Tequila Patrón ESM Shows Speed and Potential at Spa as
the Team Prepares
for Le Mans
Francorchamps, Belgium – May 2, 2015 – It was a weekend filled with a litany of firsts for the championship-caliber Tequila Patrón ESM team and its first full-season of FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) competition – first time at the Spa-Francorchamps track for the team and some drivers, first run of new race cars as well as new tires. At the conclusion of the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps endurance event earlier today, Tequila Patrón ESM was listed eighth and ninth in the LMP2 class, but the team showed determination, speed and podium potential.
Tequila Patrón ESM received two Ligier JS P2 race cars on Monday, so the six-hour event a mere five days later acted as an extended test session for the combination of new cars, Honda HR28TT V6 engines and Dunlop tires at a racing venue that four of the six drivers have never visited.
On Friday’s qualifying session, the team earned seventh and ninth starting positions on the LMP2 grid. An LMP2 competitor car failed post-qualifying technical inspection which resulted in both of the Tequila Patrón Ligier JS P2s advancing by one position. The No. 30 moved to sixth and the No. 31 started eighth.
During today’s race, the team experienced a series of minor teething issues with the Ligier JS P2 machines. Early on, Ryan Dalziel, co-driver of the No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2 Honda, had broken a boost line. He pitted and the team replaced the damaged line. The repair dropped the No. 30 to the bottom of the LMP2 class. Looking to maximize track time and learn more about the Ligier JS P2, the No. 30 team charged ahead. Dalziel completed his stint and David Heinemeier Hansson was second to drive.
The No. 30 Tequila Patrón ESM crew and engineers made adjustments to the race car throughout Dalziel’s stint and found a combination that enabled Heinemeier Hansson to run similar pace as the leaders. Unfortunately, at 20 laps down, the team was unable to challenge for a podium.
Scott Sharp completed the race for the No. 30 team and followed in Heinemeier Hansson’s race shoes by logging laps on pace with the LMP2 leaders.
For the No. 31 car, in his first race WEC race of 2015, Johannes van Overbeek found a steady pace in his opening stint. He completed his laps improving with each pass before pitting for the scheduled driver change to Ed Brown.
Brown had a consistent pace for his first race at the challenging circuit and worked on his race craft, continuing his development and understanding of the new race car, engine and tire combination. After Brown’s stint, Jon Fogarty began his time behind the wheel of the No. 31.
The first part of Fogarty’s stint was issue-free. Midway through his stint, Fogarty started to have issues with boost. He pitted and the team brought the No. 31 to the garage for inspection and repair. The team replaced a broken boost line, the same part that was replaced on the sister No. 30, and Fogarty returned to the circuit. With less than an hour to go, van Overbeek returned to the cockpit and completed the race.
Tequila Patrón ESM expected a challenging race weekend at the FIA 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The race in Belgium is often considered a preview and test to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team leveraged every minute of the track time today to ensure new car teething issues were identified and resolved before heading to France next month.