ran green for the whole duration. Running so many cars at places like Mosport and Road Atlanta is very difficult. Everyone ends up shouting and arguing and it is impossible to run your own race. For instance at Road Atlanta we got wiped under a safety car whilst challenging for the lead. With so many cars racing within such a short lap it does sometimes feel a little chaotic.
“Apart from that I wish the podium ceremonies were shorter because the fans that turn out must get very bored and some tracks definitely need to improve their restroom facilities!”
With some new P2 cars coming into the mix, do you see the level of competition increasing in the Prototype class next year?
“I hope so but I honestly don’t know. The DP competition is always strong just like it was in GRAND-AM. It is very tough for small teams like Spirit of Daytona to beat the likes of Ganassi and WTR but we are getting closer all the time. To be honest I can’t wait until 2017 when everyone will be running to the new rules.”
What have you been doing to stay busy during the off-season?
“We are moving out of London to Bath and currently in a race against time to get the house ready for our new baby which is due January 6th. Hopefully there will be no yellows along the way!”