Ashton Harrison announces full-time program in IMSA Endurance Cup
Looking to carry momentum from a Pro-Am GT World Challenge America title, Ashton Harrison announced a move to the full IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, in a star-studded WTR-Racers Edge Motorsports entry.
At her full-time debut in GT3 machinery in 2022, Ashton Harrison made headlines in the SRO GT World Challenge America championship, taking four Pro-Am wins and 8 class podiums to claim the ProAm title together with teammate Mario Farnbacher.
In her fourth year of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, Harrison also combined a program in the one-make series and fought for the ProAm title until the final race in Portimao, eventually finishing third in the standings.
Looking to carry momentum, Ashton Harrison will continue her journey with Racers Edge Motorsports - this time switching to the GTD platform in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup.
The four-event program includes some of the most prestigious endurance North American races: the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen's 6 Hours of the Glen and the Motul Petit Le Mans.
Run in partnership with Wayne Taylor Racing, the Racers Edge Motorsports Harrison Contracting Company's Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 will be shared by Harrison, Kyle Marcelli and Daniel Formal - with highly successful sports car racer and IndyCar race-winner Ryan Briscoe joining the trio at Daytona.
“I’m thrilled to be back in the IMSA paddock with the full Endurance Cup schedule alongside Harrison Contracting and Wayne Taylor Racing,” said Harrison, who had already contested a one-off round in IMSA at this year's Sebring 12 Hours, finishing eighth in a GTD-Pro entry.
“It’s also very exciting to have Racers Edge back with us to tackle the season", she continued. "Getting the opportunity to share our red Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 with my WTR teammates Kyle and Danny for a full season is going to be a hoot and having Ryan Briscoe join us as our fourth driver for the Rolex is very exciting."
All three drivers bring significant experience: Marcelli and Formal shared the wheel in this year's Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and went on to win the Pro class for Wayne Taylor Racing. Furthermore, they have been competing in both WeatherTech IMSA and Michelin Pilot Challenge competitions; combined with Harrison's experience of the Acura platform, the Racers Edge Motorsports' line up is expected to be a front-runner in the 2023 IMSA Endurance Cup.
Having become the first woman to ever claim a class title in GT World Challenge America, Ashton Harrison has come a long way in her four years of professional racing.
“This is a big deal for Ashton, who we have been nurturing to bring to this level,” commented Wayne Taylor, owner of WTR. “So far, she’s done a great job with Harrison Contracting Company who have put this program together by which we can run the endurance races."
"There will be a team of highly successful teammates with her, underlined by Ryan Briscoe, who I managed early in his career", Taylor added. "Having him back in the stable is wonderful. Obviously, Danny and Kyle have done a great job for us this year in Super Trofeo and I truly think this is going to be the real deal for Ashton to show what she has against top-flight pro drivers, coming from two different Pro-Am entries last year."
"I believe that she’s ready for this and I’m happy that we’ve managed, collectively, with WTR, Racers Edge, HPD and Harrison, to put this program together for these long-distance races.”
The deal is a further advancement for the Harrison Contracting Company's at the top of sportscar racing.
“Much like Harrison Contracting, Ashton and her teammates have proven that the keys to success are being (R)eliable, continuously building their (E)xperience and being (D)iligent when times are challenging,” said Calvin Pate, CEO of HCC. The acronym RED is in fact a distinctive feature of the red-coloured car liveries sponsored by the commercial/industrial painting company based in Georgia.
“To have the support of Harrison Contracting again for 2023 will allow for us to continue to build on our championship success from 2022" - echoed John Mirachi, CEO of Racers Edge Motorsports, who feels very confident of his team's line-up. "I couldn’t be more pleased to continue to work with Ashton Harrison, such a bright young talent and Kyle Marcelli, an experienced veteran, both of whom are past Racers Edge championship-winning drivers."
"Adding in Danny Formal, a rookie who’s coming off a championship season in an IMSA support series, then topping it off with an accomplished veteran like Ryan Briscoe for Daytona gives us a really strong lineup to take on the challenge of the full IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Championship!"
The first event scheduled for the #93 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 will be the Roar Before the Rolex 24, on 20th-24th January.