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!”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III