Will Hardeman Takes SRO

Will Hardeman Takes SRO

Esses Racing driver Will Hardeman joins the Fantatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS for a 2023 campaign. Hardeman brings years of experience and understanding to his team and a new relationship with Mercedes-AMG.

Hardeman and co-driver, Irishman Adam Carrol, will represent Mercedes on track. Hardeman is a well-known owner and operator of various automotive dealerships in Texas. The Austin native lays claim to a Mercedes dealership making this new relationship on track a well-established one behind the scenes.

Ive wanted to sell the car I ran, and that wasnt possible until now,” Hardeman said. In Texas, we call it riding for the brand. Ive run Porsche and Audi in the past, and they served their purpose on track, but they were not in my dealership collection then. Its finally working out with Mercedes. Mercedes is also a nice car to drive. I find it more forgiving than the previous GT3 cars I’ve driven. Im looking forward to campaigning with my team and this car.”

Hardeman is also looking forward to a new schedule. While hes pushed through longer seasons in sports car racing, hes looking forward to the sprint format and travel schedule of his first championship run with the Fantatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series.

I am a family man,” Hardeman said. I have a wife and three kids. When I look at a race season, I consider what tracks are on it. Not just for competition but as places I can host my family. SRO is a better time commitment for my family and me. The schedule includes places my wife and kids can also have fun away from the track.”

One of the tracks that truly hits home for Hardeman is Circuit of The Americas or COTA. The track is a casual 20-minutes away from Hardeman's literal backyard and where his dreams began to take root in reality in 2012.

When youre growing up, people like to ask you the existential question, what do you want to be when you grow up,” Hardeman said. I always answered race car driver. As a family, we never had connections to racing. No one in my family ever raced. Then when COTA was built, I took the opportunity. Its all at my fingertips now.”

His goals for 2023 are simple. For everyone to perform optimally throughout each event. As a seasoned veteran of the sport, Hardeman knows not every race weekend can be measured in hardware. However, every weekend can be measured in the effort put forth by individual team members.

“My goal is to make sure everyone on the team is getting the job done and to let the results speak for themselves as an outcome,” Hardeman said. Results are a material measure that I dont think shows how things are truly going. You can finish on the podium, look over data, and see where effort was missed. My team matters most to me. I want us to operate on the idea that we did the best job we could every time were on track.”

Hardeman and Esses Racing get to work with the Fantatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series at Sonoma Raceway from March 30 through April 2. Together the team will take on two rounds of racing on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile circuit in the middle of win country California. Stream the race live on the YouTube page GT World or purchase tickets to catch the action in person.