Hixon Motor Sports (HMS) is continuing to grow. With several drivers confirmed and announced for the Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich® Tires season opener at the Daytona International Speedway, HMS is pleased to confirm Derek Ware to their lineup of drivers. As a jack-of-all-trades in the motorsports industry, Ware is hoping that his motorsports experience and knowledge can help him and his Lemons of Love / FAST Cooling / TORQ RaceWear branded MX-5 move their way to the front of the field by the time the checkered flags fly next week.
“We welcome Derek Ware to HMS with open arms,” expressed Bryan Hixon. “With a level head on his shoulders, knowledge in the motorsports business and a proven winner, Derek is a great fit for our growing program and will complement the rest of our driver lineup quite well. I feel blessed Derek is also a Team Manager with his own Mazda MX-5 Endurance Team and has been open-minded and willing to assist me off-the-track, and he simply under promises and over delivers any time we’ve had an exchange. I can’t wait to be on track with a licensed stunt driver and test driver. It’s always been my dream to be a factory or magazine test driver. I applaud where Derek is at, and he has so much potential for growth as a professional driver and as a team owner.”
Derek’s love for racing started back when he got into his first go-kart at just 9 years old. That same year, he won his first championship in the TAG 60 class! After 7 years of competition and many other wins in karting, he saw the opportunity to make the jump to something bigger. Derek attended Skip Barber Racing School and raced their formula car. In the two years he was at Skip Barber, Derek became the last driver to win the Skip Barber Academy Shootout Championship. After the championship, he made his move to sports cars, where he found even more success with endurance racing.
“This race weekend is going to be tough; I have a very big hill to climb heading into Daytona seeing as though I haven’t done any testing with the new car nor been on the track in over two years but with the strong support of HMS, I feel they’ll give me the best shot possible at standing on the podium,” explained Derek Ware. “It is a dream to be racing on the main stage at Daytona, and I can’t thank Hixon Motor Sports and everyone else that made it possible enough for this opportunity. To be racing for a cause like raising awareness for Tourette’s Syndrome, promoting donations to Lemons of Love, as well as supporting my other endeavors with TORQ and my business partner with Star Spangled Racing, Tiger Tari, is an absolute honor. I cannot wait to share with fans and friends the races with HMS.”
The Live Coverage of both races can be found on IMSA.TV, MX-5CUP.COM, or delayed coverage on February 10th, 2021 at 4:00pm Eastern on NBC Sports. Derek Ware continued to say he is “proud to be driving the Lemons of Love car because they deliver chemo care packages to cancer patients, and it’s the little things like that which can make someone’s day better.” That fits into the HMS M.O. of leaving the world a better place than you found it. He added, “It’s a pleasure to be a part of the HMS family of friends and partners.”
As of 2020, Derek has started up his own amateur endurance racing team known as Star Spangled Racing (SSR). With SSR, you’ll find him and several other drivers piloting a 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and a couple MX-5’s for 14-16 hours a weekend! As well as a BMW M2 CS for European tracks! When he’s not behind the wheel he is managing every aspect of the team for the weekend. Derek Ware and Bryan Hixon both hope to bring their teams into the team endurance IMSA paddock in the coming years!
Outside of racing, Derek keeps very busy as a Precision / Specialty Driver for MotorTrend Group. Additionally, he is the North American Sales Rep for Torq Racewear. Beyond that, he is a professional drivers’ coach for several drivers in series such as: IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, and WRL. Derek loves a challenge and enjoys testing the limits, whether that’s speed limits or world setbacks. This may stem from the adversity of growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 4 years old. There are always bumps in the road, but never one Derek hasn’t been ready to take head-on.
Team Owner, Bryan Simpson Hixon, also sits on the autism scale and believes, “Sometimes what some people see as setbacks actually pay off dividends behind the wheel of a race car, doing almost the same thing perfectly, for a set period of time. Racing tends to have a positive effect on some disabilities as we have found; it makes concentration levels reach new high-levels for some race car drivers. Ware is very fast, and I cannot wait to be on track with him—hopefully I can keep up with Derek’s race pace.”
Hixon loves the fact that Derek Ware isn’t just racing to race; he is thrilled that Derek is bringing a special kind of magic as he is racing with a purpose and something to prove. Hixon has no doubt as Performance Thinking: Mental Skills for the Competitive World… and for Life! author states as very important: “bring your A-Game [and don’t worry about the B factors or the results, when you are in the moment of your best performance]!” Learn more about Jacques Dallaire, PH.D. at www.PerformancePrime.com.
Ware added, “Ever since I won my first ever go-kart race at the age of 9, I’ve wanted to race professionally, and today it is official that the dream becomes a reality. I want this to be a lesson to all of the kids out there struggling with whatever issues they may be facing; you can overcome them and do whatever you put your mind to! A lot of dreams will become reality when HMS takes the green flag at Daytona, and I can’t wait to be one of them living the dream.”
With on-track action at the Daytona International Speedway beginning Wednesday, January 27th, the first race of the weekend goes green Thursday, January 28th at 5:00pm with race two being held Friday, January 29th at 10:15am, both of which can be viewed live online at IMSA.TV. All times EST.