Coming off a strong 2013 season, and a 2012 Championship winning campaign in the F2000 Championship Series, HP-Tech Motorsport is hoping to expand operations to the F1600 Formula F Championship Series for 2014.
“We will be testing a few drivers shortly for our F2000 team and at the same time are going to be building a F1600 car over the winter,” said Jorge Herrera, team manager. “For the Ferrari team we have, there is really no offseason, as we run the world finals in November, as well as Austin with Formula 1, and then start planning for the support race before the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Running two Van Diemens and a RFR F2000 chassis to conclude the 2013 season, where team drivers Santino Ferrucci and Roberto Lorena landed on the podium at Summit Point, Herrera hinted there may be chassis developments for his F2000 program.
A F1600 team was a natural step for the 2012 F2000 title winners.
“We are very excited about the F1600 Series,” Herrera added. “I think it’s an important platform and it helps that we as a team develop a ladder for upcoming drivers.”
If things go according to plan, he will have two cars in F2000 and two in F1600, and an additional three in the Ferrari Challenge.
“The goal for 2014 is the same as it always is,” said Herrera. “ To build the fastest race cars that we can. Our aim, every weekend, is to give our drivers cars that can win the race. The F2000 Series remains a great way to develop new drivers. We go to the best tracks in the country, there is lots of track time, it’s affordable, and there is a high level of competition.”
It’s a family business for Jorge and his father Juan, who raced Formula F cars in Venezuela for more than a decade.
“I used to go to all his races; I can say I was his lead mechanic when I was 12,” Herrera said.
What most in the paddock may not know about Herrera is that his “hobby” is competing in triathlons.
“It’s a funny story,” he said. “It all started in 2006 at Mosport. I took my wife to a Star Mazda race and promised her I was going to lose some weight.”
Herrera claimed he was over 200lbs at the time, a far cry from his current build.
“We got home and I started running, and after a while did some 5k races. Then I got injured, and started swimming and biking instead.
“When I was feeling better, I started to think a triathlon might be fun. I trained for seven months, signed up for a local event, and won my age group. I was hooked.”
Herrera described the races as extremely challenging, and more about competing against himself than others.
“The main challenge is to get faster and stronger with each event,” he continued. “I love the fact that you push yourself to the limit on race day, and it results in a healthy life style.”
Running pro teams in F2000 and the Ferrari Challenge doesn’t leave him with much free time, and those heading to F2000 events early in the morning may pass Herrera biking to the track.
“But the most complicated thing is eating healthy on the event weekends. Normally the tracks only have junk food and nutrition is key for an endurance sport. Every time I have a chance to run in the evenings or at night, after we are done with the cars, I take it. I know what tracks I can bike to from our hotels too.”
Herrera is part of a local team in Florida sponsored by a bicycle distributor, but has competed as far away as Central America, in the Ironman Panama, finishing 40th out of 800.
Having won the Triathlon All American designation for two years running, Herrera is currently training for the Ironman Miami, which takes place at the end of October.