Podium finish and more points for Wakefield-based Inception Racing at Sebring

Wakefield's Inception Racing and Team Project 1 claimed their first podium together in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship opening race of the season, the 1000 miles of Sebring.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 21st March 2022, 3:49 pm
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 3:50 pm
The Team Project 1 and Inception Racing collaboration number 56 Porsche 911 RSR driven to third place in the 1000 Miles of Sebring race.
The Team Project 1 and Inception Racing collaboration number 56 Porsche 911 RSR driven to third place in the 1000 Miles of Sebring race.

And in another strong performance Saturday’s second round of the IMSA Championship saw the team claim some vital points after a fifth-place finish.

The Team Project 1 and Inception Racing collaboration number 56 Porsche 911 RSR was driven by Ollie Millroy, Brendan Iribe and Ben Barnicoat who joined forces last month to win the Asian Le Mans Series.

As the FIA World Endurance series headed into its tenth season, racing returned to the USA where it all started for the FIA World Endurance Championship back in 2012.

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Inception drivers Ollie Millroy, Brendan Iribe and Ben Barnicoat stand on the podium after the 1000 Miles of Sebring race.

Inception Racing also entered the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on the same weekend with Brendan, Ollie, and Jordan Pepper.

It was Brendan that took on qualifying for the team, heading out into the short 10-minute session on Thursday evening to put the #56 Porsche 911 RSR on the third spot of the grid for the start of Friday’s eight-hour race.

Starting strongly, Brendan made a clean getaway during his opening stint before handing over to Ollie. After showing his strong pace and moving up through the field to fourth, the Briton handed back over to Brendan who once again, headed out on fresh tyres for another 60-minute stint.

Having jumped into the cockpit of the Porsche again, Ollie’s second outing around Sebring was disrupted by the first red flag of the race caused by the #7 Toyota Hypercar which crashed into the tyre wall. Fortunately, the driver walked away unscathed, and racing was resumed with four hours left on the clock.

With just over two hours go the race remaining, Ben Barnicoat headed out, re-joining the field in second position following Ollie’s mega performance. After 17 laps, the Ben pitted to hand over to Brendan in order for the latter to complete his minimum required driver time.

The safety car was deployed and the pit entry closed due to growing concerns of incoming thunderstorms. With less than 30 minutes remaining, the decision was made to not restart the race thus seeing the trio take their first World Endurance Championship podium.

After losing out on the IMSA qualifying session due to a brake disk failure, the team started Saturday’s Mobil 1 12 Hour at the back of the grid. Brendan once again headed out first, yet suffered a puncture in the opening few laps, seeing the #70 McLaren pit earlier than anticipated with Ollie taking to the wheel after an hour of the race.

Handing over to Jordan after two hours, the team looked for further success having moved up to 13th within GTD. The team capitalised on the numerous full course yellows that followed, pitting as the field bunched up to change over to Brendan then once again, back to Jordan.

The temperature began to drop, but the action on track certainly began to heat up as with less than five hours to go, Jordan headed into the lead.

Running through their usual pit stop and drive change procedures, the team boxed, and Jordan headed into the car for the final hour, re-entering the field in fifth and chasing down a podium finish. As the chequered flag was waved, the team settled for a fifth-place finish, collecting yet another points haul towards their 2022 IMSA campaign.

Ollie Millroy said: “The race was really good fun, it’s my first race in the Porsche RSR and my first time in Sebring too.

"We’ve all worked together as a team, and all worked really hard throughout the week, and we were able to come away with a podium in the first round of WEC.

“We’re really happy, it’s a really strong start to the year. Brendan did a great job; he had a really strong start to the race. I’m super impressed and super proud of all the team, it was a mega effort! Great start to the season and really looking forward to Spa.”