DragonSpeed has upped its commitment to Pirelli World Challenge in 2015 with a four-car lineup, after only running one full-season entry this past season.
As Sportscar365 has previously reported, Elton Julian’s squad will add the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 platform to its arsenal. The team will run three Mercedes in GT-A and a single Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the series’ new GT Cup class.
“We found the home we were looking for in PWC this year and, just as we hoped, the series has made it possible for us to expand our program,” Julian said.
Henrik Hedman, who finished second in the GT-A classification as a rookie, will continue for his sophomore season. The Florida-based Swede will switch from his Ferrari to one of the team’s new Mercedes.
“For me, it’s a no-brainer to continue in the Pirelli World Challenge,” Hedman said. “2015 will be more competitive than ever, so it won’t be easy to repeat last year’s results, but we are progressing as well.
“With the switch to the Mercedes for 2015, we believe we have a car better suited to the PWC circuits, especially the street courses.”
New recruit Eric Lux will join up in another Mercedes for his first full season in PWC. American Le Mans Series veteran Lux made selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship starts this past season with 8Star Motorsports in the Prototype Challenge category.
“I’ve enjoyed racing a lot of different cars in endurance competition over the last decade, but never tried sprint racing before, so I’m really looking forward to racing flat out and no fuel strategy,” he said.
“It’s also great to be heading back to GTs full time, and the Mercedes looks like one quick taxi cab!”
Frankie Montecalvo is the third Mercedes driver. Montecalvo will switch into PWC full-time after a full season a year ago with the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports PC team in the TUDOR Championship.
“It’s a bit of a homecoming for me, as Elton and I were teammates at Gunnar Racing back in 2010 and I’ve worked with head engineer Mark Schomann for most of the last five years in the ALMS, ELMS, and WEC,” Montecalvo said.
“Both sprint racing and GT3 will be new challenges for me, but taking them on with DragonSpeed gives me a lot of confidence. Getting the most out of a GT car means driving on the edge, and the sprint format means I’ll be able to stay on there from flag to flag!”
Victor Gomez Jr., an 18-year-old Puerto Rican, joins the team in Porsche Cup after running in Ferrari Challenge last year.
DragonSpeed will also run a full season in the Blancpain Endurance Series this year.
What had been a date clash between the BES and PWC the last weekend in June has now been averted, with the BES round at Paul Ricard moved a week earlier to June 20-21. PWC races at Road America the following weekend, June 27-28.