Fresh off a top-10 finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Porsche 911 GT3 R and one year removed from a Pro-Am Championship in Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Hardpoint is adding an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport Porsche to the team’s roster for the 2022 season. Nick Galante and Sean McAlister will drive the No. 22 Racing to End Alzheimer’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport for the remainder of the 10 race season.
It’s a return to the championship for Hardpoint, who competed there with drivers Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly for part of the 2020 season before focusing the team’s efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. In 2022, the effort will feature sports car racing veteran Galante, a two-time series champion in 2016 and 2018 in what was then the ST class, and McAlister, who was the 2019 Hurley Haywood scholarship winner for his success in single-make Porsche championships.
In a change from Hardpoint’s traditional red, black and white team liveries, Galante and McAlister will carry the purple representing Alzheimer’s Awareness. Racing to End Alzheimer’s was started by motorsports fan and Legistics CEO Philip Frengs and gives 100 percent of donations made at and away from the track to Alzheimer’s-related causes. The organization raises awareness and helps fund cutting-edge research, treatment, and support services that will end the scourge of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia once and for all – specifically with donations to the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist Hospital and the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program. This is the sixth season for the Racing to End Alzheimer’s program, and the first with Hardpoint.
Galante joins Hardpoint as an eight-time race winner in Michelin Pilot Challenge competition. A golf caddy at Pebble Beach and a driving instructor away from the racetrack, Galante’s 2016 title came in a Porsche Cayman.
“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to finally drive with Team Hardpoint,” Galante said. “Watching this team build itself into a top-level team has been tough to race against over the years, and now I can relax a little bit knowing I don’t have to compete against them. I can now work harder than ever to help make this team as strong as possible. I am looking forward to teaming up with Sean McAlister as a co-driver this season. He has been doing some great things in Porsche Carrera Cup, and the new 2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport is looking to be one of the top GT4 cars this season. I am excited to be back with the Porsche brand as we had some success the last time we were in one.”
McAlister’s Michelin Pilot Challenge debut is his first season with multiple makes following six seasons in Porsche championships. Two runner-up finishes in Porsche’s Trophy West series in a Cayman led to a 2018 class championship in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and three seasons in Porsche GT3 Cup and Carrera Cup North America competition, including a third-place finish in 2020.
“I’m incredibly excited to say that I will be racing with Hardpoint this year, making my debut in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series,” McAlister said. “Last year I was racing against Hardpoint in Porsche Carrera Cup North America and was very impressed with the performance they brought to every event. The move from racing in single-make series the past six years to racing in a multi-make series is very new to me, but I’m eager to take on that challenge. Being with Porsche for the seventh year in a row will give me a ton of comfort throughout the entirety of the season. I can’t wait to get the series started and I am really looking forward to running with my teammate Nick Galante and being on board with Phil Frengs and Racing to End Alzheimer’s.”
Hardpoint’s Pilot Challenge program is housed in the same Virginia International Raceway-based shop as the No. 99 GridRival Porsche 911 GT3 R piloted by Ferriol and Katherine Legge. Glenn Long will serve in the Team Manager role, with Hardpoint’s Charles Hamm as the team’s Technical Director.
“This program cuts to the core of our values here at Hardpoint,” Ferriol said. “We have a competitive Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport with drivers in Nick and Sean that have proven they can win races and compete for championships. To top it off, we’re able to provide value to a cause like Racing to End Alzheimer’s, which includes fan interaction by carrying the names of those touched by this disease. We’re looking forward to this expansion of our program and can’t wait to get started at Sebring.”