Richard Westbrook

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Richard Westbrook
Richard Westbrook - 2010 Rolex 24 of Daytona podium.jpg
Westbrook on the podium at the 2010 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona
Nationality  British
Born Chelmsford, Essex, England, UK
2014 United SportsCar Championship
Debut season 2014
Current team Spirit of Daytona Racing
Car no. 90
Former teams JR Motorsports
Prospeed Competition
BMS Scuderia Italia
Starts 6
Wins 1
Poles 1
Fastest laps 1
Best finish 1st in 2014
Previous series
2013-14
2008-09
2008-13
2011-2013
2010-13
2005-10
2007-10
2009
2006-08
1996
1996
1993
FIA WEC
FIA GT Championship
American Le Mans Series
Blancpain Endurance Series
British GT Championship
Belcar
Le Mans Series
ADAC GT Masters
Porsche Supercup
Austria Formula 3 Cup
German F3
Formula Vauxhall Winter Series
Championship titles
2009
2006-07
2004
FIA GT2
Porsche Supercup
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Awards
2007

2006

1994
BRDC award for Outstanding Achievement
Autosport International Driver of the Year Nomination
McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award Nomination
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Teams BMS Scuderia Italia, Corvette Racing
Best finish 3rd (2010)
Class wins 0

Richard Westbrook (born 10 July 1975 in Chelmsford, Essex, England, United Kingdom) is a British racing driver noted for his success in racing Porsche and International sports cars. As a junior he attended St Joseph's College, Ipswich. He has won both the Porsche Supercup international championship (in 2006 & 2007) and the Porsche Carrera Cup in his native Britain (2004). At the end of the 2007 season, Richard signed a factory contract deal with the German marque Porsche, and the British ace proceeded to take on the world's best on the other side of the Atlantic. The next year (2009), Westbrook won the highly coveted FIA GT2 Championship, taking four victories in the process, establishing himself firmly on the World motor sport stage and in the upper echelons of elite sports car drivers.

In 2011 Richard signed with Corvette as a factory driver, competing in both the Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series. Notably, in 2013 Richard won the 12 Hours of Sebring and this season the British racer is in his third year with Spirit of Daytona Racing in the United SportsCar Championship, also driving with Corvette Racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Outside of racing, Westbrook is a keen cook (he studied at Kingsway College, Vincent Square in London, UK) and has taken part in three London Marathons. He is married to Jessica and has a daughter.

Career history[edit]

Early Years (1986–1996)[edit]

Richard began karting in 1986 and over the next five years began to amass wins and titles. In 1990 Richard won the British Karting Championship and also captained the British team in the World Championship at Le Mans.

Following a successful Formula Vauxhall Winter Series campaign in 1993 (2nd place in the series, 1 win), Richard headed to Europe to compete in the Formula Opel Lotus Euroseries. After a promising showing (4th place in the series, 1 win) in his debut year, he returned in 1995 and took three victories, narrowly missing out on third place in the series.

In 1996 Richard moved up to Formula 3 and headed for the highly competitive German Formula 3 Series (with Tokmakidis Motorsport) and the Austrian Formula 3 Cup (Achletiner Motorsport). In German F3, Richard was up against a number of European drivers, including future F1 stars like Nick Heidfeld and Jarno Trulli and he took one win in a short campaign.

In Austria, having missed the opening pair of races due to cutting a late deal, Richard saw off the challenge of German racer Tim Bergmeister and a host of local drivers to take two victories in 1996 before missing the final two rounds due to budgetary issues.[1]

Career Break (1997–2002)[edit]

Having been unable to secure the budget required to compete and advance his career, Richard was forced to take a lengthy six-year break from racing, before convincing a friend to loan him the money to buy a Porsche GT3 Cup Car for the 2002 season.

Porsche (2003–2010)[edit]

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB commenced in 2003 and Richard was immediately a front-runner. Between 2003 and 2005, Richard was dominant; taking the title in 2004 (7 wins, 17 podiums, 8 pole positions, 4 fastest laps) with Redline Racing and finishing as runner-up in 2003 (Team BCR), and 2005 (Redline Racing). Indeed his 2005 totals for victories and pole positions (14 wins, 8 pole-positions) are both series records and he went on to take 16 podiums across the season.

Having done a few Supercup races in 2002 with Kadach Racing Team and in 2003 with Porsche Cars Great Britain, he returned in 2005 in a Lechner Racing School Team prepared Porsche in rounds which did not clash with his UK commitments. He won the season opener in Bahrain and came 9th overall, adding a fastest lap to his tally too.

In 2006 with RT Morellato PZ Essen (4 wins, 11 podiums, 4 pole positions, 3 fastest laps), Richard finished every Supercup race on the podium, wrapping up the title with two races to go, against drivers such as Uwe Alzen, Alessandro Zampedri and Patrick Huisman. He has also competed in several Carrera races in Germany (EMC Buchbinder ARAXA Racing - 1 win, 4 podiums, 2 fastest laps) and also back in the UK (Red Line Racing - 4 races, 3 wins, 2 fastest laps) where he alternated with Danny Watts.

In 2007 with HISAQ Competition, Richard won his second Porsche Supercup title in a row, with wins in Spain and Hungary, along with five other podium finishes and fastest laps. He again competed in Carrera Cup Deutschland, finishing second in the championship for ARAXA Racing (5 wins, 1 pole position, 4 fastest laps). In the same year, he made his debut in the Le Mans Series in a GT2 Porsche for James Watt Automotive and in the Rolex Sports Car Series at Daytona and Watkins Glen with Synergy Racing in a Porsche GT3 Cup Car.

2008 – see next chapter 'Porsche Factory Driver'.

In 2009 Richard drove for VICI Racing (T-Mobile VICI Racing) in the American Le Mans Series (including the Sebring 12h) and for Prospeed Competition in the FIA GT Championship. In his first ALMS race of the year he finished fourth at Long Beach, alongside Johannes Stuck. However, it was in the FIA GT Championship where Richard would achieve his biggest success, winning the GT2 class overall after victories at Silverstone (UK), Adria (Italy), Hungaroring (Hungary) and Zolder (Belgium) backed up by second places in Algarve (Portugal) and Paul Ricard (France), in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997). In the same year Richard also made appearances in International GT Open, ADAC GT Masters, Rolex Sports Car Series (including the Daytona 24h - 15th), Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Porsche Supercup, and Belgian GT.

In 2010 he made his debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GT2 class,[2] driving a Porsche 997 GT3-RSR for BMS Scuderia Italia alongside Marco Holzer and Timo Scheider; the trio finished 14th overall and third in class (GT2). He also competed in three further 'twice round the clock' events, the 24 Hours of Spa (Prospeed Competition), the 24 Hours of Nurburgring (Haribo Team Manthey), and the 24 Hours of Daytona where he finished third overall in the Crown Royal/NPN Racing BMW Riley alongside Ryan Hunter Reay, Lucas Luhr, and Scott Tucker.

There were also outings for Richard in the Le Mans Series for Prospeed Competition, but it was his stand-out star performances in a Matech Ford GT1 during the final six rounds of the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship that would turn heads, taking three podiums alongside Thomas Mutsch.

Richard also took part in the British GT Championship in 2010 (3 podiums, 1 pole position, 1 fastest lap), helping Trackspeed team owner/racer David Ashburn to the title that year.[3]

Porsche Factory Driver (2008–2009)[edit]

After multiple successes in Porsches, Richard signed with the German marque to become the first British Porsche factory driver since Derek Bell in the 1980s. He competed in a global programme that included the FIA GT Championship (Prospeed Competition), Le Mans Series (Farnbacher Racing) and American Le Mans Series (Farnbacher Loles Motorsport). He was the only driver to win at least one race in all three categories. Richard also competed in three 24-hour races; Spa 24h (Prospeed Competition - GT2 - 6th), Daytona 24h (TRG - GT - 2nd) and the Dubai 24 Hours (Proton Competition - A6)

Corvette Factory Driver (2011–present)[edit]

Following nine successful years racing predominantly in Porsches, in 2011 Richard joined Corvette Racing as the third driver in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. Westbrook and his co-drivers Jan Magnussen and fellow Brit Oliver Gavin posted fourth-place finishes in 2011 in Sebring and Road Atlanta, and they were leading at Le Mans at the 16-hour mark when the car was involved in an accident and subsequently retired.[4]

Richard had a second year in that role for 2012, teamed with young American driver Tommy Milner and again with Oliver Gavin in the major American Le Mans Series endurance events: Sebring 12-hour, Le Mans 24 Hours, and 1000-mile Petit Le Mans. He received a new challenge in 2012, a full-season in the Rolex Sports Car Series in Spirit of Daytona Racing's all new Corvette Coyote DP alongside Spaniard, Antonio García. The pair took three wins and one further podium, with Westbrook securing three pole-positions too.

The 2013 season saw Richard take part in the final year of the Rolex Sports Car Series again with the Spirit of Daytona Racing team in the Corvette Coyote DP. He drove alongside Ricky Taylor and the pair were regulars in the top-five, taking a podium (third place) at The Barber Motorsports Park, round three. In addition he again was drafted into the Corvette Racing squad for the American Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours, taking an impressive win in the 12 Hours of Sebring with the #4 Corvette also driven by Oliver Gavin, and Tommy Milner. This was Corvette Racing’s first Sebring class victory since 2009. It was a perfect way to celebrate Corvette's 60th Anniversary and pay tribute to their first Sebring class victory in 1956.[5]

In 2014, Richard clinched third in the inaugural United SportsCar Championship in the USA; his third season with the Spirit of Daytona Racing team. Joining Richard and the team for 2014 was Canadian driver Michael Valiante, with DTM Champion and Le Mans Winner Mike Rockenfeller joining the pair for the longer races. At the first race of the year, the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race[6] Richard, Michael and Mike led, before being hit with technical issues in the Spirit of Daytona Corvette Daytona Prototype, but the trio hung on to finish fourth on the road.

Richard and Michael took one win in 2014, at the Sahlen 6 Hours, at Watkins Glen International (28/29 June), but a mid-season hot-streak saw them rise up the standings and challenge for the overall title. Contact by a GTD Audi at the season finale, [7] ended Richard's hopes of becoming the Vice-Champion in the series, but he, Mike and Michael finished seventh at the flag to secure third.

In June 2014, Richard joined up with Corvette Racing in the new for 2014 no.74 Corvette C.7.R. to attempt to win the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite being an early class leader, technical issues ruled Richard and co-drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin out of contention for the race win. The trio lost eight laps due to a slipped alternator belt and gearbox leak, but completed the race to take fourth in the GTE PRO category.[8]

Other Series (2011–present)[edit]

While in his first year of Corvette duty in 2011, Richard also competed in the now defunct FIA GT1 championship with a Nissan GT-R GT1 prepared by JR Motorsports team, finishing ninth in championship (2 podiums, 1 pole position). He was chosen off the back of his strong performances in the Matech GT1 Ford the year before. In the same year, Richard also took part in the newly formed Blancpain Endurance Series in the final two races (Magny-Cours and Silverstone) for JR Motorsports in a Nissan GT-R GT3, and competed in the 24 Hours of Spa for Haribo Team Manthey in a Pro-AM Porsche 997 GT3-R. Richard also drove with his friend David Ashburn in the British GT Championship when available, almost helping Ashburn successfully defend his title, taking 2 wins, 3 podiums, 2 pole positions, and 2 fastest laps along the way.

At the end of 2011, Richard raced in Australia at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Queensland alongside local hero Todd Kelly in the Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore. Richard finished both of the races in the unique 600 kilometre event, finishing thirteenth and ninth.

Alongside his busy US commitments, in 2012 Richard again competed in several European series. Namely British GT (Trackspeed with David Ashburn - 1 win, 2 podiums, 2 pole positions, 1 fastest lap), the Blancpain Endurance Series (Monza and Nurburgring) for the Haribo Racing Team. He also competed in the Nürburgring 24h for the Haribo Racing Team.

In 2013, Richard also combined his racing in the US with another part-season in British GT for Trackspeed with Gregor Fisken, taking a dominant win at Rockingham Motor Speedway and staging an impressive fightback after his team-mates' opening stint to finish third at the season finale Donington Park - this saw him also awarded the Mobil Service Centre Driver of the Day award.[9]

In 2014, Richard was scheduled to again compete in the Nurburgring 24 Hours with Haribo Team Manthey, but an opportunity arose to join an all PRO line-up with Nicki Thiim, Marco Seefried and Alex Müller in the no.9 Prosperia-Abt Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3, a car he'd driven a few weeks prior in VLN 4.[10] Unfortunately the car failed to make the finish of the 24 hour race due to technical difficulties.

Complete Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded in first race) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DC Pts
2003 Redline Racing Porsche 996 GT3 MON
1
MON
2
BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
THR
1

DSQ
THR
2

Ret
SIL
1

1
SIL
2

3
ROC
1

2
ROC
2

2
CRO
1

1
CRO
2

1
SNE
1

3
SNE
2

8
BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
DON
1

2
DON
2

2
OUL
1

3
OUL
2

1
2nd 306
2004 BEAST Racing Porsche 996 GT3 THR
1

1
THR
2

5
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

3
1st 345
Redline Racing SIL
1

1
SIL
2

2
OUL
1

3
OUL
2

3
MON
1

1
MON
2

2
CRO
1

2
CRO
2

6
KNO
1

1
KNO
2

1
BRH
1

3
BRH
2

2
SNE
1

2
SNE
2

1
DON
1

1
DON
2

2
2005 Redline Racing Porsche 996 GT3 DON
1

1
DON
2

1
THR
1

1
THR
2

1
BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
OUL
1
CRO
1

1
CRO
2

1
MON
1

1
MON
2

Ret
MON
3

3
SNE
1

DSQ
SNE
2

2
KNO
1

1
KNO
2

1
SIL
1

1
SIL
2

1
BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
2nd 331
2006 Team Irwin with Redline Racing Porsche 997 GT3 BRH
1

1
BRH
2

1
MON
1
MON
2
OUL
1
OUL
2
THR
1

15
THR
2

1
CRO
1
CRO
2
DON
1
DON
2
SNE
1
SNE
2
KNO
1
KNO
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
14th 64

Complete Porsche Supercup results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 2 points awarded 2008 onwards in all races) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Points
2002 Kadach Tuning Porsche 996 GT3 ITA
8
ESP
Ret
AUT
6
MON
14
GER
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
8
HUN
14
BEL ITA USA USA 15th 40
2003 Porsche Cars Great Britain Porsche 996 GT3 ITA ESP AUT MON GER FRA GBR
9
GER HUN ITA USA USA NC‡ 0‡
2005 Walter Lechner Racing Porsche 997 GT3 ITA
2
ESP
5
MON
4
GER
5
USA
11
USA
Ret
FRA GBR
7
GER HUN
Ret
ITA
7
BEL
7
9th 95
2006 Morellato Racing Team PZ Essen Porsche 997 GT3 BHR
2
ITA
1
GER
1
ESP
3
MON
3
GBR
2
USA
1
USA
1
FRA
4
GER
3
HUN
3
ITA
2
1st 212
2007 HISAQ Competition Porsche 997 GT3 BHR
4
BHR
2
ESP
1
MON
3
FRA
3
GBR
18
GER
3
HUN
1
TUR
4
ITA
2
BEL
6
1st 169
2009 Federsand-Jetstream Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 BHR
10
BHR
3
ESP
1
MON
1
TUR
4
GBR GER HUN ESP BEL ITA 9th 78
Porsche Cars Great Britain UAE
14‡
UAE
3‡

‡ – Guest driver – Not eligible for points.

Complete Porsche Carrera Cup Germany results[edit]

(key)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DC Pts
2006 EUC Buchbinder ARAXA Racing Porsche 997 GT3 HOC LAU OSC NOR NÜR
3
ZAN
1
CAT
5
BUG
2
HOC
3
NC‡ 0‡
2007 ARAXA Racing Porsche 997 GT3 HOC
1
OSC
1
LAU
1

Ret
LAU
2

1
NOR
5
ZAN
26
NÜR
1
CAT
1
HOC
4
2nd 126
2009 ARAXA Racing Porsche 997 GT3 HOC LAU NOR ZAN OSC NÜR
5
CAT DIJ HOC NC‡ 0‡

‡ – Guest driver – Not eligible for points.

Complete GT1 World Championship results[edit]

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pos Points
2010 Matech Competition Ford ABU
QR
ABU
CR
SIL
QR
SIL
CR
BRN
QR
BRN
CR
PRI
QR
PRI
CR
SPA
QR

6
SPA
CR

3
NÜR
QR

6
NÜR
CR

13
ALG
QR

5
ALG
CR

2
NAV
QR

10
NAV
CR

Ret
INT
QR

Ret
INT
CR

14
SAN
QR

2
SAN
CR

2
13th 57
2011 JR Motorsports Nissan ABU
QR

2
ABU
CR

2
ZOL
QR

Ret
ZOL
CR

Ret
ALG
QR

1
ALG
CR

12
SAC
QR

6
SAC
CR

7
SIL
QR

Ret
SIL
CR

Ret
NAV
QR

7
NAV
CR

9
PRI
QR

4
PRI
CR

Ret
ORD
QR

2
ORD
CR

2
BEI
QR

7
BEI
CR

7
SAN
QR

NC
SAN
CR

8
9th 78

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2010 Italy BMS Scuderia Italia Germany Marco Holzer
Germany Timo Scheider
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR GT2 327 14th 3rd
2011 United States Corvette Racing United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
Denmark Jan Magnussen
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GTE
Pro
211 DNF DNF
2012 United States Corvette Racing United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GTE
Pro
215 NC NC
2013 United States Corvette Racing United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GTE
Pro
309 22nd 7th
2014 United States Corvette Racing United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R GTE
Pro
333 20th 4th

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Josef Neuhauser
Austria Formula 3 Cup champion
1996
Succeeded by
Josef Neuhauser
Preceded by
Barry Horne
Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain champion
2004
Succeeded by
Damien Faulkner
Preceded by
Alessandro Zampedri
Porsche Supercup champion
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Preceded by
Gianmaria Bruni
Toni Vilander
FIA GT2 champion
2009
Succeeded by
Richard Westbrook