Starworks Clinches FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Title
Following an incredible season that has included victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com, Starworks Motorsport has etched itself into the history books yet again, becoming the first-ever LMP2 Champions in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The team clinched the coveted FIA Endurance Trophy in last weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji following a second-place finish for the No. 44 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b driven by Enzo Potolicchio, Ryan Dalziel and Stephane Sarrazin. The impressive accomplishment came with one race still remaining in the season (China).
Starworks’ title marked the first FIA World Championship for an American entry in nearly half a century, dating back to Ford’s Manufacturers’ Championship in the 1966 World Sportscar Championship.
Peter Baron (Starworks Motorsport Team Owner): “This is an incredible achievement for Starworks Motorsport. It all began when Enzo came to the shop last October. We were bored and came up with this crazy idea to go win a World Championship, and that dream is now realized. There has to be so much thanks along the way to Enzo for having the trust and faith in us to put this entire program together. It hasn’t been easy but all of the hard work from the whole crew has paid off. We’re really happy to bring home a championship for Honda Performance Development, Venezuela and Starworks.”
Enzo Potolicchio (Driver, No. 44 Starworks Motorsport HPD ARX-03b): “It’s been an unbelievable year. We’ve always had high hopes because we’re competitors but nothing like this. This is over the top. All of the teams here are very competitive. For Ryan and I, it was our first time at most of the tracks. It was a big step for me going into that but we knew we could do it. I’m just so proud of the guys. We’re a small team but we have very, very good people. They’ve worked an unbelievable amount of hours to do this. I have to thank everyone, including my sponsors in Venezuela, for making this dream happen.”
Ryan Dalziel (Driver, No. 44 Starworks Motorsport HPD ARX-03b): “It will probably take a little while to sink in. We have been so strong. It was a program that I felt kept getting stronger and stronger. When you look at the results we have had, it is incredible that a first-year team with no experience in motorsport outside of North America and with engineers who had never been outside America, could come here and do this. It all comes down to having the right people in place. It is incredible to put your name next to a world championship. I don’t care whether it is a team championship or a driver championship, in racing it is a team and we all deserved to win this.”
Stephane Sarrazin (Driver. No. 44 Starworks Motorsport HPD ARX-03b): “This has been a dream season for Starworks. After having spent five years in a manufacturer’s car with Peugeot, I arrived here in this small team, not knowing much about them. We won Sebring and I realized after this race that it was possible to win all of the races and the championship. I’m very happy to be part of the Starworks team. Thanks to Peter for giving me this opportunity. My teammates Enzo, Ryan and Tom were fast and the team did a great job all year with no problems. It’s been a very good season for everybody.”
Steve Eriksen (Vice President, Honda Performance Development): “For Honda Performance Development, this is our first World Championship. We’ve really been excited about this since the start of the season and it just got better and better as it went on, with wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans and now the World Championship. We’re so very thankful for the hard work of these Starworks Motorsport folks to make that happen. It’s a real testament to their hard work, the hard work of our technical partners at Wirth Research and the hard work of our associates back at HPD in California. It’s an amazing result and one that we’ll always remember.”