With several months remaining before the 2014 powerboat racing season begins, Herd Racing's plans for the upcoming season are well underway.
Herd Racing Pilot Dana Tomes says the team has a verbal agreement already in place to drive for France's Shark Racing Team at Rouen, France in May and at Augustow, Poland in July 2014.
"We don't have the signed contract done, but Romain and I have a verbal agreement in place that we will compete for the World Endurance Championship in 2014," Tomes said, referring to conversations with Shark Racing Team owner Romain Nedelec. The 51st running of the 24 Hours of Rouen is the first of two races which combine to form the UIM's World Endurance Series Championship. Racing will begin in Rouen on May 1 and end on May 2, featuring 24 hours of both daytime nighttime racing on the Sienne River east of Paris.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to return to Rouen," Tomes said. "Last year we had a great time and were running lap times with the leaders throughout the race so with a little luck on our side we could do real well there." The Shark Team, for which Tomes drove along with three French pilots, finished 7th at Rouen in 2013 after the team's boat was sidelined nearly two hours during the event with fuel problems.
Tomes said while the team intends to run the second leg of the World Endurance Series in Augustow, Poland in July, the final decision on racing in the 8 Hours of Augostow won't be made until after the conclusion of racing at Rouen.
"You only receive points in the series if you are running at the conclusion of the race so if for some reason we break down and don't finish or crash out at Rouen then there is no sense in going to Augustow if we don't have a chance at the title," Tomes said. "We will prepare as best as possible and be ready to do our best at Rouen. If things go well we'll move on to Poland and try to win the World Championship."
Tomes said both races in Europe will be run under the Shark Racing Team banner while races in the U.S. in 2014 will be run under the Herd Racing name.
"We plan to run some races as we usually do in the U.S. next season but our focus is going to be on what we're doing in Europe," Tomes said. "We'll see after the various league and club schedules are released in the U.S. what we'll be doing here."
Tomes said the Herd Racing team has the capabilities of running both Formula 1 and Formula 2 races in the U.S. and will base its schedule in part on what markets the team's sponsors want to focus on.
"We may run some races in 2014 that we historically have not and may not attend some that we have been attending the past few years," Tomes said. "We'll obviously participate in as many TV races as possible and races in front of the bigger crowds in an effort to bring our sponsors a positive return on their investment."