Published Jun 28, 2020, 5:49 PM SGT

Sean Hudspeth will represent Ferrari in the 2020 Italian GT Championship.

SINGAPORE – After weeks of constantly refreshing websites for updates and sending out multiple emails to race organisers and manufacturers, race driver Sean Hudspeth’s persistence finally paid off as he received an offer to join GT racing team EasyRace, where he will represent Ferrari in the 2020 Italian GT Championship.

Hudspeth said: “It was a lot of work. There were a lot of dead ends in terms of me reaching out but fortunately, one got back to me.

“There was a sense of relief and it’s also a boost of confidence and motivation because now I have something to work towards.”

The 26-year-old had braced himself for the possibility that he would only get back to racing in the second half of 2020 or even next year.

The pandemic had scuppered racing plans for the Singaporean earlier this year as his first race of the year, the first leg of the GT World Challenge Europe in Monza, Italy, on April 19, was cancelled due to a nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19.

A domestic event across Europe, which had 12 races and was supposed to end in October, was also suspended indefinitely.

With no races or events for Hudspeth, who is a coach at Corso Pilota, Ferrari’s driving school, he returned to Singapore in mid-March.

But Hudspeth flew back to London, where he is based, on May 27, shortly after he received the news that he would be joining EasyRace. He left for Italy on Wednesday (June 24), ahead of his first race in Mugello on July 17-19.

Italy, which has seen over 34,000 coronavirus-related deaths, began reopening its economy in early May after it imposed a lockdown early March.

Hudspeth, who is taking part in both the GT Endurance and Sprint championships, will compete in eight rounds, with his season ending in December in Vallelunga near Rome.

After winning the Pro-Am overall title in his first season with GT racing team AF Corse, where he drove Ferrari cars, last year with teammate Antonio Fuoco, Hudspeth sees this season as a stepping stone towards his ultimate goal of racing in the 24 hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance race for sports cars.

He said: “This is just another step on that ladder to pursuing that journey and hopefully, I will progress to the European championships and world championships.”

Preparations for this season, which he expects will be more challenging as he will be racing alongside teammate Daniele Di Amato in the Pro class, has also been more hectic than previous years with the last-minute arrangements.

“It’s very different and a lot harder because everything is so last minute,” said Hudspeth.

“Things are changing all the time and it’s hard to confirm one thing when you’re uncertain of another. If anything changes, we have to adapt as quickly as possible, but it’s kind of like racing or having a tennis ball thrown at you.

“But I’ve always looked forward to new challenges and I’ve never looked more forward to getting back in the car again.”