Starworks Motorsports Closes in on IMSA WeatherTech Championship
The battle for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship PC class title has come down to Petit Le Mans, and Starworks Motorsport enters the final event of the year with a satisfying lead. Renger van der Zande and Alex Popow have showed a commanding performance in 2016, finishing on the podium in eight of the ten races completed up to this point in the season.
With one race remaining, the No. 8 of van der Zande, Popow, and Starworks Motorsport lead the PC Driver and Team Championships by ten points. In order to win the championship, the No. 8 car will have to finish in sixth place or better. While the team has amassed four wins this season, much can happen in the 10 hours of racing at Petit Le Mans. David Heinemeier Hansson will return to the No. 8 to complete the driving trio, having raced previously celebrated a third place finish this year with the team at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Full season entrant Mark Kvamme will again be joined in the No. 88 Popcorn Sutton car by Richard Bradley, a duo with whom the car earned a podium finish earlier this year at the 6 Hours of the Glen. Max Hanratty will round out the trio, coming from a full season in the Mazda Prototype Lites Series.
The No. 7 will host a completely new lineup for the final race as Starworks Motorsport welcome Stefano Coletti, James Dayson, and Quinlan Lall to the roundup. After competing in open wheel racing, including the IndyCar Series, for a decade, Coletti had his first sports car experience in the European Le Mans Series in 2016, earning a second place finish at Silverstone with SMP Racing. Dayson will join the team from Mazda Prototype Lites, where he celebrated a four race streak of top five finishes. Seventeen year old Quinlan Lall will be among one of the youngest drivers in the field, coming from a full season in the British F3 Championship.
The field will take the green flag for the 19th Annual Petit Le Mans Saturday, October 1 at 11:00AM Eastern. For broadcast information, visit imsa.com.
COTA was one of the most stressful races we have had, but that extremely satisfying win put us in good standing for the championship. Renger did an amazing job keeping the 52 car, which is our championship competition, behind us for 100 minutes. That win extended our lead, but didn’t come easy. We lost our computers from overheating, and with network issues, we lost all telemetry and timing and scoring. The whole team was flawless and we took that fifth win. We need just one more solid run, and we’ll be celebrating the championship. Our whole crew have done an excellent job all season long. We’re ready for the final fight of the year.
Renger van der Zande
I can’t wait for the final round. We were second last year, and won the year before that. It’s a great race, and it was always been good to us. It’s an exciting event and a lot can happen. This year, it should be dry, which makes it a special race in the dark. It’s always a long race, because the track is so physical. It’s fast and dangerous, and altogether a good track for us to look forward to. We still need to figure out the set up a little bit, but all year long we’ve been able to get it together in the first couple practices. It’s sad that this is the final race of the season, but we should be able to win the championship. I’ve enjoyed this season a lot, especially with Peter and Alex. It’s great to have David return as well. We’re focused on winning this race and the championship.
Not available for comment
David Heinemeier Hansson
Alex and Renger have done such a smashing job this season that the pressure at Petit is reduced to finishing 6th or better. That’s a pretty manageable target, as long as we can keep the car in one piece. So we’re going to get the minimum times taken care of and then go for that win!
It’s hard to believe the final race of the year is upon us already, but the team is ready to give it all we’ve got. After finishing on the podium at the last endurance race, we have every confidence that we can do it again. Richard is back in the car, and we’re looking forward to welcoming Max to the No. 88. We’re looking forward to ending the race on a high note
I’m very excited to be racing in my first Petit Le Mans. It’s a race I have heard a lot of good things about and I particularly enjoy racing in the night, so that makes this race extra special for me. I think we can be happy with the progress we have made with the 88 car this season. Whilst there’s been some bad luck, the speed has always been there and I think Mark and myself can be very happy with the job we have done and the progress we have made. We will be doing our best to leave Petit with a good result, which provided we keep our nose clean, I think we can achieve along with Max.
I’m extremely excited to be making my IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut with Starworks Motorsport in the #88 Popcorn Sutton entry for the final Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup race at Petit Le Mans. Although driving the Oreca FLM09 chassis in the PC category will be a new challenge for me, I know my way around Road Atlanta quite well which will help make it a smoother transition to the bigger car. I have two very experienced teammates in Richard Bradley and Mark Kvamme and I look forward to learning all I can from them. The Starworks crew has been great in giving me all the resources I need to prepare for the event. We’re going into Petit without expectations and are going to just drive and see what happens. I want to thank Peter Baron of Starworks and Popcorn Sutton for this opportunity.
I am really excited to race the next Petit Le Mans with Starworks Motorsport.It will be a new experience that will give me the chance to discover the IMSA world and a very nice track like Road Atlanta. I will race against new drivers but I will also meet old good friends like Renger.
I really want to thank Peter Baron and the whole Starworks team for this great opportunity and I wish to thanks also my ELMS team, SMP Racing, for making it possible. I will surely give my best.
I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to run in the WeatherTech Championship series finale with Starworks in the No. 7 PC car. It’s a huge challenge for me and one I can’t wait to take on. All the work I’ve been putting into my career has helped get me ready for this opportunity and I’m going give it my all. Lites has been a great season for me so far, and moving up to this car will be fun, as it’s a much different beast. I can’t wait to team up with Stefano and Quinlan and learn from them and have fun and aim for a class win. It’s a long race, so we need to do our best and run strong. Thanks to Peter and the Starworks team for this opportunity. I’m honored and hope it helps me to continue my goal of running full time in WeatherTech in the next couple of years.
The ability to do Petit Le Mans with Starworks is a real privilege. Coming off the back of a season in BRDC British Formula 3 and stepping into an endurance race will be a very unique experience. Starworks is the best of the best when it comes to endurance racing, and together we can have a great chance of being very competitive. The opportunity to race in Petit Le Mans allows me to exhibit what I’ve learned throughout this racing season and helps our preparation for 2017. Right now my goal is to execute and do the best job I can every time I’m in the car and learn as much as I can. Together, with my teammates, we can make some waves.