HVM Racing and Status Grand Prix are teaming up to field a joint entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship sports car series in 2013. Veteran IndyCar squad HVM and Status – which has fielded European Le Mans Series teams as well as GP3 open-wheel cars – will combine their technical and commercial resources a to run a Lola coupe in the LMP2 class of the eight-round WEC, which comprises the Le Mans 24 Hours and six-hour races in Europe, Asia, North and South America and the Middle East.
The team will operate from both HVM's base in Indianapolis and Status GP's headquarters near the Silverstone circuit in England, continuing to develop the Lola LMP2 design that earned a pole in the final WEC race of 2012, at Shanghai.
The new partnership also is an extension of the long friendship between Wiggins and Status GP co-founder Mark Gallagher. They have collaborated on projects for 25 years, including the launch of Wiggins' Pacific Grand Prix team in F1 in 1994.
“We made a decision to expand our interests into sports cars 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,” said Wiggins, who acknowledged to RACER last month that he was leaning toward a sports car programs, although he is still discussing an IndyCar deal. “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 hit the ground running, able to compete in both the U.S. and Europe, so it makes perfect business sense. Also, both groups have a strong history and relationship with the Lola marque and its future plans.”
Wiggins didn't rule out HVM continuing in the IndyCar Series in 2013 should the necessary finance be found. The team ran Simone de Silvestro in a Lotus-engined Dallara DW12 this year, but the Swiss has since signed with KV Racing.
HVM and Status GP started their partnership with a two-day test of their new Lola last week in Spain. Final details of the combined effort, including technical partners, sponsors and drivers, will be made early in the new year.
The 2013 WEC season is scheduled to start April 14 at Silverstone.