Achampionship-winning Camping World Truck Series organization is taking on a new challenge. Hattori Racing Enterprises, which fields two entries, will branch out into the SRO GT4 America Series with Hattori Motorsports.
HRE announced the news on Thursday, March 10. The team confirmed that it will field a Toyota GR Supra in the series with support from Motul, a French company with over 160 years in the lubricant industry. 16-year-old Seth Lucas and sports car veteran Matt Plumb will serve as the team’s drivers during its inaugural 2022 campaign.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Hattori Motorsports’ expansion into sports car racing”, Lucas said in a press release. “Being able to drive the Toyota GR Supra is a dream come true. I really felt comfortable in the car during preseason testing and having Matt Plumb as a teammate with his experience level is going to be a huge help. I’m optimistic for the season and look forward to gaining experience and help build the HM sports car program.”
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The SRO GT4 America Series Schedule Begins in California
The Camping World Truck Series season is two races deep, and it will continue until early November when the championship four drivers face off for the title. The SRO GT4 America Series season, however, will not begin for another month.
According to the series’ official calendar, The first weekend takes place on April 15-17 at Sonoma Raceway. Hattori Motorsports will compete for the first time before continuing its inaugural season on May 20-22 at Ozarks International Raceway. The third round will take place on June 10-12 at Virginia International Raceway.
The GT4 America schedule continues with stops at Watkins Glen International (July 22-24), Road America (August 19-21), Sebring International Raceway (September 23-25), and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (October 7-9).
Hattori Motorsports has said the new team will compete in the full 2022 SRO GT4 Series. The team will also have additional race dates to announce in the future.
HRE Previously Expanded Its NASCAR Operation
Prior to the 2022 Camping World Truck Series season, Hattori Racing Enterprises focused primarily on one vehicle. The team fielded one full-time entry in the Truck Series — the No. 16 — while also making occasional starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The situation changed after Austin Hill left HRE to move up to the Xfinity Series and join Richard Childress Racing. The team expanded to two full-time Truck Series entries and brought over drivers from GMS Racing. Tyler Ankrum took over the No. 16 while Chase Purdy took over the brand-new No. 61. They will continue to focus on pursuing Truck Series races while Hattori Motorsports moves forward into another series.
“We are very excited to expand our program and diversify our efforts with a GT4 sports car team,” said team owner Shigeaki Hattori in a statement. “We’ve had a lot of success winning races and titles on the NASCAR side over recent years and feel like this is the right time to expand to sports car competition. I’ve watched Seth race since he ran go karts and am looking forward to watching him develop in our Toyota GR Supra. Matt Plumb has a great deal of experience that will be able to help Seth and speed up the development of our program.”