Rick Ware entering IMSA team with Ryan Eversley and NASCAR engineer Aidan Read

Rick Ware Ryan Eversley
Rick Ware Racing
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Rick Ware Racing is venturing into another racing series this season, fielding an Acura NSX GT3 for Ryan Eversley and Aidan Read in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup, the eight non-endurance races on the SportsCar Championship schedule.

RWR, which fields teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and has partnered with Dale Coyne Racing on an NTT IndyCar Series entry, will make its GTD debut with the Sprint Cup opener April 9 in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, California.

RWR has dabbled in sports car racing, partnering with other teams and running a team with Cody Ware in the Asian Le Mans Series a few years ago.

It also has a working relationship with Eversley, who made his NASCAR Cup debut with RWR last year at Road America (finishing 39th after a mechanical failure).

“Last year we competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the LMP2 class, and had a great run, finishing fourth,” team owner Rick Ware said in a release. “Later in the year, an opportunity arose for Ryan Eversley to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut with RWR at Road America. After that weekend, Ryan and I continued to have conversations about running full-time in IMSA for 2022. It’s been a long journey, but I can’t think of a better driver to jumpstart our IMSA program.”

Eversley, 37, is an accomplished sports car veteran and podcast host who has been a factory driver for Honda Performance Development the past eight years and helped with the development of the NSX GT3. Read is a GTD winner (at Watkins Glen International with Turner Motorsport) who also works as an engineer on Ware’s No. 53 Cup team — where the Australian worked with Eversley last year at Road America.

“I’m very happy to be racing in the WeatherTech Series for Rick Ware Racing and Acura,” Eversley said in a release. “Rick, HPD and I have been working on putting something together for a while, so it’s great to show the fans what we’ve built. I’m very excited to represent Acura at their home race coming up in Long Beach, as well as the rest of the Sprint Cup schedule in our Acura NSX.

“Aidan and I got to work together in the NASCAR Cup Series last year, as he was my engineer and I think that gives us a unique place to build from as co-drivers. We’re both very eager to get to the race track and I know the fans are going to love this NSX program.”

Said Read: “It’s going to be an exciting year for me working with RWR; as both an engineer in NASCAR and driver in IMSA. On the sports car side, I am confident that Ryan Eversley and I will be strong competition in the GTD Sprint Championship with the Acura NSX. Rick and the entire RWR team have always been very supportive, and I am thrilled to be part of this new program.”

After Long Beach, the IMSA Sprint Cup schedule will continue at Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Detroit, Motorsport Park, Lime Rock, Road America and VIR.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III