DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Starworks Motorsport will return to prototype racing next year by competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s LMP2 class under the team name of Tower Motorsport by Starworks.
The team will take delivery of a new ORECA-FLM09 chassis on Dec. 12. The team plans to enter at least the four Michelin Endurance Cup races, with hopes to expand to the remaining three sprint races.
John Farano and Ryan Dalziel will race as the full season pilots, joined by David Heinemeier Hansson for all endurance races, and Nico Lapierre as an addition for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“I can’t thank John Farano enough for the call,” said team owner Peter Baron. “His call came the day after IMSA released the 2020 rules requiring a Bronze rated driver as part of a line-up. John shared my vision of no excuses and doing whatever it takes to win, and after a few more follow-up calls and emails, we had a program. Starting off the project with a new Oreca 07 was an easy decision. We’ve put together an amazing group of Starworks alumni who are excited to return back to prototype racing. This should be one of our best seasons in motorsport and I believe we are a very strong contender to win the Rolex watches at Daytona in two months.”
“We are thrilled to welcome back Starworks Motorsport in the ORECA family,” said Anthony Megevand, ORECA Technology Customer Racing Manager. “We know the team as we had some great achievement together with the ORECA-FLM09. Peter Baron and his team also proved in the past how strong they can be in LMP2 and their commitment with the ORECA 07 shows the growing interest for the class in IMSA. We are looking forward to opening this new chapter with a strong lineup. We are also happy to see LMP3 title winner John Farano onboard. It is definitely an exciting program and a true contender in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.”
Dalziel, long time Starworks Motorsport devotee and racer, will be joined by bronze rated racer Farano. Farano’s motorsport career goes back more than a decade, beginning in the Ferrari F430 Challenge Pirelli Trophy USA and winning a Grand-Am GS championship. The Canadian has since acquired worldwide racing experience, competing in the European Le Mans Series winning the 2018 LMP3 Class Championship, and most recently, a class winner in the Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 class.
“Without John this might not have happened, so I am incredibly grateful for his faith in Peter and I,” said Dalziel. “The decision to go back to prototype racing has brought a fresh energy to this team. With previous Prototype efforts, we’ve won several championships, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Twelve Hours of Sebring. We know we have what it takes to run a championship winning effort. I’ve known John for many years when we both raced in the Grand Am days, and DHH and I were teammates together in WEC. Adding Nico, another previous teammate into our Daytona roster is really the icing on the cake.”
Tower Events and Seating Services will join the team with Farano as the team’s primary sponsor. Tower Events and Seating Services is a supplier in the design, engineering and installation of temporary grandstands and hospitality structures.
“I am extremely excited to be returning to IMSA competition and looking forward to once again racing at North America’s premier circuits starting with Daytona in January,” said Farano. “Ryan and I have talked about this program for a couple of months now and I am very happy that it has all come together. I know Ryan is excited about returning to prototype class racing and with his talent and experience, will no doubt make me a better driver and immediately allow us to compete for wins. I have followed Peter’s operation for many years and know that he and Starworks Motorsport will deliver a highly professional and competitive program that all of us will enjoy and have fun with. I can’t wait to get started and I’m looking forward to what I believe will be a fantastic 2020 IMSA season.”
World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans winning driver Heinemeier Hansson will return to the LMP2 team as the mandatory silver rated driver for all four endurance races. Heinemeier Hansson last competed in the team’s endurance lineup in the 2016 LMPC championship.
“I thought I was done with Daytona, but getting another crack in an LMP2 with such a strong line-up and team proved too tempting to pass up,” said Heinemeier Hansson. “Who knows how much longer we’ll have these glorious LMP2s running at their full 600hp capacity. One last bite at the best American tracks in the most wonderful of racing cars? OK then!”
Four-time 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class winner Lapierre will join the team for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the silver rated spot for the endurance rounds currently open. Lapierre and Dalziel previously ran prototypes together as teammates at Tequila Patrón ESM, where Lapierre’s car won the 2018 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The French driver, with two LMP2 championship titles to his name in the FIA World Endurance Championship will prove to be a strong asset to the team.
“I’m really pleased to join the Starworks effort for the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said Lapierre. “It will be my first race for Starworks but I know how professional and successful the team is. I like the new rules for the LMP2 category in the IMSA and I’m sure we will have a competitive line up and we will fight for the victory. I can’t wait for January!”
David Leach, three-time WEC LMP2 Championship and multi Le Mans winning engineer, will return to Starworks. Leach is also a development engineer at Groupe Oreca providing support for the current 07 chassis and is currently the technical director for G-Drive Racing.