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
United SportsCar Championship career
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 2010-2014, 2016
Teams BMS Scuderia Italia, Corvette Racing
Best finish 3rd (2010, 2016)
Class wins 0

Richard Westbrook (born 10 July 1975) is a British professional 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 Westbrook 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. For the 2016 United SportsCar Championship, he will join the Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the new Ford GT.

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]

Born in Chelmsford, Westbrook began karting in 1986 and over the next five years began to amass wins and titles. In 1990 he 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), he 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 Westbrook 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, he 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, Westbrook 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, Westbrook 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 Westbrook was immediately a front-runner. Between 2003 and 2005, he 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), he 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, he 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 Westbrook 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 he 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 he 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 Westbrook 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.

He 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, Westbrook 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. He 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 (2011–2015)[edit]

Following nine successful years racing predominantly in Porsches, in 2011 Westbrook 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]

He 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. Also in 2012, he received a new challenge, 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 Westbrook 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 No. 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, Westbrook clinched third in the inaugural United SportsCar Championship in the USA; his third season with the Spirit of Daytona Racing team. Joining Westbrook 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] he, Valiante and Rockenfeller 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.

He and Valiante 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 his 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, Westbrook 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 him 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]

Ford Factory Driver (2016)[edit]

Westbrook will join Chip Ganassi Racing for the full 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season driving the new Ford GT with Ryan Briscoe, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller.[9]

Other Series (2011–present)[edit]

While in his first year of Corvette duty in 2011, Westbrook 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, he 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. he 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, Westbrook raced in Australia at the Armor All Gold Coast 600 in Queensland alongside local hero Todd Kelly in the Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore. He finished both of the races in the unique 600 kilometre event, finishing thirteenth and ninth.

Alongside his busy US commitments, in 2012 he 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, Westbrook 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.[10]

In 2014, Westbrook 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.[11] Unfortunately the car failed to make the finish of the 24-hour race due to technical difficulties.

Racing record[edit]

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.

24 Hours of Daytona results[edit]

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2007 United States Synergy Racing United States Steve Johnson
Austria Richard Lietz
Netherlands Patrick Huisman
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup GT 590 27th 11th
2008 United States TRG United States Bryce Miller
United States Ted Ballou
United States Andy Lally
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup GT 657 10th 2nd
2009 United States TRG United States Steve Johnson
Canada Dave Lacey
United Kingdom Robert Nearn
United States James Sofronas
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup GT 680 15th 7th
United States Leh Keen
Germany Dirk Werner
Germany Wolf Henzler
676 16th 8th
2010 United States Crown Royal/NPN Racing France Christophe Bouchut
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Germany Lucas Luhr
United States Scott Tucker
Riley Mk. XI-BMW DP 751 3rd 3rd
2011 United States Level 5 Motorsports United States Scott Tucker
United States Ryan Hunter-Reay
Brazil Raphael Matos
Riley Mk. XX-BMW DP 703 11th 11th
2012 United States Spirit of Daytona Racing Spain Antonio García
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
Denmark Jan Magnussen
Coyote Corvette DP DP 746 8th 8th
2013 United States Spirit of Daytona Racing Spain Antonio García
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Ricky Taylor
Coyote Corvette DP DP 697 5th 5th
2014 United States Spirit of Daytona Racing Canada Michael Valiante
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Coyote Corvette DP P 693 4th 4th
2015 United States VisitFlorida.com Racing Canada Michael Valiante
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Coyote Corvette DP P 734 3rd 3rd

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
2016 United States Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Ford GT GTE
Pro
340 20th 3rd

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
20062007
Succeeded by
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Preceded by
Gianmaria Bruni
Toni Vilander
FIA GT2 champion
2009
Succeeded by
none