Moorespeed Expands to Two-Car Effort for IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Home Race at Circuit of The Americas

Friday, September 2, 2016

Lloyd Read Set For Debut In Gold Cup No. 41 Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup Alongside Platinum Cup Regular Will Hardeman and the No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup 

AUSTIN, Texas (September 2, 2016) – Moorespeed and its driver development program will expand to a two-car IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama effort for the team’s home-race weekend at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), September 14 – 16, where full-season Platinum Cup competitor Will Hardeman will be joined by debuting Gold Cup driver Lloyd Read.

Austin-resident Hardeman races his No. 19 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup in the top-tier Platinum class while Read runs his first race in IMSA in the No. 41 Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup in the Gold division.

A native of Wales, Read has lived in California for most of his 24 years, first moving to the United States in 1999. With roots in both the United Kingdom and the car-crazed Golden State, Read naturally gravitated to motorsports. While living in London for a time in 2005, Read discovered Formula 1 and, at 15, stepped into competition with his first go-kart.

Two years later, Read moved back to California and brought his go-karts. After competing at Sonoma Raceway at local karting events, Read took a Jim Russell driving school and gained his first experience in race cars in SCCA Formula Enterprise and Formula Car Challenge. He later raced in Pro Formula Mazda and Indy Lights, driving for Indianapolis 500-winning team Bryan Herta Autosport.

More recently, Read has focused on production-based GT categories, competing in and coaching other drivers in primarily Porsche-based racing series.

“This season I was very fortunate to hook up with a Southern California-based team which campaigns a handful of GT4 and GT3 cars in the Pirelli Trophy Cup,” Read said. “It has given me a huge opportunity to keep my face around the paddock and work with the Stuttgart brand.” 

The COTA race with Moorespeed is a step toward making his mark in IMSA GT3 Cup as soon as next season.

“I have always had my eyes on IMSA GT3 Cup as many of the Porsche factory drivers once competed in a Carrera Cup Series somewhere around the world,” Read said. “The great thing about the GT3 Cup is Porsche has not only figured out how to make a customer based car fast but also reliable. A full season of IMSA Cup would be the best case scenario for myself in 2017."

Specializing in developing drivers in single-make Porsche series, Moorespeed President David Moore looks forward to adding a second entry at COTA out of the same race shop that has campaigned Hardeman the last two seasons. 

“It’s very cool,” Moore said. “We are always looking to help talented drivers move up the ladder and Lloyd certainly fits that criterion. I have yet to have the pleasure of working with Lloyd; however friends in the business have given him high praise. I have a really good feeling about Lloyd, have a sense he is very hungry to jumpstart his career, and this is a significant step in that journey.”

Hardeman will have a Moorespeed teammate in a major race for the first time since he began competing professionally just two years ago. The fact that the sister entry comes at Hardeman’s home track makes the addition all the more mutually beneficial for all on the Moorespeed team.

“Will can certainly help Lloyd with the fine points of COTA in a Porsche,” Moore said. “Lloyd in turn has some great experience, we will definitely try to exploit his open-wheel talents as much as possible, and maybe he can help Will on his focus. If he can improve his mental focus, it will all come together and the flood gates will open up to success. If nothing else, Lloyd may simply be able to help take some pressure off of Will here at COTA being the hometown team driver.” 

Lloyd benefits from Moorespeed General Manager Price Cobb being assigned to the No. 41 team. Cobb was a winning driver in Formula Atlantic competition before reaching the top levels of prototype sports car racing, where he won the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Who better to help Lloyd than our own Price Cobb, who has a ton of open-wheel experience,” Moore said. “It should be a great fit and we have high hopes for both Will and Lloyd to see their full potential for both races, which includes the 7 p.m. night race on Friday.”

Although the 991-based Platinum Cup and 997-derived Gold Cup class race cars have distinct differences, both are Porsche 911-based race cars sharing the same basic DNA. Moorespeed and its drivers will be able to take advantage of double the data and information from each Porsche to benefit both teams at COTA.

“The cars are different but still brothers so to speak,” Moore said. “The 991 is just an evolution of the 997. The 991 has larger tires and a wider body and track, which offer more grip in the corners as well as braking and acceleration. But the 997 is pretty sleek and, since they have the same engine, can actually be faster on some tracks that are more point and shoot. We have some great experience in both cars and the data and video between the two is definitely useful for both drivers to share.”

As a premier hometown Austin team, Moorespeed has plenty of off-track activities planned as well. The annual Moorespeed Welcome Party takes place at the team race shop and street-car division headquarters on Wednesday, September 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. 

“I want Will and Lloyd to have some fun too off the track and relax, especially at our annual Welcome Party at the shop Wednesday night. We have lots of top pros and teams attending and, at the request of many, have made sure it’s all about Texas, including a real live ‘Boot Scootin' Boogie’ band on hand for the ladies to show them how to do a true Texas Two Step, definitely good times ahead!”

The upcoming COTA IMSA race weekend includes 45-minute IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA Races on Thursday, September 15, and Friday, September 16. A pair of practice sessions starts things off on Wednesday, September 14.

Noteworthy

- Read will be racing at COTA for the first time in three years. "The last time I competed at COTA was in 2013,” Read said. “It was the season opener for the Pro Mazda Championship. I was blown away at the level of standards to which the FIA holds its track builders. We have great circuits in the USA but COTA has that ‘Wow’ factor that is pretty special. I really enjoyed myself back then, and every time my racing schedule comes out for the upcoming season I have been hoping that we go back to COTA. The track has everything, from slow speed corners, high speed corners and multiple heavy-braking zones. It really promotes racing, not just driving for a fast lap, and that's why I want to make my GT3 Cup debut there. The drivers in the GT3 Cup series are all fast and competitive, so I believe that this race will be a great opportunity to show what I can do in a race car."

- Supporters of both Moorespeed’s Wednesday night Welcome Party at the race shop and the team’s special at-track hospitality program, both Moorespeed Porsches will display Z Tequila and Uncle Billy’s Brewery decals throughout the COTA race weekend.

- In addition to Cobb as his dedicated driving coach and Moorespeed’s Jason Pettice serving as lead mechanic, Read’s No. 41 effort will be run by Car Chief Gareth Rees, Moorespeed’s race shop foreman. Rees was formerly a member of the Red Bull Formula 1 team. Rees, a British native, was Red Bull’s lead electronics engineer and in charge of the Red Bull Customer KERS system. He was also a right-front tire changer on the race cars campaigned by both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Weber.

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