Hardwick slams “flawed” IMSA BoP, announces WEC plans

The latest iterations of the Porsche 911 RSR-19s were left breathless by the fastest GTD Pro/GTD cars in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona this year. Hardwick, who races for Wright Motorsports, saw teammate Jan Heylen – with whom he won last year’s Rolex 24 – qualify as fastest of the Porsche drivers, yet 2.849sec slower than Philip Ellis’ class-leading Winward Racing Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3.

Come the race, the leading Porsche, that of Pfaff Motorsports, was 10th GT3 car home, a lap down on the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage (GTD winner) and WeatherTech Racing Mercedes (GTD Pro winner).

Today, Hardwick announced: “I am excited to join the WEC grid in a Proton Competition Porsche RSR-19. I’ve made this commitment to better prepare for my entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The WEC races will enable me to have more seat time in the RSR, and also more time on track with the other cars and drivers I’ll be competing against at Le Mans. As of now, I am committed to run the first three WEC rounds in Sebring, Portimão and Spa. Those three events, plus the first two ELMS rounds will give me five total races in the Proton RSR prior to Le Mans.

“I am also pulling back what was a full season GTD entry for our Wright Motorsports Porsche. It is now my intent to only run the remaining IMSA Endurance rounds.

“Multiple factors have led to this decision, starting with what recently transpired at the Rolex 24. I am extremely disappointed by what took place in the GTD class at Daytona.

“There has been a lot of finger-pointing as to who was at fault for one brand being at such an extreme performance disadvantage compared to the rest of the GTD class. Personally, I don’t care who is at fault. I do feel strongly that some changes need to be made.

“What took place during the race was a sad display of just how flawed the current IMSA BoP system truly is. The product that we all put forward on track in Daytona was a disgrace to our fans, our manufacturers, our sponsors, our teams and our drivers. The truth is the current BoP process has failed us. All of us.

“This sport is special because it has historically been a competition among people, and it has always rewarded those people who can extract the most performance from their cars. Unfortunately, the current BoP process and the IMSA officials who continue to defend it, are severely damaging the true spirit of competition within our sport.

“What took place in Daytona should never happen again, and it is my hope that the manufacturers and IMSA officials will work together to make some much-needed changes, because our sport deserves it. The people and sponsors who drive this sport forward deserve it. And most importantly, our fans deserve it.

“I hope that IMSA makes these changes soon. Meanwhile I am very much looking forward to competing in the WEC, ELMS and also the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year!”

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