11.10.2021: Rob Ferriol and Katherine Legge Co-Drove to Top 10 Finish in IMSA WeatherTech Competition on Saturday
Team Hardpoint scored a win, three additional podium finishes and a hard-fought top 10 during the Michelin GT Challenge weekend at the teams hom
Rob Ferriol and Katherine Legge Co-Drove to Top 10 Finish in IMSA WeatherTech Competition on Saturday
Team Hardpoint scored a win, three additional podium finishes and a hard-fought top 10 during the Michelin GT Challenge weekend at the team’s home track of VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
With the team shop based at the track, Team Hardpoint was rewarded with a Pro-Am class win and a second place from Efrin Castro in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America doubleheader, a runner-up and a third-place finish for Riley Dickinson in the Pro class, and a top-10 for team owner Rob Ferriol and Katherine Legge in the top-level IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Saturday.
Castro drove his No. 65 Fine Fare Supermarkets/GoDominicanRepublic.com Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to a second-place finish during Saturday’s 40-minute race, but upped his pace on Sunday. Starting second, Castro charged to the class lead at the race start and led for the opening 33 minutes before falling to second. Still hanging with the lead pace, Castro moved back to the lead on the final lap around a spinning car and earned his fourth win in 13 races this season.
“This race is probably the most satisfying race that I’ve won, because I won it by strictly giving it all I had,” Castro said. “I fought from the beginning to the end. I was actually fighting other guys who were not in my class, but we’re here to race and I just kept pushing and gave it my all. I want to give a big shout out to Team Hardpoint and the guys on the team, I’m surrounded by great guys that are pushing me and giving me the positive energy that I needed to fight this war today.”
Dickinson was locked in a battle both days with Pro Class championship leader Seb Priaulx. During Saturday’s race, Dickinson’s No. 53 Porsche Austin/Team Hardpoint Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ran nose-to-tail and side-by-side with the point leader for the race distance after starting fourth in a battle for the final two podium positions.
The scenario repeated itself on Sunday, this time for the race win, with Dickinson ultimately claiming the silver medal. The strong weekend moved Dickinson to fourth in the season long point race with just a tripleheader at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta left on the calendar.
“It’s so close right now between really us four at the front,” Dickinson said. “It’s a matter of who is going to make the first mistake, and it goes all the way back to qualifying. Overall, it was an unbelievable weekend, we got really great results for the team and for me personally as well. It’s another thing that we can build off of. Going into Road Atlanta we’ve really got some confidence, we just need to go in there and put it all together and get a nice qualifying.
We can put ourselves in a position to finish the season off strong. The Porsche Austin 992 was on rails this weekend. There’s not much you can do when everyone is running the exact same lap times. It’s a testament to how competitive the series is right now. The Porsche Carrera Cup North America is by far the most competitive in my opinion. It was a great weekend for us, and a great weekend for Team Hardpoint.”
Ferriol and Legge persevered for a 10th place finish on Saturday afternoon in the No. 88 Richard Mille/GridRival Porsche 911 GT3 R. Ferriol started the two-hour, 40-minute race 11th in the GTD class, fell back early and worked his way back to 10th for the team’s first pit stop at the 50-minute mark.
Legge took the wheel at that stop, running 13th after the first round of stops cycled through and picking up a position at the first full course caution 25 minutes later. The team made a strategy stop under that long yellow with 1:16 to go, adding a fresh set of Michelin tires and filling with fuel. Legge had worked as high as seventh as various strategies played out, and dove to pit lane for a splash of fuel with 46 minutes to go in order to get to the end.
The Team Hardpoint Porsche cycled further down the order as fuel strategies played out, but Legge fought back to 10th place at the checkered flag.
With only Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta remaining, Legge sits ninth in the season-long point championship and Ferriol 10th. Ferriol leads the Bob Akin Award point race, open to FIA Bronze-rated drivers who compete in the GTD class.
Both the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup return to action at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans event, November 11 to 13. Both championships conclude their season at that event, with the Carrera Cup tripleheader and the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race for the WeatherTech Championship.
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