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Solid Performance for Invisible Glass Prototype with Ben Waddell at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Bowmanville, Ontario (7 July 2019) – Despite having a difficult day of racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ben Waddell and ONE Motorsports took plenty of positives away from the endurance event north of the border this weekend. 

Sharing the No. 66 Invisible Glass ONE Motorsport Ligier JS P3 with co-drivers Mikel Miller and Patrick Lin for the fourth round of IMSA Prototype Challenge competition at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the trio made strides in the three hour race despite having to fight understeer through much of the race distance. 

The Prototype machine is one that is new to both the team and drivers, with ONE Motorsports making continued progress with the Nissan-powered LMP3 through the race weekend. 

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Miller handled the shakedown last month, and the team put in 12-hour days over the course of the weekend to get the car ready for Saturday’s three-hour race. 

Miller qualified the car in 14th position, taking the green flag and moving up to 12th before two lengthy full course caution periods stalled his forward progress. 

Earlier in the weekend, the team made a shock change that helped some of the handling issues as Lin took the wheel at the 1:16 mark. Lin took over the controls for the middle segment of the race, moving up to sixth on lap 78 as the pit stop cycle saw the order continue to evolve. Lin held on to 11th as he turned the car over to Waddell with 55 minutes remaining.  

“We had been dealing with understeer all weekend,” said Waddell. “We had some dead dampers early in the weekend that really set us back, so we were slowly dialing back the setup, and that kept us from doing long runs. So maybe we didn’t account for long runs in the heat, because Mikel had the issues right out of the box.”

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The Denver native came out of pit lane in 16th position and worked his way through traffic early in the stint, only to find that the tires fell off dramatically with 30 minutes remaining. 

“My strategy was just to assess the car as quickly as I could, knowing the issues that Mikel and Will had experienced,” said Waddell. “I pushed as hard as I could in the beginning, but the tires really went off. We just didn’t hit the setup today but that’s how racing goes.”

With the race featuring several long green flag runs on the ultra-quick Canadian circuit, any small pace deficiency was exaggerated as the field strung out over the second half of the race. Despite not getting to bring home the hoped-for result, it was another positive weekend for the Invisible Glass Prototype as young Wadell looks to build his Prototype experience. 

“There were plenty of positives to take away from the weekend,” said Waddell. “This is only my third race this season, so limited seat time means I’m still learning every session. Thank you to Mikel and Will for the great job this weekend, and to ONE Motorsports for having me! It was a blast.”

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Race Recap: FARA 3 Hour at Homestead Miami, May 25-26, 2019

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Race Recap: FARA 3 Hour at Homestead Miami, May 25-26, 2019

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PR. I was invited by ANSA Motorsports to run the FARA 3 hour event in Homestead Miami on May 25-26 and would be sharing the car with my teammate, Tim George.  Preparing for this weekend was different than an IMSA Prototype Challenge event, there was less pressure so I was able to relax and focus on my driving while taking the race seriously.  Over the last two years my seat time has been limited as I’ve only done 2 races in the past year and 3 the year before.  Thanks to ANSA, this would be a great development weekend, allowing me to really focus on the things that tend to limit me during an IMSA weekend.

Overall the weekend was amazing. On Saturday, the first session was qualifying and I put the car 3rd on the grid. My teammate Tim George drove in the first sprint race of the weekend but the race did not go his way, resulting in him finishing 18th. This meant we would start 18th for the second sprint race. Since it was an hour long, I started the race and Tim finished. I was very pleased with my pace, moving from 18th to 1st. Unfortunately a yellow came out which required Tim to make a pit stop, but he was able to hold on and finish 3rd in class.

On Sunday we had a 3 hour endurance race, and that was the one that really counted. Our strategy was based on us starting in 3rd place, I would start the race, Tim would drive the second stint and I would finish. My first stint was great – I took a 20 second lead and set the fastest lap of the weekend. During the second stint Tim kept the momentum and stayed in the top 3. When I got back in the car I was in second and closely chasing the leader but because of an unfortunate caution, the leader was able to make a free pit stop which put them an entire lap ahead.  It was very disappointing, we had the pace to win but that’s how racing goes sometimes.

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Ultimately, the weekend was a blast and I can’t thank ANSA Motorsports enough for having me.  Although we didn’t get the win I’m very pleased with my driving, setting the fastest lap of the weekend and not putting a wheel wrong the entire time.  It was a very positive experience and has given me a huge confidence boost that will benefit me as I prepare for Mosport!

Thank you again to ANSA Motorsports for having me and to all my supporters!

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Strong Sixth for Ben Waddel in Invisible Glass Prototype at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, OHIO (5 May 2019) – Mother Nature threw every weather condition in the book at the IMSA Prototype Challenge series this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

But young Colorado resident Ben Waddell and the Ansa Motorsports team managed the constantly changing circumstances well, bringing the No. 13 Invisible Glass/Stoner Car Care Ligier JS P3 home with a sixth-place finish in Sunday’s 65-lap race.

Intense rain over the course of the last week in central Ohio left all but the racing surface itself a virtual mud bog, putting added pressure on Waddell and co-driver Jordan Perroy to keep the car on the pavement over the course of the one-hour, 45-minute race.   

Having switched from the Norma chassis to the Ligier chassis that better fit his 6’3” frame, the story of the week for the 23-year-old Denver native was just trying to get up to speed quickly in the new car. 

The weather did not help matters, as Thursday’s two promoter test sessions were conducted in wet (morning) and damp (afternoon) conditions. Waddell did not get in the car on Friday, as Perroy only got five laps in a very wet official practice session, and, knowing Sunday’s race would likely be dry, the team opted not to participate in the very wet afternoon session. With Perroy qualifying the car, that meant Waddell would jump into the Invisible Glass/Stoner Car Care Ligier with very little time behind the wheel.

“The first test session on Thursday was wet,” said Waddell, who utilizes Bell Helmets. “I felt like we had good pace in the rain. I got about three laps in the dry in the afternoon, but it was still quite damp, so it was hard to trust the car. I had no dry brake point references and that’s where the struggle was today.”

Extremely tricky conditions greeted the competitors as the green flag fell early Sunday morning under cloudy skies and 50-degree air temperatures, with Michelin reporting track temps of only 53 degrees. Perroy started the race and immediately engaged in a battle for fourth, until the second-place car careened off course on Lap 1, bringing out the first of five caution periods.   

Perroy handed the car to Waddell in fifth position with just over an hour remaining, with the team opting not to take fresh tires in order to gain time. Employing smart passes and the right balance of aggression and caution in the cold conditions, Waddell worked himself back into fifth position within 12 laps. 

“Because I didn’t have the laps in the car, it took me a while to get up to speed in the race,” said Waddell. “I found half a second late in the race by figuring out different parts of the track, which is what you usually do in practice. I felt that we had good pace, but I got the worse end of the stick on restarts, as some of the more experienced drivers were able to get around lapped traffic and I had to stay behind – and so often, if you make a mistake trying to get around someone, the guy behind you can get by.” 

Former IndyCar racer Tonis Kasemets was able to pass Waddell in the Keyhole with 25 minutes remaining, but Waddell held off all comers in the waning laps to take a hard-fought sixth place finish on his well-used tires. 

“So I tried to learn what I could behind them,” said Waddell. “I also had quite a bit of understeer for most of the race, so I couldn’t get exit shots off the corners. It was unfortunate that we didn’t have the speed to capitalize on those opportunities but that’s something I’ll continue to work on.”

The return to IMSA Prototype Challenge action was another weekend for Waddell to build his experience and resume as he continues to develop his career. 

“At the end of the day, there are plenty of positives from this weekend,” said Waddell. “Even with limited time on track, I slowly built up to it and played it smart. If you put a wheel off today, you were off track and you weren’t coming back on out of that mud. I’m pleased with the result; the car was great. The Ansa team has been great to work with, the preparation was great, and my teammate Jordan drove a great race. It drives me to be better, to study what I can and to come back stronger.”

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Waddell Joins Ansa Motorsports for Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio (30 April 2019) – Ben Waddell will team with Ansa Motorsports for the first time in Sunday’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Mid-Ohio.

Waddell will pilot the No. 13 Invisible Glass/Stoner Car Care Ligier JS P3. He will co-drive with Frenchman Jordan Perroy in the one-hour, 45-minute race that takes the green flag at 8:50 a.m. on Sunday. The race will have live coverage via www.imsa.tv.

The 23-year-old Denver resident will be making his second Prototype Challenge start of 2019, having competed in the season-opening race during the Daytona Roar Before the Rolex 24. The experience was less than ideal for Waddell, who found that his football-player sized frame wasn’t a good fit with the diminutive Norma M30.

“I struggled a bit with the Norma,” Waddell explained. “I’m a big guy, and I couldn’t really push that car – the steering wheel was hitting my legs and I had trouble turning it. The team worked hard to find a solution, but there just never was a good fit. We hoped to find an opportunity in a Ligier chassis for the next race at Sebring, but sadly, we were unable to. That’s when we put our focus on Mid-Ohio. Ansa has a great record in this category and a long history of helping open wheel guys move into these Prototypes so I’m happy to be joining the team at Mid-Ohio.” 

Racing with the support of Stoner Car Care (http://www.stonercarcare.com), the parent company of Invisible Glass, Waddell has worked to make the transition from open-wheel competition to the endurance format of the powerful prototypes. Waddell also enjoys support from Bell Helmets as well as USWAG (uswag.us), the leader in custom socks that was founded in early 2015 by late Indy Car driver Justin Wilson and Michael Waddell.  

Waddell ran in three Prototype Challenge races in 2018 in a Ligier, with his best finish of fourth at Barber. Now, he’s looking forward to returning to Mid-Ohio having raced there in F4 in 2017.

“We decided to start that race on slicks, because we felt it would dry up,” Waddell explained. “I had to start the race on pit lane, dead last, and we wound our way back up to fourth.

“I really like Mid-Ohio; that’s why I really pushed to find a team and a car for this weekend, because I really have a good feel for Mid-Ohio and I think I can do well there. I really enjoy the track.”

While Waddell has not had much interaction with his new team, he’s formed an excellent first impression.

“I’ve been really impressed with Ansa Motorports team owner Alain Nadal,” Waddell said. “He’s driven to do everything it takes to win. When we approached him about driving, his biggest concern was going over data and getting me prepped and ready to win. That’s the one thing I really latched on to.”

Waddell will have the opportunity to get better acquainted with his new team and car in promoter’s testing at Mid-Ohio on Thursday. Prototype Challenge practice will be held Friday at 9 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. (all times ET), with qualifying Saturday at 11:05 a.m. The 1 hour, 45-minute race will go green at 8:50 AM. 

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Solid season debut for Waddell at Daytona

Daytona Beach, Fla. (5 January 2019) – Up and coming young driver Ben Waddell made his first start at the famed Daytona International Speedway today, as the 2019 sports car racing season took the green flag with an action-packed Scouts of America Race for the IMSA Prototype Challenge series.

The three-hour, 93-lap season opener featured hard racing and several full course caution periods that challenged the 19-car field. The 23-year-old Waddell started the race in eighth position with co-driver Wyatt Schwab in the No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Stoner Car Care Norma LMP3 entry, and the pair battled through adversity to take a 13th place finish.

Qualifying the car in a rain-shortened session Friday evening, Waddell settled into the early going as cars jostled for position in the opening laps. Through the first hour that included two full course caution periods, the Denver native battled for position with teammate Nikko Reger as the pair tried to make their way forward.

Waddell took the lead for two laps as drivers began to head to pit road for fuel and driver changes before discovering that radio issues negated communication with the pit box. Waiting for the fuel warning light to come on, he headed in for his own service and the change to Schwab with 1:45 remaining in the race. A problem with the fuel probe that required a push-back to a teammate’s pit meant a drive-through penalty that left the team in 15th position. Schwab fought his way forward through the remainder of the race, running as high as fourth midway before settling for 13th.

Waddell was pleased with the team’s performance overall, especially given the fact that he had driven only five laps on the iconic road course ahead of today’s green flag.

“It was my first time starting so all in all, I’m happy with my stint,” said Waddell. “Nikko and I had a good battle, trying to work as a team to try and get to the lead group of five cars. With only five laps here before the race, I’m pleased that I was able to get my lap times down and run close to the leaders.

“I heard “green green green” at the start and that was it on the radio. I just went until the fuel light came on, but I ended up having to go to fuel saving mode which hurt us on our in lap. My teammate also had some pit issues but overall, I’m happy with how things went. I have to take a step back and realize that a lot of these drivers have so much more experience than I do so the way I approached it, not putting a tire off all weekend, running in the top five and the top 10, I was happy with my performance. I had good speed in the end and had consistent times, and I can say I’ve been to Daytona now so hopefully I’ll be up front next year.”

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