Honda Racing–Fourth-Place Finish for Honda, Tequila Patrón ESM in Japan

Fourth-Place Finish for Honda, Tequila Patrón ESM in Japan
• Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson claim fourth at Fuji Speedway
• Second consecutive top-four result of 2015 for Tequila Patrón ESM
• Sister Tequila Patrón ESM Honda finishes seventh

Honda and the Tequila Patrón ESM team earned a second consecutive fourth-place finish in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship Sunday at Fuji Speedway in Japan, with the driving trio of Ryan Dalziel, Scott Sharp and David Heinemeier Hansson battling ever-changing weather conditions in a wet-to-dry six-hour endurance contest in their Ligier JS P2 Honda.

The result matched the team’s best 2015 WEC result last month, a fourth at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, as the Florida-based Tequila Patrón ESM team continues to show improvement in its inaugural season of FIA world championship competition.

Sunday’s race started behind the safety car due to heavy rain and limited visibility, but the circuit began to dry as the rain gradually abated throughout the six-hour event. As a result, managing the changing track conditions, while optimizing chassis setup and tire choices were the key factors in achieving a good result.

After struggling during the early hours, the team of Dalziel, Sharp and Heinemeier Hansson found pace mid-race with a switch from full “wet” compound tires to the less aggressive “intermediates”, enabling them to move from eighth to fourth at the checkers.

The second Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier Honda, co-driven by Jon Fogarty, Ed Brown and Johannes van Overbeek, also found speed as conditions improved, but a mid-race “off” set the team back, resulting in a seventh-place finish.

Both Ligier chassis fielded by ESM utilize the production-based 2.8-liter Honda HR28TT V6 engine, developed for competition by HPD from the Honda “J35” series of passenger vehicle V6 engines, with improvements including twin turbochargers. Key production-based components include the block and cylinder heads, direct-injection fuel system, valve train components, drive-by-wire throttle, alternator, sensors and fasteners. The engine even features a stock Honda oil filter.

The 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship continues November 1 in Shanghai, China, for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the penultimate round of the eight-race series.

Scott Sharp (#30 Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier Honda): “The Tequila Patrón ESM team did a great job today in extremely trying conditions. Big rain, poor visibility, ever-changing track conditions and cool temperatures led to some of the most challenging race conditions we have faced. We lost big time early on, when we chose rain tires to begin the race. It seemed to be the most obvious choice, but a change to intermediates [tires] dramatically improved our cars. By the end of the race, when a dry [racing] line finally formed, we were one of the quickest cars on track. Today’s fourth-place finish doesn’t give enough credit to the progress we continue to make.”