Moorespeed’s Will Hardeman Turns Fast But Frustrating IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Race Into a Learning Experience Sunday at VIR

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hardeman Brings No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Home 12th Overall After Persevering Through Incident-Filled Race

DANVILLE, Virginia (August 28, 2016) – Will Hardeman turned a fast but frustrating IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race into a learning experience after a 12th-place overall finish in the  No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Sunday.

Hardeman started sixth on the grid for the late morning race and joined what would be hectic race and pace at the front of the Platinum Cup field. He dropped a few positions in the opening lap skirmishes before enduring what would be the first of several off-course incidents.

“It's a little frustrating because we know what we're capable of out there,” Hardeman said. “We know we have single-lap pace, and I've got all the fundamentals down, but right now, today, it’s boiling down to consistency. At this level, this is a game of perfection. When you're slightly off, especially at a track like VIR, it's very unforgiving. It's been a lesson learned.

Now racing together for just over two years, the next step in Hardeman’s driver development under Moorespeed’s leadership will be to sharpen his mental focus and discipline in races.

“He knows what he has to do,” said Moorespeed President David Moore. “It sucks to be in the school of hard knocks, but I'm a graduate of that University too, and it looks like Will was attending it today because he learned some hard lessons out there. He's just got to keep his focus and hit his marks. When he does that, he sets some of the fastest laps of the race.”

In the late stages of the race, Hardeman proved he and the Moorespeed team had the pace to run with the leaders. He posted a string of four fast race laps in a row in the closing minutes of the race and made a key pass for position on McKay Snow one lap from the end of the race.

“I still had fun out there, I still got to race some guys, but it really wasn't significant in the whole grand scheme of things for my point standings and earning some consistent finishes," Hardeman said. "I've got good technique, but the thing I'm focused on now is needing to develop my mental game a little bit more and really to just be Mr. Consistency. That's what it boils down to. I just had some moments where my driving had some variability in it and you could see the results.”

While they have only been racing together two years, Hardeman and Moore have known each other and been close friends for much longer.

“All in all, there's still a lack of experience, but we've got another weekend with two races under his belt,” Moore said. “Every time Will goes out on track we haven't plateaued, we're getting better. The results might not show it at this race, but if you look at the lap times, he didn't give up. In the past he probably would have gone back into cruise mode, but he decided to go full tilt. That caused a couple of other mistakes because he was pushing it so hard. I'd rather see him push hard and make a few mistakes any day than being in the back just cruising.”

With the next IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA race a “home game” at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Hardeman and Moore are confident they can race on a familiar track and deliver some results with a clear head and front-of-the-pack focus.

This past March, Hardeman earned the first podium finishes of his professional racing career with Moorespeed with a pair of third-place finishes in Pirelli World Challenge Porsche GT3 Cup competition at COTA.

“We're going back home in two weeks to a track we know well, but it's also a track with a lot of distraction because it is our home,” Moore said. “We're going to have a lot of friends and family, and we're going to have to put together a good game plan so that Will can maintain his mental focus. To win at this level in this series, you have to be on your marks every lap, every corner, all race long."

The Lone Star Le Mans weekend at COTA includes 45-minute IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Races on Thursday, September 15, and Friday, September 16.