One LMP2 entry for the 2013 FIA WEC has crystalised as Status Grand Prix today announced an alliance with IndyCar Series team HVM Racing to field a joint entry in next year’s Championship.
The announcement followed a successful two-day test of Status GP’s Lola-Judd B12/80 Coupe in Spain last week, HVM and Status GP will combine their technical and commercial resources and “strong road-racing pedigrees” to run an LMP2 Lola Coupe for the full championship.
2012 saw Status GP run the Lola at Le Mans plus the Silverstone round of the FIA WEC and the Paul Ricard and Donington rounds of the truncated European Le Mans Series.
HVM Racing, a six-time race winner in the Champ Car Series from 2001-2007, arrives in sportscar racing after running for five years in the IndyCar Series from its headquarters in Indianapolis, USA.
The team will operate from both HVM’s base in Indianapolis and Status GP’s UK headquarters in Silverstone. The alliance is built on a relationship going back decades, as Status GP co-founder Mark Gallagher and Keith Wiggins first worked on projects together 25 years ago. Together, Status and HVM will continue to develop the Lola LMP2 design, one of which (in the hands of the Kodewa Lotus LMP2 squad) scored pole position at the final FIA WEC race of the year at Shanghai.
Status GP team principal Teddy Yip Jr said: “We are delighted to create this partnership between Status and HVM. For the step up to a full-time FIA WEC programme our combined strengths create a very strong platform for technical personnel, resources and contacts with drivers and sponsors in both Europe and the USA. It’s an exciting development for each company to establish a presence on both sides of the Atlantic, and we look forward a long-term collaboration.”
HVM Racing CEO Keith Wiggins said: “We made a decision to expand our interests into sportscars for next year and once we looked at the WEC program it was obvious we needed a European base, which is familiar ground for me. Then we started a dialogue with my old friends now together at Status and it quickly became a partnership both parties wanted and embraced. We cover two continents with facilities, staff and equipment and we’ll hit the ground running, able to compete in both the US and Europe, so it makes perfect business sense. Also both groups have a strong history and relationship with the Lola marquee and its future plans.”
The final details of the HVM Status GP package are being finalized over the next few weeks, with further announcements to come in the New Year on technical partners, sponsors and drivers. Whether that sees the team move away from the BMW based Judd engine remains to be seen therefore.