Moorespeed and Team Drivers Hardeman and Fergus Bound for Barber Motorsports Park for IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moorespeed and team drivers Will Hardeman and Corey Fergus will be part of the series’ debut of the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, April 21 – 23, in support of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Competing in the top-tier Platinum Cup class, third-year Moorespeed driver Hardeman races the No. 19 CAG/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup while his first-year teammate Fergus competes in the No. 00 US LED/Byers/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup.

A doubleheader weekend following last month’s pair of season-opening races at Sebring International Raceway, the Barber Motorsports Park schedule features two 45-minute races that will be the third and fourth rounds, respectively, on the 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama schedule.

Race one is scheduled to go green at 1 p.m. CDT this Saturday, April 22, with Round 2 starting at 8:45 a.m. CDT this Sunday, April 23.

Sunday's IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA race will stream live on IMSA.tv beginning at 8:35 a.m. CDT, and both weekend races broadcast live online on IMSA Radio. Links to both IMSA.tv and IMSA Radio, plus additional information and live timing and scoring, are available at IMSA.com.

Moorespeed, Hardeman and Fergus return to Barber after a productive test on the Birmingham-area track in February. The team is also carrying a bit of momentum from another beneficial test last week on its home track of Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, that followed encouraging performances by both drivers and the Moorespeed team in the Sebring openers.

“Our test at COTA went really well and we continued to make progress on the performance of both drivers as well as our setup of the new Generation 2 Porsche GT3 Cup car,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “We ran over 160 laps in each car with very detailed and specific programs. Both drivers and the entire team did a really good job executing the agenda.”

All competitors in the Platinum Cup class race the latest 2017 Generation 2 version of Porsche’s signature GT3 Cup race car.

“I feel great going into Barber,” Hardeman said. “Our COTA test allowed us to work out idiosyncrasies of the new Generation 2 Porsche GT3 Cup car for optimal qualifying and race balance. I am finding that the increase in horsepower and torque is much harder on the rear tires than the previous chassis. I have to shift my driving style a bit in order to lean on the front tires more through the corners, especially the long, fast turns.”

After a challenging opening round, Hardeman and Fergus both ran competitively in the second race at Sebring, where both raced in the lead group throughout the 45-minute sprint. Wing damage from a pair of off-track incidents ultimately dropped Hardeman from contention just minutes from the end, but Fergus never put a wheel wrong and finished a strong third in just his second race with Moorespeed and in IMSA GT3 Cup competition.

“We've tested a good bit this year to really try and figure out what makes this new car tick,” Fergus said. “I think we have figured it out. We ran several different simulations at Barber and worked on many things to try and put the car into different scenarios. We learned a lot about the car and gained valuable seat time as well. I'm sure I speak for the whole team in saying that we're ready for Barber and to show what we've learned. We're hoping for a better weekend than Sebring and to get back in the championship hunt.”

Moore runs the Moorespeed racing team with Moorespeed General Manager Price Cobb, a top sports car driver from the 1980s and ‘90s who was one of the overall winning co-drivers in the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

“Price and I were really pleased with the performance and focus from Will and Corey at the COTA test,” Moore said. “We have learned a lot since Sebring, but not just at COTA. The guys have been preparing since they began traveling home from Sebring as both felt they could perform better than they showed. The main thing we carried over from earlier pre-season testing and the race week at Sebring is that our two guys really complement each other and work together tirelessly when off the track. We continue to see them pushing each other hard the entire time, which is really a bonus.”

A three-day event, the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup schedule at Barber Motorsports Park gets underway this Friday with practice sessions from 9:55 - 10:25 a.m. CDT and 4:45 - 5:25 p.m. CDT.

Saturday’s schedule begins with a 20-minute qualifying session at 8:05 a.m. CDT before the first race that afternoon at 1 p.m. CDT. Sunday’s final 45-minute race of the weekend starts at 8:45 a.m. CDT.

Noteworthy

- Moorespeed’s February test at Barber was held in part in wet-weather conditions. "It could be wet at Barber so, fortunately, our February test had some moisture on the track,” Hardeman said. “We know what the car will do going into this weekend if it does rain.”

- In addition to the February test, Fergus raced a Porsche GT3 Cup car last year at Barber Motorsports Park in Pirelli World Challenge competition. “Barber is an extremely difficult track to pass on, so qualifying up front is more key than ever,” Fergus said. “It's a tight, small and technical race track that is demanding on the driver with 17 turns packed into 2.3 miles. It's a lot of fun and has a little bit of everything. Unlike a track like COTA with runoff, there's little room for error with grass and walls surrounding the track. So, a great lap takes extreme precision and accuracy, while still living on the edge.”

- Hardeman and Fergus live over 1,200 miles away from each other but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming closely-connected teammates. “Even though Corey is in Columbus, Ohio, and Will is in Austin, Texas, the pushing continues from afar as both have been on some pretty serious race simulator training for Barber,” Moore said. “They have been comparing their laps and times along the way to do better and better.”

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