Team Hardpoint, who two weeks ago competed in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship on the same weekend for the first time, will do the same again this weekend, ,July 31 – August 2, during the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America.
Once again, co-drivers Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly will share the No. 30 Team Hardpoint/GridRival.com Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the GT Daytona (GTD) class of IMSA’s premier series, and the No. 31 Team Hardpoint/GridRival.com Audi R8 GT4 in the Grand Sport (GS) class of Pilot Challenge.
The Pilot Challenge race can be seen live using TrackPass on the NBCSN app at 4:45 p.m. ET on Saturday. The WeatherTech Championship race is live over the air on NBC at Noon ET on Sunday.
Both Ferriol and Pumpelly have seen their share of success at the four-mile Road America circuit. Ferriol’s first career IMSA win came in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA at Road America during the 2019 season, while Pumpelly – a sportscar racing veteran – saw his first podium in what was then the American Le Mans Series at the track back in 2003.
"I love everything about Road America – the scenery, the speed, the fans," Ferriol said. "It’s such a great place to race. I led my first IMSA race there in 2018, then came back and scored my first IMSA win the following year. Road America is all about speed and guts; getting deep on the brakes and stretching out those long straights around the 4-mile course. Both of our Audi R8’s are very well balanced and exceptional on the brakes, so if we’re able to find a little speed, we’ll definitely be in the hunt."
Team Hardpoint exited the Sebring sprint race weekend with an eighth-place finish that was even stronger than the results showed, in just the team’s second race weekend in the GTD class. In addition, the team believes it has solved a mechanical issue in the GT4 Audi that left them down on power in the Pilot Challenge race.
"Building a winning team is all about constant refinement," Ferriol said. "The objective is to leave the next event better than the last, and I think we achieved that at Sebring. Our goal heading into Road America is to continue building on that philosophy of constant refinement, continue learning the cars, and continue maturing as a team. With the help of our partners at Audi Sport Customer Racing USA, we’ve been able to flush out the power issue we were experiencing in the GT4 car, and will be arriving in Wisconsin with a pair of strong Audi R8’s ready to make a run at the podium."
Count Pumpelly and his experience among those who have seen Team Hardpoint’s early progression.
"These first two races back posed challenges for any team, but especially a new team like ours," Pumpelly said. "Even so, the guys did a great job of handing what came at them and learning from it. The GTD car was miles ahead on the second weekend, and we identified a significant issue with the GT4 car that should help us there. I’m really looking forward to this weekend at Road America, and think we can surprise some people if we continue to improve."
The busy weekend for Team Hardpoint begins on Friday, with Michelin Pilot Challenge GS practice at 10:45 a.m. CDT and 2:15 p.m. CDT, with WeatherTech Championship GTD practice at 4:35 p.m. CDT. Qualifying for the Audi R8 GT4 in the GS class begins a long day at 8:20 a.m. CDT, followed immediately by GTD practice at 8:55 a.m. CDT. GTD qualifying is at 1:50 p.m. CDT, and the two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race begins at 3:45 p.m. CDT. The WeatherTech Championship race begins at 11:05 a.m. on Sunday, again live on NBC.