In the continuing game of musical chairs in the IMSA paddock, defending GT Daytona class champions Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell have been officially confirmed at O’Gara Motorsport for the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The longtime co-drivers depart Scuderia Corsa for the Tom O’Gara-led squad, which will make its top-level IMSA debut next year with a new Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
The California-based team has been front-runners in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America series and will continue to field multiple entries in the popular one-make series.
“I think the core ingredients for a championship winning team include passion, experience, and the drive to never give up,” Sweedler said. “Tom’s passion for racing, coupled with his seasoned successful business acumen have formed the foundation that this team is built on.
“From the inception of the team, Tom has brought together the best race management, engineers, and crew. I am excited for Townsend and myself to be the drivers for the 2016 WeatherTech Championship. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new Lamborghini GT3.”
Bell added: “I’m excited about this opportunity and think Bill and I are going to have yet another great season. O’Gara Motorsport made quite the impression in their first year as a team.
“I’m confident that their attention to detail and first-class operation will allow us to be as successful with this new endeavor.”
O’Gara is one of three teams that have announced full-season campaigns with the new Huracán GT3, joining Paul Miller Racing and Change Racing. Additionally, Konrad Motorsport has plans to enter a car for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds.
“Our rookie season as a team in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series has been a great success and now we want to take the next step by building on that achievement and expanding our relationship with Lamborghini to include their new GT3 car,” Tom O’Gara said.
“I think Townsend and Bill are both extremely talented drivers with the knowledge and experience we need to make our first season in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship a success.
“I’m extremely proud to have them on my team for this next challenge and look forward to another successful year of racing.”
Scuderia Corsa has yet to announce Sweedler and Bell’s replacements for 2016, but it’s believed ex-TRG-AMR driver Christina Nielsen is among the candidates.
The Giacomo Mattioli-led squad is also understood to be preparing a step up to the GTLM ranks with a brand-new Ferrari 488 GTE car for a limited-season campaign.