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.