Published Nov 17, 2020, 12:11 PM SGT

Motor racing: Singapore driver Sean Hudspeth wins Italian GT endurance c’ship pro-am class

SINGAPORE – In what was his most challenging year as a professional race car driver, Singapore’s Sean Hudspeth still managed to end his season on a high, winning the 2020 Italian GT Endurance Championship Pro-Am class.

He and his Easy Race teammates Matteo Greco and Mattia Michelotto won the Monza leg on Nov 8 in their Ferrari 488 GT3, allowing them to finish the campaign on 25 points, eight ahead of second-placed RS Racing’s Daniele Di Amato and Alessandro Vezzoni.

Hudspeth, 26, said of winning his second championship in two seasons: “The championship went down to the wire but we managed to get it done. I’m so proud of the team and my teammates who have shown much improvement over the year.”

He had joined GT racing team AF Corse using Ferrari cars last year, making the leap from the Porsche Supercup to the Italian GT Sprint Championship.

Despite having less than a month to adapt to a new car and a higher championship class (GT3), Hudspeth and teammate Antonio Fuoco went on to claim the Pro-Am overall title.

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

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.

It took him months and plenty of dead ends before he got the offer from Easy Race and flew back to London on May 27. His first race was in Mugello, Italy on July 17-19.

Hudspeth, whose ultimate goal is racing in the 24 hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance race for sports cars, said: “I’ve learned that no matter what, it is extremely important to keep working hard to improve and never stop trying until the chequered flag comes out.

“I showed that I can perform under pressure and race brave as well as smart. I planned and made two crucial overtakes in the very last lap of two races to gain positions which ultimately won us the championship.”

The Italian GT wraps up its term at Vallelunga from Dec 4-6 with two races for the sprint championship. The endurance category ended at Monza.