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DragonSpeed Racing is an American racing team, currently competing in the European Le Mans Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2019, the team entered the NTT IndyCar Series with a five race schedule, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500, with car #81 driven by Ben Hanley.

United States DragonSpeed Racing
Founded2007
Founder(s)Elton Julian
BaseJupiter, Florida, United States
Team principal(s)Elton Julian
Current seriesFIA World Endurance Championship
European Le Mans Series
IndyCar Series
Former seriesAmerican Le Mans Series
Pirelli World Challenge
Blancpain Endurance Series
Teams'
Championships
European Le Mans Series:
LMP2 2017
Drivers'
Championships
Pirelli World Challenge:
GTA 2015:
Frank Montecalvo
European Le Mans Series:
LMP2 2017:
Memo Rojas, Léo Roussel

HistoryEdit

First stepsEdit

In 2007, DragonSpeed, was founded by racing driver Elton Julian. Four years later the team made their race debut on Ferrari F430 Challenge in the GT category of the 2011 24 Hours of Daytona.[1] They have finished 15th in the category and 29th overall.[2] They missed 2012 racing season, and joined the Prototype Challenge class of the 2013 American Le Mans Series with Oreca FLM09-Chevrolet car. They finished sixth in the season standings, being the only team in the category to participate on the part-time schedule.[3]

Pirelli World ChallengeEdit

DragonSpeed switched to the Pirelli World Challenge in 2014 with Henrik Hedman and Mike Hedlund behind the wheel of the Ferrari 458 GT3. Hedman finished ninth in the standings.[4] Hedlund had only three rounds, ending 22nd. For the next year, the team switched to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Hedlund was replaced by Frank Montecalvo and Eric Lux. Montecalvo won the GTA category title.[5]

Blancpain Endurance SeriesEdit

The team moved to Europe to compete in the Pro-Am Cup of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series. They used Ferrari 458 GT3 and fielded Hedman, Julian and Thomas Kemenater.[6]

European Le Mans SeriesEdit

In 2016, the team purchased an Oreca 05-Nissan car to compete in the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series with Hedman, Ben Hanley and Nicolas Lapierre.[7] They had four podiums in six races, including a win at Spa.[8] This was enough for fourth place in the LMP2 standings.

For 2017 the team bought two Oreca 07-Gibson cars.[9] The car #21 retained the same Hedman-Hanley-Lapierre line-up, while car #22 was branded as G-Drive Racing with Memo Rojas, Léo Roussel as their full-time drivers. Ryō Hirakawa due to his Toyota commitments was forced to miss Red Bull Ring and Circuit Paul Ricard rounds. He was sustained by Nicolas Minassian.[10] The team had their first double, winning Monza round.[11] G-Drive branded car won the series after their five podiums in six races.[12]

The team will continue to stand out car #21 in the LMP2 category of the 2018 European Le Mans Series with the same line-up of drivers (Hedman-Hanley-Lapierre).[13]

FIA World Endurance ChampionshipEdit

 
A DragonSpeed liveried BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 car, competing at Silverstone in 2018
 
A DragonSpeed 'RGR Sport' liveried Oreca 07 LMP2 car, competing at Silverstone in 2018

DragonSpeed purchased BR Engineering BR1-Gibson car and made their debut in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.[14] Their LMP1 squad featured Hendrik Hedman and Ben Hanley, while Pietro Fittipaldi and Renger van der Zande shared third-driver duties.[15] In addition, the team were represented in LMP2 class by Roberto González, Pastor Maldonado, Nathanaël Berthon and Anthony Davidson, who replaced Berthon after the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans race.[16]

IndyCarEdit

On December 17, 2018, DragonSpeed announced they would join the IndyCar Series in 2019 on a 5-race schedule, including the 103rd Indianapolis 500. The team's No. 81 entry was powered by Chevrolet and driven by Ben Hanley. In their first race, the 2019 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Hanley advanced to the second round of qualifying and qualified 12th, and then finished 18th, 2 laps down, in his IndyCar race debut. The team finished 21st at the 2019 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. In qualifying for their third IndyCar race at the 103rd Indianapolis 500, the No. 81 struggled for speed early on in the day but finished 27th fastest, confirming DragonSpeed's spot in the field. Hanley would proceed to finish 32nd in the race after a mechanical issue took the team out early. The team was scheduled to participate in 2 further races at Road America and Mid-Ohio, but visa issues prevented the team from getting on track and their inaugural campaign was reduced to 3 races.

In August of 2019 team owner Elton Julian stated the team planned on entering ten races in 2020 with Hanley as the driver, with the possibility of additional races. Julian said different drivers could be used if the team were to go beyond the planned ten races, if the right combination of sponsorship and driver talent could be found.[17]

Racing resultsEdit

IndyCar SeriesEdit

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Pos. Pts.
2019 STP COTA ALA LBH IMS INDY DET TEX ROA TOR IOW MDO POC GAT POR LAG
Dallara DW12 Chevrolet IndyCar V6t   Ben Hanley (R) 81 18 21 32 30th 31

* Season still in progress

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Rolex 24 At Daytona Entry List". Grand-Am Road Racing. January 30, 2011. Archived from the original on December 29, 2010. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Daytona 24 Hours". racingsportscars.com. Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Official 2013 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES PRESENTED BY TEQUILA PATRÓN CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "Pirelli World Challenge — GT 2014 standings". driverdb.com. Driver Database. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Pirelli World Challenge — GTA 2015 standings". driverdb.com. Driver Database. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Dragon Speed enters the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series". Blancpain GT Series. Stéphane Ratel Organisation. September 11, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "4 Hours of Silverstone Free Practice 1 Classification by Class" (PDF). European Le Mans Series. April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  8. ^ Fernandez, Mat; Errity, Stephen (September 25, 2016). "Spa, Race, DragonSpeed Sees Off WRT Challenge". dailysportscar.com. Dailysportscar. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Léo Roussel Completes G-Drive by DragonSpeed ELMS LMP2 Entry". europeanlemansseries.com. Automobile Club de l'Ouest. March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "2017 EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES - 4 HOURS OF RED BULL RING — PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST" (PDF). European Le Mans Series. July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Goodwin, Graham; Kilbey, Stephen (May 14, 2017). "G-Drive Wins, Headlining 1-2 For DragonSpeed In 4H Monza". dailysportscar.com. Dailysportscar. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Dagys, John (October 22, 2017). "Graff Wins 4H Portimao; G-Drive Claims ELMS Title". sportscar365.com. John Dagys Media. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Kilshaw, Jake (February 6, 2018). "DragonSpeed Confirms Unchanged LMP2 Lineup". sportscar365. John Dagys Media. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Smith, Luke (November 17, 2017). "DragonSpeed Confirms BR1 Gibson for WEC". Sportscar365. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Kilbey, Stephen (March 5, 2018). "Fittipaldi To Sub For Van Der Zande At DragonSpeed". DailySportscar. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Goodwin, Graham (April 8, 2018). "Anthony Davidson To Join DragonSpeed LMP2 Effort Post-Le Mans". dailysportscar.com. Dailysportscar. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  17. ^ Pruett, Marshall (August 30, 2019) DragonSpeed targeting 10 IndyCar races in 2020. Racer.com. Retrieved November 14, 2019.

External linksEdit