Starworks Motorsport will return to prototype competition in 2020, having committed to a IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup program with Ryan Dalziel, John Farano and Heinemeier Hansson in an Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 car.
The Florida-based team will run under the Tower Motorsport by Starworks banner, thanks to the addition of Canadian racer John Farano, who has brought sponsorship from his grandstand and hospitality structure service.
Dalziel, Farano and Heinemeier Hansson will be joined at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona by Nico Lapierre.
The deal came together after team owner Peter Baron’s initial plan of a Silver-Gold pairing fell through due to a change in the sporting regulations requiring a Bronze-rated driver in the cockpit for all LMP2 races.
“I can’t thank John Farano enough for the call,” Baron said. “His call came the day after IMSA released the 2020 rules requiring a Bronze rated driver as part of a lineup.
“John shared my vision of no excuses and doing whatever it takes to win, and after a few more follow-up calls and emails, we had a program.
“Starting off the project with a new Oreca 07 was an easy decision.
“We’ve put together an amazing group of Starworks alumni who are excited to return back to prototype racing.
“This should be one of our best seasons in motorsport and I believe we are a very strong contender to win the Rolex watches at Daytona in two months.”
Farano, the 2018 European Le Mans Series LMP3 class champion, said he’s excited to be returning to North American competition.
“Ryan [Dalziel] and I have talked about this program for a couple of months now and I am very happy that it has all come together,” he said.
“I know Ryan is excited about returning to prototype class racing and with his talent and experience, will no doubt make me a better driver and immediately allow us to compete for wins.”
Dalziel added: “Without John this might not have happened, so I am incredibly grateful for his faith in Peter and I.”
The team will be taking delivery of a brand-new Oreca chassis on Thursday.
While currently committed to the four endurance races, Baron said they hope to complete the remainder of the LMP2 season, which includes races at Mid-Ohio, Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Dalziel: Prototype Return Brings “Fresh Energy” to Team
Starworks veteran Dalziel believes the team’s return to prototype racing for the first time since 2016 has brought a new spark within the organization, with key personnel being reassembled for the effort.
Veteran engineer David Leach, who currently serves as the technical director for G-Drive Racing, will return to Starworks, having worked with the team through its race-winning Prototype Challenge days.
“The decision to go back to prototype racing has brought a fresh energy to this team,” Dalziel said. “With previous prototype efforts, we’ve won several championships, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“We know we have what it takes to run a championship winning effort.
“I’ve known John for many years when we both raced in the Grand Am days, and DHH and I were teammates together in WEC. Adding Nico, another previous teammate into our Daytona roster is really the icing on the cake.”