Hardpoint has reaffirmed its commitment to the remainder of the Michelin Endurance Cup races this year following its withdrawal from this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio.
The Rob Ferriol-owned team has pulled its GTD class Porsche 911 GT3 R from Mid-Ohio in order to pursue “business opportunities within motorsports” according to a team statement.
Additional sprint races are understood to also be planned according to a team spokesperson.
While Ferriol and co-driver Katherine Legge’s participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is in question, Ferriol has reaffirmed that the No. 99 Porsche will return to action at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans with Stefan Wilson in the lineup.
Silver-rated Wilson teamed with Ferriol and Legge at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“We’ve made the decision that sitting out Mid-Ohio with the GTD car is the best move for Hardpoint as a business,” Ferriol said.
“The plan has always been to use my racing to provide the beacon. If we’re going to attract the kind of customers we want, we need to have something to inspire them. That’s what the WeatherTech program is for.
“Obviously I’ve gotten a personal benefit for that, but it’s a demonstrative effort to attract all of those others to what we do. If that means I take a knee from my personal driving to help the business side, so be it.
“That’s where my focus is, making sure our customers receive the experience I expected to see when I was in their shoes.
“This doesn’t mean the GTD program is shutting down – quite the opposite. We’ll continue to showcase our top level, but we want to move the needle as a business.
“The name of the game is getting more people into racing. That’s part of our mission statement and business focus, and we want to be sure we’re keeping our eye on that ball.”
Ferriol declined to comment on reports that he and Legge have called off their participation at Le Mans in a Hardpoint entry granted to them by IMSA for Ferriol winning the Bob Akin Award.
Sportscar365 understands that should Ferriol and Legge not race at Le Mans, they would likely be replaced by paying drivers in the Proton Competition-run Porsche 911 RSR-19 instead of the entry being withdrawn altogether.