Hanley Motorsports Performance Spoiled by Weather as Pirelli GT4 America Visits NOLA
New Orleans, LA
Hanley Motorsports was on the edge of a breakthrough as Pirelli GT4 America visited NOLA Motorsports Park this weekend for Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2023 season. Daniel Hanley and Parker Thompson piloted the No. 999 GR Supra GT4 EVO in the Silver category, setting the best time in Practice 1 on Friday and the second-best overall time in Race 2 Qualifying. Ultimately though, the team was unable to convert that pace into a matching race result. In Race 1, a pit stop violation nullified the team’s 5th in-class finish. Inclement weather forced the postponement of Race 2.
The weekend began on a high note when Parker Thompson and the No. 999 GR Supra set the fastest lap in Practice 1 on Friday. In Qualifying on Saturday morning, Thompson earned an impressive 2nd place starting position in Race 2 Qualifying. Daniel Hanley improved his qualifying performance relative to the season-opener at Sonoma Raceway. He placed in the top half of the field, 18th out of 42 drivers while qualifying for Race 1.
Rain disrupted Saturday afternoon’s schedule and plans for Pirelli GT4 America Race 1. The contest was rescheduled to Sunday morning as a result. Starting 18th, Hanley and the white, red, orange, and yellow GR Supra did well to avoid incidents at the start of the race. At the halfway point, he entered the pits from 29th position to conduct the team’s mandatory stop and driver change. Thompson took over for the second half of the contest and displayed immediate pace, moving forward to 15th in just four laps. He would take the No. 999 to the finish line 11th overall and 5th in the Silver category.
Unfortunately, following the race, a pit stop violation was assessed for the team. For reasons of safety, Pirelli GT4 America regulations require a minimum stop time of 84 seconds for all entries. Hanley Motorsports missed that minimum by 1.5 seconds, an error attributed to a GPS programming fault. The resulting penalty dropped the team to 35th overall and 7th in the Silver category.
Compounding difficulties for Hanley Motorsports, Saturday’s rainstorm left no room in the schedule for Race 2 of Pirelli GT4 America. As a result, the team could not capitalize on Thompson’s outstanding 2nd-place qualifying performance. The missed contest will be rescheduled at a different venue later in the year.
Despite setbacks, the team remains optimistic about its ability to earn a strong result. Next up, Pirelli GT4 America will visit Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on May 19-21.
“We began to see the true strength of our team this weekend,” said team owner Robert Hanley. “Parker showed exceptional pace, and Daniel’s continued improvement demonstrates that we are on the right path. With everything that happened here at NOLA Motorsports Park, each member of our team has made a few extra notes. There is no doubt that we will be stronger at COTA.”
Looking at his performance in qualifying and during the race, Parker Thompson emphasized great possibility. “The Hanley Motorsports GR Supra GT4 EVO was exceptionally fast here at NOLA. On some level, we’re feeling a bit unlucky, but at the same time, we know that in racing, you make your own luck. There is a great group of people behind the No. 999; we’re all going to put our heads down and keep pushing. We’re here to win. Obviously, penalties aren’t helping. I’ll lump our difficulties there as part of the challenges of being a new team in a new series. It’s not bad if we are forced to work through those issues now while also sorting through some of the finer details. We’ll regroup and be even more threatening at COTA.”
More info: https://gt4-america.com
Key results from 2023 include an overall win at Sebring, two class victories, 63 race laps led, two pole positions, and three Crowdstrike Fastest Lap awards.
With two wins and four podiums to date, Parker Thompson and Daniel Hanley hope to expand their trophy collection in the Pirelli GT4 America finale at IMS.
Thompson and Hanley clenched victory in the weekend’s opening race, earned a podium in the second, and started from pole position in the third.