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DragonSpeed Pushing On with Sports Car Programs

DragonSpeed set to continue with IMSA, ELMS full-season plans amid pandemic uncertainty…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

DragonSpeed has issued an update on its 2020 racing programs and appears set to continue with its originally stated sports car commitments in North America and Europe.

The American-flagged squad is set to run the rest of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with its LMP2-class Oreca 07 Gibson for Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman.

DragonSpeed is also pushing on with its plans to contest the European Le Mans Series with a new Oreca for Hanley, Ryan Cullen and reigning drivers’ co-champion Memo Rojas.

The team conducted a shakedown of its new car shortly before the lockdown, while its France-based ELMS crew is reportedly “in good health and raring to go”.

However, the pandemic has caused DragonSpeed to delay the planned transfer of its European base from the south of France to southern Spain.

This was due to take place at the end of August and in early September, immediately after the 4 Hours of Barcelona.

A team statement read: “With a little luck, our [IMSA] category’s car count will be stable or even expand a bit, and we hope our competitors weather the storm and we can all continue to entertain in true LMP2 style.

“Our European program continues, with the ELMS reduced from six to five rounds and our second Le Mans entry now elevated to first reserve.”

DragonSpeed is also continuing to work on its IndyCar Series program with the Indianapolis 500 in August now the main priority.

The team’s statement acknowledged that IndyCar is where the team’s 2020 plans “have taken the biggest hit” as a result of the pandemic.

DragonSpeed was setting up to take part in the St. Petersburg season-opener in March when the event was postponed at short notice and the team was forced to scramble to get its members home.

Team principal Elton Julian previously told Sportscar365 of the “big operation” to get his various programs back to base after the United States imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals entering from the European Union.

“While sportscars remain our bread and butter, IndyCar is the focus of our future growth,” the statement continued.

“Beyond the frustration of St Pete, we remain buoyed by a strong two days of testing in early March, progress on the sponsorship front, and the challenges of climbing the IndyCar mountain.

“Once our core sportscar business is back in full swing, we aim to return to the IndyCar grid, with the Indy 500 our top priority.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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