This weekend sees the return of the NEO Endurance Series for Season 2 and we are delighted to return with not only a new car, but also a new driver.
Last season saw the HPD ARX-01C, Ford GT & RUF RT-12R C-Spec tackle 5 six hour races starting at Sebring International Raceway and finishing at Road Atlanta. For Season 2 the schedule is expanded to 7 rounds and the introduction of 3 eight hour races will bring new challenges and strategies.
The schedule is not the only change. Season 2 sees the RUF RT12R C-Spec dropped in favour of the GT1 class, comprising of the Aston Martin DBR9 and the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R. Last seasons invited C-Spec teams have been given the option of moving to either GT1 or the Ford GT. With the GT1 fitting ahead of the Ford GT in lap time, the HPD has seen the 95kg of ballast from last season removed.
We will once again be fielding two cars this season. Our HPD returns for another attempt after a thrilling final round last season at Road Atlanta and our RUF RT12R C-Spec is replaced with the beautiful Aston Martin DBR9 in the GT1 class.
#24 – P Class – HPD ARX-01C
Our returning car is the #24 HPD which continues with Ben Tusting who is joined by his long term team mate in previous teams, Jack Keithley. The HPD showed great potential last season with an unexpected challenge for victory at Road Atlanta.
Our driver-for-hire returns in the HPD to continue from the high of last seasons final race.
Ben competes in Historic Formula Ford 2000 in a Reynard 79SF and has won several races including last years Oulton Park Gold Cup. In sim-racing, Ben competed in the Masters of Endurance 2014/15 for Team Chimera alongside Simon Trendell where they managed to finish 5th overall, ahead of some well established teams. He has also won both the STC Black & Blue Cups, FSR World Trophy in 2012 and many other races throughout RaceDepartment leagues.
Newcomer Jack joins long time team mate Ben in the HPD for this season. Jack has raced for many years in Nascar 2003, rFactor & Race 07 leagues with huge success. The impressive list of victories includes 2012 FSR World Series champion, GRC Touring Car Champion Season 8, TouringProSeries Tom Onslow-Cole Clio Championship, BeRacing Touring Car Champion Season 11 & V8 Thunder Nascar Trophy Champion.
Jack has already adjusted to iRacing well and has shown solid pace in qualifying. Alongside Ben there is a strong driver pairing that aims to be challenging for the top 3 positions.
#54 – GT1 Class – Aston Martin DBR9
Replacing our C-Spec is the stunning Aston Martin DBR9. Simon Trendell moves with the entry to the DBR9 while Jamie Wilson steps across from the HPD to continue a successful driver pairing that saw Jamie & Simon claim C3 class honours in the Spirit of VLN series in the Kia Optima in the off season.
Simon moves from the slowest class last season up to the middle GT1 class for this season. Adapting to handling slower traffic and reducing mistakes should see solid performances, looking to emulate the success of last season Circuit of The Americas race where Simon with Adam Parle brought the car home 2nd in class.
Simon has extensive experience of endurance racing, winning a Grand-Am iRacing Premier Series race, finishing 5th in last years 3 hour Targa Virginia and two strong seasons in the iRacing World Sportscar Series in the C-Spec.
Jamie moves from the faster HPD down to GT1 for this season. Jamie will need to adapt to handling the faster HPD traffic, having recent experience from the opposite side should help Jamie handle traffic efficiently.
Jamie also has plenty of experience of endurance racing, achieving 16th in the Masters of Endurance 2014/15 season alongside Darren Seal and Adam Parle, with a season best finish of 10th at Bathurst, as well as seasons in the World Sportscar Series and recently a top 25 position in the iRacing GT1 Challenge series.