- July 10, 1975
- United Kingdom
- Imsa Sportscar Championship
- Chip Ganassi Racing
Richard Westbrook is a British professional racing driver who achieved amazing results driving Porsches in the competitions and sports car championships. He was a British Carrera Cup champion in 2004 and then two-time Porsche Supercup winner (2006 and 2007).
As a Porsche factory driver, he became the FIA GT2 champion in 2009. In recent years, he was driving mostly Corvette GT cars and prototypes, switching to Ford GT in 2016. At 24 hours of Le Mans, Westbrook scored two class podiums.
Early days of a career in the single-seaters
Richard Westbrook was born on July 10, 1975, in Chelmsford, Essex. As an eleven-year-old kid, he began to race with go-karts. Year by year, he was collecting wins and titles, winning the British Karting Championship in 1990.
He left karting in 1993, trying to compete in the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series. After scoring the second place, Richard joined David Lloyd Motorsport in the Formula Opel Lotus Euroseries. He stayed in that competition for two seasons, finishing in fourth place for two years in a row.
The next step was the Formula 3, not in the UK but in Germany and Austria. Richard became the Austrian F3 champion. He missed the last two rounds of the Austrian championship because of budgetary issues, but it was also the end of his single-seater racing career. In a fact, it was almost the end of his career in general, because he had no money to continue his racing campaign.
Loaning the money to buy a race car
After being out of racing for five seasons, he finally returned to the race tracks in 2002, loaning the money from a friend to buy a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Richard participated in eight races of the Porsche Supercup, scoring the sixth place as the best result at Austrian A1 Ring.
The Porsche Supercup was too much for him, so Richard entered the British Porsche Carrera Cup in 2003, immediately becoming one of the front-runners. In 2003, he won seven times and finished second in the points, behind Barry Horne.
British Carrera Cup champion in 2004
In 2004, Richard had seven victories and became the Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion, beating Tim Harvey in a close finish. In 2005, he set the record with 14 wins in one season, but the champion was Damien Faulkner.
During 2005, Richard returned to Porsche Supercup, participating in races that didn't clash with his UK schedule. He participated in ten races, scoring one podium (Imola) and finished ninth in the points. For the 2006 season, Westbrook participated occasionally in the British and German Carera Cup, but his focus was in the Supercup, driving for Morellato Racing Team. With four wins in twelve races, he was the Supercup champion.
Two Porsche Supercup titles in a row
One more Supercup title followed in 2007, with HISAQ Competition team. He beat his old rival Damien Faulkner by six points. Westbrook was also successful in the 2007 German Carrera Cup, winning five times and finishing second in the standings, just three points behind Uwe Alzen.
The season of 2007 also marked Westbrook's North American debut. In January, he participated at Daytona 24h, driving the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for Synergy Racing, finishing 11th in GT class. Later in the season, he returned to the USA to compete at Watkins Glen with Synergy Racing. In November, Richard traveled to South America to participate in the Mil Milhas race at Interlagos for the British JWA team.
Westbrook became the Porsche factory driver in 2008
After five very successful seasons in the Porsche single-make competitions, Richard was invited to sign a contract as the Porsche factory driver. He had a racing schedule in different competitions all over the world. He mostly competed in the FIA GT Championship, where he was recruited to drive for Prospeed Competition. In his debut season, Westbrook finished third in the points.
Besides FIA GT campaign, he was driving for Farnbacher Racing in the Le Mans Series and for Farnbacher Loles Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series (Farnbacher Loles Motorsport). He also competed in three 24-hour races: Spa (Prospeed Competition, 6th GT2 class), Daytona (TRG, 2nd GT class) and Dubai (Proton Competition, DNF).
2009 FIA GT2 champion with Porsche
In 2009, Westbrook had a similar all-rounder program, driving for Prospeed Competition in the FIA GT Championship and for seven other teams in other competitions. With four wins in seven FIA GT races, he became the GT2 champion, beating Ferrari drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander for two points. His co-driver in most of the races was Emmanuel Collard, who finished third in the points.
In other competitions during 2009. Westbrook's most notable results were two wins in the Porsche Supercup, in Barcelona and Monaco.
In January 2010, Westbrook jumped into the racing prototype for the first time, participating at Daytona 24h with Crown Royal/NPN Racing's Riley-BMW. His teammates were Ryan Hunter-Reay, Lucas Luhr and Scott Tucker. The international crew finished third overall.
Podium at Le Mans debut in 2010
In June 2010, Westbrook debuted at Circuit de la Sarthe, participating in the world's greatest endurance race with BMW Scuderia Italia's Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. His partners were Marco Holzer and Timo Scheider. In his Le Mans debut, Richard immediately reached the podium, finishing 3rd in GT2 class.
For the second part of the 2010 FIA GT Championship season, Westbrook joined Matech Competition to drive the Ford GT1, alongside Thomas Mutsch. With four podiums in twelve races, Westbrook finished 13th in the points. Richard's other competitions in 2010 were British GT Championship and Le Mans Series, driving Porsche for Trackspeed and Prospeed Competition.
In 2011, Westbrook started the FIA GT1 campaign and participated in twenty races of the championship, driving the Nissan GT-R GT1 for the British team JR Motorsports together with Peter Dumbreck. They scored one victory (Algarve) and five podiums and finished 9th in the points.
Joining Corvette Racing in 2011
Westbrook's contract with Porsche expired and he joined Corvette Racing in 2011, to compete in the American Le Mans Series and at Le Mans. His partners at 24 hours of Le Mans were Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin, but they didn't finish the race.
At 2011 Daytona 24h, Richard was again in the cockpit of the Riley-BMW prototype, this time for Level 5 Motorsports. He finished 11th overall. Westbrook's racing schedule in 2011 featured races with Porsche in few competitions (Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT Championship and 24h Nurburgring) but he also participated in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship. He partnered Rick Kelly in the Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore at Gold Coast 600 event, finishing 13th and 11th.
2012 - first season with Corvette prototype
In 2012, Westbrook continued to drive for Corvette Racing in the ALMS and at Le Mans, but his main competition was the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with all new Corvette DP for Spirit of Daytona Racing. Westbrook and Antonio Garcia won three times and he finished 10th in the points.
Alongside his busy American programme, Westbrook didn't miss European races, competing occasionally in three different competitions (British GT, Blancpain Endurance Series and Nürburgring 24h).
Class victory at 2013 Sebring 12h
Westbrook had an almost identical schedule in 2013, driving mostly in the United States. In the Grand American Rolex Series, he scored no wins and finished seventh in the points. In the American Le Mans Series, he won the Sebring 12h with Corvette Racing, partnering Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the #4 Corvette. In Europe, his only win was in Rockingham's round of the British GT Championship, together with Gregor Fisken in Trackspeed's Porsche.
In the newly formed 2014 IMSA United Sports Car Championship, Westbrook continued to drive for Spirit of Daytona Racing. After finishing fourth at Daytona, he won one race (Watkins Glen) with Michael Valiante as a co-driver. At the end of the season, Westbrook and Valiante were third in the Prototype class standings.
Westbrook was fourth in GTE Pro class at Le Mans 24h, driving the Chevrolet Corvette alongside Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.
2015 - missing the IMSA title by three points
In the second season of the IMSA United Sports Car Championship, Westbrook and Valiante were again among the front-runners, but they missed the title by three points.The 2015 champions were Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi., who defended their title from 2014.
He drove Corvette DP for the VisitFlorida.com Racing, which was his only commitment in 2015. His only European race was 24 hours of Nurburgring, where he partnered Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr and Markus Palttala in the #25 Team Marc VDS's BMW Z4 GT3. They finished second overall.
Westbrook joined Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016
For the 2016 season, Westbrook was invited to join Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA in their debut year with all-new Ford GT. He and Ryan Briscoe finished second in the points of GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the end of the season, after winning three races (Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen and Mosport).
Briscoe and Westbrook competed also at Le Mans, partnered by Scott Dixon, and they finished third in GTE Pro class. It was his second Le Mans podium.
Westbrook remained with the team in 2017, continuing to share a car with Ryan Briscoe.