johannes van overbeek

WEC: Jon Fogarty, David Heinemeier Hansson join Extreme Speed

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Two-time GRAND-AM Rolex Series champion Jon Fogarty and now-reigning World Endurance Championship GTE-AM class champion David Heinemeier Hansson have joined Extreme Speed Motorsports to contest the 2015 WEC campaign.

Fogarty and Heinemeier Hansson join team regulars Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Ryan Dalziel, and Johannes van Overbeek. For next season, Fogarty will co-drive with Brown and van Overbeek, while the Silver-rated Heinemeier Hansson will co-drive with Sharp and Dalziel.

Team owner/driver Sharp said the following in a team release:

“We are thrilled to have Jon and David join us at Tequila Patrón ESM. The 2015 season is going to be incredible for us. Jon and David will be key parts to our success. We’ve competed against Jon for years and we know he is a team player who has proven he is extremely quick. I’m certain he will blend in perfectly with Ed and Johannes.

“David has had great success in the WEC over the last couple of seasons both in P2 and GTE. He knows all of the WEC tracks and will complement Ryan and me in our car perfectly. Tequila Patrón ESM has one of the strongest driver lineups for 2015 with Ed, Ryan, Johannes and now Jon and David. We can’t wait to get started with the new Honda coupes and co-drivers.”

With the move, Heinemeier Hansson returns to the WEC’s LMP2 category. In 2013, he and co-drivers Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle took one of the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissans to second place in that class championship.

This past season, Heinemeier Hansson switched to GTE-Am and an Aston Martin Vantage V8. He and co-drivers Nicki Thiim and Kristian Poulsen earned a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and it was Heinemeier Hansson and Poulsen that ultimately captured the title in the next-to-last WEC event in Bahrain.

“I started LMP2 racing in 2012 just when [Dalziel] had his dream season with victories at Le Mans, Sebring and in the WEC championship in the Honda prototype,” Heinemeier Hansson said. “I remember marveling at that run. Now three years later, I’m joining forces with him and Scott with my own WEC championship and Le Mans win under my belt.

“Scott has an incredible résumé with his championship titles. I think we’ll have a great shot at race wins, especially Le Mans, and the FIA WEC championship.”

Fogarty is mostly known for his time as a co-driver of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s “Red Dragon” entry. But when the team withdrew from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship following an ugly Rolex 24 crash involving Memo Gidley, Fogarty was subsequently relegated to a part-time schedule.

He made three more TUDOR starts in 2014, all for Action Express Racing in the remaining North American Endurance Cup events at Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta. But now he has a full-season program again, along with a new challenge of tackling LMP2 equipment.

“It has been some time since I have been in a prototype other than a [Daytona Prototype], so there will be some transition time coming into the new Honda P2 coupe,” he admitted. “Luckily, I have had a lot of time in high-downforce, open-wheel cars in my career.

“The smaller turbo motor might be the biggest change for me since I’ve been racing with a larger displacement naturally aspirated V8; the sound alone will be a big change!”