The 12 Hours of Sebring dispute marked the end of the 2020 season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The event served to define the titles still at stake in the contest, but also to define Ryan Hardwick as the new winner of the Bob Akin Trophy. An award given to the best ‘amateur’ driver in the GT Daytona category that has a really interesting reward for next season. However, Ryan Hardwick has won one of the invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021 awarded by ACO to IMSA for winning this trophy.
Hardwick was contesting his first full campaign in the IMSA GTD class this year. Despite his limited experience in the series, the American has had a remarkable year with Patrick Long in the # 16 Porsche of the Wright Motorsport team, to the point of finish as runner-up in the category just four points behind the winners Mario Franbacher and Matt McMurry. In fact, Hardwick has been able to celebrate this Bob Akin Trophy twice. after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in his category. In addition, he has added another three podiums throughout this atypical 2020 season.
ACO distributes nine invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021Read news
With the Bob Akin Trophy under his arm, Ryan Hardwick has confirmed that his goal is to debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: «It is one of my objectives. We will see what program, offers and what seats are available next year. I’m definitely going to watch it, because I’d love to do it in 2021. I wish I could do it with Patrick Long too. I know that our sponsor is closely linked to Le Mans and has already sponsored Risi Competizione this year. Hopefully we can go with a car to Le Mans. We are going to try to make it happen, but it will depend on the team, budget and other variables.