Ashton Harrison joins Racers Edge Motorsports for GTWC America season
After turning heads with a victory overall at GT3 debut, Ashton Harrison joins full time the SRO GT World Challenge America championship with Racers Edge Motorsports, becoming the first female Honda Junior Factory Driver.
Ashton Harrison turned heads last year when she won at her GT3 racing debut at the final round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America, becoming the first woman to win overall in GT3 in a SRO-sanctioned series. At the Indianapolis 8 Hour event - also run in conjunction with the Intercontinental GT Championship - the GT World Challenge entries were classified after 3 hours of racing and Harrison, joining Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry in the #77 Compass Racing Acura, took an outstanding overall victory - and went on to claim the win in Silver Cup class also at the chequered flag after 8 hours. Ashton Harrison, though, is no stranger to similar achievements: in 2019, she became the first woman to win the Lamborghini World Finals in LC class, and finished within the top three in the following two seasons in the one-make series by the Italian brand. In 2021, Harrison was particularly impressive, as she claimed two victories and seven podiums. A member of the Honda Performance Development Driver Academy programme, Harrison has therefore been training with factory drivers and prepared for her full time GT3 move: she will now be part of the Racers Edge Motorsports team in a full-time Fanatec GT World Challenge America entry, alongside experienced racer Mario Farnbacher. “I can’t wait until the 2022 season and to get back into the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22" - she commented. "This year will bring a new challenge for me with SRO GT World Challenge America. I’d never really driven in this series before, but I have some experience with IGTC and the Indy 8hr, which has given me some insight into this race format." "I’m more used to the endurance type races, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity." Racers Edge Motorsports is also no stranger to giving opportunities to extremely talented female racers, having brought to GT3 debut Taylor Hagler in 2021. Behind the wheel of the #93 Acura NSX GT3 Evo, Hagler won races and secured class podiums, ultimately finishing second in the standings. Harrison thus lands a competitive seat to start her GT3 career. “I’m thrilled to be back with my Racers Edge family for a full season and alongside my buddy Mario", she continued. "I feel confident going into the season after having such great success with the HPD Driver Academy last year and at the Indy 8-Hour." "None of this would’ve been possible without my sponsor Harrison Contracting Company (HCC) and Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR)’s guidance. I’m so appreciative to have their support going into 2022.” The support of Harrison Contracting Company - a commercial painting and facility maintenance contracting company based in Georgia, USA - will mean that the #93 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 will sport a red livery, in respect of the company's motto: Reliable, Experienced, Diligent. Ashton Harrison becomes the first female Honda Factory Driver, testimony of her progress from the Wayne Taylor Racing's Driver Development Program, as well as HPD, as confirmed WTR's vice president and general manager Travis Houge: “Ashton’s growth over the last year has been exponential. The program we have developed with HCC, Racers Edge and Acura Motorsports will take her to that next level. We are excited to have this partnership with Racers Edge and to continue to build on it in 2022." Farnbacher - a multiple IMSA GTD champion - has been working with Harrison throughout 2021 in a coaching role, and is eager to get to work soon: “It’s pretty cool to work with Ashton, who I coached last year, and now to race with her,” he said. “It’s definitely cool to share the car with one of my students and to see how much she’s developed as a driver. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the HPD Driver Academy and this is definitely one of the things that makes it special. I’m looking forward to working with Racers Edge this season on track and ready to get started.” The season will start at Sonoma Raceway, California, on April 16-17, for the first two rounds of a 7-event calendar. The format is unchanged and will feature two 90-minute races in each meeting. Drivers will alternate behind the wheel in both races and will complete one qualifying session each. The season finale is again scheduled for October at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the GTWC America entries will share the track with the Intercontinental GT Challenge at the 8-hour race.