Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Building on a successful 2013, HP-Tech Motorsport ended the year with three cars at Summit Point and a double podium in the season finale with Santino Ferrucci and Roberto Lorena finishing second and third on Sunday afternoon.
With a double podium effort, and Jose Montiel bouncing back to finish after a rough Saturday, the team closed the 14-race seven-event season with momentum on its side.
The offseason will see the Ft. Lauderdale-based squad test in Florida and also run the Ferrari Challenge Championship, while the team is considering adding a F1600 program for 2014.
The season was perhaps one of building blocks, with the defending Champions starting with a podium at VIR with just one car, expanding to two cars at Watkins Glen, with 15-year-old Ferrucci joining 18-year-old Lorena, and then adding a third car at Mid-Ohio for returning sophomore driver Montiel.
The team featured a United Nations-type paddock atmosphere, with Ferrucci hailing from Connecticut, Motniel from Venezuela, and Lorena from Brazil.
With the Championship tally done, Lorena was fourth in points, and Ferrucci fifth, despite missing six races. The American finished in the top five in every event, driving to a third and second place result at Summit Point this past weekend.
“It was an awesome weekend getting two podiums, with second and third place finishes,” said Ferrucci, who drove the No. 10 Van Diemen for eight races. “Just like the Glen and Mid Ohio it was my first visit to Summit Point. The first time I saw the circuit on dry tires was for qualifying and I qualified fourth for Saturday and third for Sunday. Jorge did one heck of a job getting that car as good as it was, again, with no testing.
Ferrucci continued: “On Sunday I battled with Series Champion Tim Minor. Tim is an awesome guy and competitor who just happen to call Summit Point home. I learned so much the past few months with team HP Tech. I had awesome teammates in Jose and Roberto plus Jorge and Poppy have this team well oiled. My mechanic Mike was always perfect with the car and I had some great driver coaches at each track. I would like to thank them also. Peter Artensinger at Watkins Glen, Todd Snyder at Mid Ohio and Chuck Diesel at Summit Point. I could have never learned so much and had these great results without being surrounded by a tremendous team. Thanks to Simon, J. C. , Hot Wheels, Alpine Stars, Bret King and Arai for making it all possible.”
For Lorena, the Brazilian looked forward to Summit Point, noting his excitement for the high-speed corners on offering at the circuit in the No. 9 Van Diemen.
“Even though they are my favorites, the high speed corners represented our biggest challenge during the days on track. The car's behavior never changed much, always being a little too nervous on the rear, but we had to be careful with the changes in order to not affect the performance on the slower parts of the circuit,” explained Lorena. “Little by little we got to a very good setup that allowed us to fight for the podium on Sunday’s race. We finished Saturday in the sixth position.
“On Sunday, without any mistakes and keeping a good pace throughout the laps, we crossed the finish line on the third position. Besides the podium, we ended up fourth on the championship. I really could not ask for more for this last round. I am very happy for having had the opportunity to work with HP Tech Motorsport, and cannot wait for what 2014 will bring.”
Not to be left out, Jose Montiel drove the team’s No. 8 RFR chassis to 15th in Sunday’s race, after a incident left the crew working well into the evening on Saturday. HP-Tech showed its F2000 skill level putting the RFR chassis back together in time for 7:30 warm-up on Sunday.
HP-Tech continues to plan its off-season with testing and other events. Seats are available