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DragonSpeed Fields LMP2 Entry; Montoyas Together at Sebring

DragonSpeed to concentrate on IMSA next year with Hedman, Montoya teaming up…

Photo: MPS Agency

DragonSpeed is set to embark on a season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2 class next year with Juan Pablo Montoya and Henrik Hedman, while Sebastian Montoya will join the pair for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Father and son Juan Pablo and Sebastian are set for their first race outing together, after 16-year-old recently drove a DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson at the FIA World Endurance Championship Rookie Test in Bahrain.

Two of DragonSpeed’s WEC drivers from this year, Hedman and Juan Pablo Montoya, will continue with the team for its full-season IMSA commitment in the LMP2 class.

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya is returning to a full-time WeatherTech Championship role after working with Acura Team Penske in DPi for three seasons.

The Colombian captured the 2019 drivers’ title alongside Dane Cameron and continued on the Acura Team Penske program for another year before transitioning to an endurance-only role with Meyer Shank Racing for 2021.

His teenage son Sebastian competed in the Italian and German Formula 4 championships after moving up from karting.

Hedman and DragonSpeed have previously teamed up for IMSA races, including a three-stop program in 2020 when the team captured a second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona LMP2 class win. However, this will mark DragonSpeed’s first full-time effort.

“It’s a great feeling to come back to IMSA with Henrik in 2022 after achieving our goal together at Le Mans,” said team principal Elton Julian.

“He’s looking for a few more notches on his racing belt with our help, and I want to thank him once again for his confidence in DragonSpeed.

“Working with Juan Pablo has been one of the highlights of my racing career, and there’s much more to come from the relationship, not least the opportunity to help Sebastian establish himself as a star in the making.”

Hedman and Montoya will drive the No. 81 Oreca 07 Gibson this year, but the car will not contest the Rolex 24 because that race does not count points towards the LMP2 championship.

DragonSpeed will nonetheless be present on the Daytona grid through a different entry arrangement.

In addition to announcing the IMSA program, Hedman also confirmed that he will no longer be working with long-time co-driver Ben Hanley next year. The Brit supported Hedman for several seasons in the WEC and the European Le Mans Series.

“With me refocusing on racing in the U.S. and Ben Hanley – my pro teammate since 2016 – deserving bigger opportunities in Europe, I want to thank Ben for a phenomenal run of success and his friendship over the last six years,” said Hedman.

“Along with DragonSpeed’s incredible support, I simply could not have won at Daytona and Le Mans, scored three more victories in the ELMS and IMSA plus another 10 podiums without Ben by my side.

“I’m also proud to have played a part in his two awesome underdog performances in the Indy 500.

“Looking ahead, it’s a pleasure to continue with Juan Pablo for another season, and having Sebastian in the car with his dad at Sebring will be a very special moment. It’s going to be a great year.” 

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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